Acting secretary of the Navy resigns after calling ousted aircraft carrier captain 'stupid' | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

28 May, Thursday


Acting secretary of the Navy resigns after calling ousted aircraft carrier captain 'stupid'

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Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned on Tuesday, a day after leaked audio revealed he called the ousted commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt "stupid" in an address to the ship's crew, EDNews reports citing CNN.

Modly's resignation comes a little more than a week after Capt. Brett Crozier, the then-commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, sent a memo warning of coronavirus spreading among the sailors on the aircraft carrier. The memo leaked and Modly subsequently removed Crozier from command. The former acting secretary flew to Guam to address the ship, insulting Crozier to thousands of sailors who had given their former captain a standing ovation as he left the ship days before.

The audio of that address was leaked to media outlets and the uproar over Modly's remarks -- calling Crozier "too naive or too stupid" to be in command of the aircraft carrier and saying that going outside of the chain-of-command with his memo represented a "betrayal" -- quickly made his position untenable.

In his resignation letter, Modly did not mention the controversy but later apologized to the whole of the Navy for the incident in a memo.

"More than anything, I owe every member of the Navy and Marine Corps team a lifetime of gratitude for the opportunity to serve for them, and with them, once again. They are the reason why I will forever remain inspired by the call of service. They are the ones who lift our nation, heal our divides, and make this country the greatest in the history of the world," Modly wrote in his resignation letter.

"That is why with a heavy heart, I hereby submit my resignation, effective immediately. The men and women of the Department of the Navy deserve a continuity of civilian leadership befitting our great Republic, and the decisive naval force that secures our way of life. I will be forever grateful for my opportunity, and the blessing, to be part of it."

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a letter that he accepted Modly's resignation Tuesday morning, confirming CNN's earlier reporting that Modly had resigned.

"He resigned of his own accord, putting the Navy and Sailors above self so that the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt and the Navy, as an institution, can move forward," Esper wrote. "His care for the Sailors was genuine. Secretary Modly served the nation for many years, both in and out of uniform. I have the deepest respect for anyone who serves our country, and who places the greater good above all else. Secretary Modly did that today, and i wish him all the best."

Undersecretary of the Army James McPherson -- who served on the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the 1980s -- has been tapped to succeed Modly, Esper wrote. McPherson is a retired rear admiral and was the former judge advocate general of the Navy.

 

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