(Washington) The commander of the American nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt , in the grip of a rampant epidemic of COVID – 19, was acclaimed by his troops when he left, as shown by several videos posted on social media on Friday.
France Media Agency
We see Captain (Navy) Brett Crozier, dismissed on Thursday after his alarm letter to the US Navy leaked in the press, leaving the ship passing in the middle of hundreds of sailors who told him make a guard of honor on the deck of the aircraft carrier.
He crosses the crowd as his troops move away, silently, making a military salute to the captain (“Captain” in English) as he approaches. As soon as he enters the bridge, you can hear the sailors cheering – “Cap-tain Crozier! Cap-tain Cro-zier ”- clapping to the beat.
At the bottom of the bridge, the commander of the aircraft carrier waves to the crew before rushing into the waiting car.
In a four-page letter to his hierarchy which had reached the San Francisco Chronicle , Captain Crozier had asked for the immediate evacuation of his ship where several cases of COVID- 19 had been recorded.
“We are not at war. There is no reason why sailors should die, “said Captain Brett Crozier in the missive published Tuesday by the California daily.
US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly didn't like it. “We may not be at war in the traditional sense of the word, but neither are we completely at peace,” Modly noted on Thursday when announcing the commander's dismissal during a press conference.
“We ask our commanders to exercise judgment, maturity, leadership and calm under pressure,” he added. Commander Crozier, however, “displayed very poor judgment in times of crisis.”
The Pentagon encourages the military to express criticism to their hierarchy, provided that the chain of command is respected. And what the US military accuses the deposed commander of is having allowed his letter to leak to the press, by putting about thirty people in copy of the email in which he sent it.
In addition, the Pentagon is told, the commander made the decision to give his men five days of free time during the last stopover by Theodore Roosevelt , in early March in Danang, Vietnam, when the coronavirus was raging in Asia.
The images of the crew saluting their commander leaving the aircraft carrier went around in the American media in a few hours.
Seventeen Democratic senators have asked the Minister of Defense’s Inspector General for a formal investigation into the decision to remove Commander Crozier from office.
And the Democratic candidate for the White House Joe Biden denounced the decision of the US Navy.
“Commander Crozier was faithful to his duty, to his sailors and to his country,” he tweeted. “Navy management has sent a chilling message on how to tell the truth to those in power.”
“It was the Trump administration who lacked judgment, not a brave officer who sought to protect his sailors,” he added.