The US Navy is reversing its decision to reinstate fired Navy captain Brett Crozier, who was relieved of his command after he penned a letter in March criticizing the Trump administration for prioritizing military readiness over the safety of the crew.
In April, a preliminary investigation recommended that Crozier be reinstated.
“The results of the investigation justified the relief,” one person who has seen the investigation told Politico. “He failed to take appropriate action, to do the things that the commanding officer of a ship is supposed to do, so he stays relieved.“
The Navy will also halt the promotion of Rear Adm. Stuart Baker, the senior officer onboard the Roosevelt, who commands Carrier Strike Group 9, according to the report.
“Strike Group Command will also be held accountable for poor decision-making and his second star is being put on hold,” said the source.
After learning of the outbreak on the ship, Crozier argued for evacuating the entire crew as soon as possible. But Baker, Crozier’s superior on the ship, reportedly countered that less drastic measures should be taken.
The news brings to a close a highly publicized chain of events that started with an outbreak of the coronavirus onboard the Roosevelt in late March, which forced the ship to stop in Guam and offload its 5,000 sailors. Crozier caused an uproar when he wrote a letter pleading for help from Navy leadership as the coronavirus spread throughout his ship, which was later leaked to the media. Crozier was fired by then-acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who later stepped down over remarks he made to the ship’s crew criticizing the captain’s actions. –Politico
Following the preliminary investigation, Gen. Mark Milley – Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – pushed for a broader investigation leading to the decision not to reinstate.
After recovering from COVID-19 on Guam, Crozier was reassigned to desk duty in San Diego during the investigation.