December 19 Brett Crozier was “fired” by the U.S. military in early April. In the dark, he walked alone as a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt and walked to the dock.
After being lonely, about 2,000 sailors on the ship applauded him to see him off and shouted “Captain Crozier”.
In the minds of sailors, Crozier is a “hero” because he risked the emergence of the coronavirus epidemic on the overstep reporting ship; in the eyes of the U.S. government and the military, Crozier is a “thorn in the side”, “ineffective in responding to the epidemic” and “inappropriately handled”, and will never be reinstated.
Crozier left sadly just because he uncovered the truth of the Roosevelt epidemic deliberately covered by the senior management of the U.S. military and became the “scapegoat” for the military’s ineffective fight against the epidemic.
Some analysts criticized that the U.S. military did not even pay the cost of the lives and health of soldiers in order to maintain global military deterrence and not give the impression that the epidemic weakens combat effectiveness.
You can’t let sailors die in vain
The San Francisco Chronicle released an exclusive report on March 31 that “the number of coronavirus cases on the aircraft carrier is increasing, and the captain is asking for help from the navy”.
For the first time, Crozier’s email for help because he could not persuade his immediate superior to organize the evacuation of sailors and finally risked to skip the rank quickly triggered American public opinion.
The message, which consists of 4 pages, is headlined “Request for Assistance in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic” and is mind-wrensing. The email wrote that due to the limited space and dense personnel on board, the aircraft carrier Roosevelt could not comply with the health recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to maintain social distancing and self-quarantine.
Crozier warned that “the spread of the virus is continuing and accelerating” and about 90% of the ship’s nearly 5,000 crew should be evacuated as soon as possible to test and quarantine them for the novel coronavirus in Guam, while killing the aircraft carrier.
We are not in wartime,” Crozier wrote. “The sailors don’t have to die in vain.
According to several media reports, after Crozier’s email was exposed, the U.S. military changed its mind under pressure from public opinion and agreed that most of the crew would be ashore for testing.
In the end, more than 1,200 people on board, including Crozier, were diagnosed with infection, one of whom died.
“Even if it affects my career”
The exposure of the letter of request for help greatly frighted the U.S. military.
After Thomas Modley, then Acting Secretary of the Navy, announced the dismissal of Crozier on April 2, he flew to Guam to severely lecture the officers and soldiers on board, criticizing Crozier as “naive and stupid” and “low judgment and improper reporting procedures”.
After the exposure of the recording of the lecture, it triggered strong protests, and Modley publicly apologized and resigned, but the U.S. military insisted that Crozier’s dismissal was “no problem”.
In the military’s view, Crozier did not send emails through encrypted channels, resulting in the leakage of email content and media reports, which did not meet the confidentiality regulations. In addition, as the captain, Crozier improperly handled the epidemic on board and “exaggerated” the epidemic in the mail, creating confusion and panic, creating a foreign response of the U.S. Navy.
Impression of the epidemic. U.S. President Donald Trump also criticized Crozier, saying that his letter was “inappropriate” to spread “all over the world”.
Crozier knows the risks of writing letters of help. Before sending the email, he let several senior officers on the ship read the content, who proposed a joint signature, but Crozier refused for fear of affecting their official careers.
In a military investigation, Crozier said that the purpose of his email was to raise the sense of urgency about the epidemic that could worsen rapidly and even kill people, and avoid “greater disaster and loss of life”.
“Even though [doing] may have a long-term impact on my career, I still act in the way I think is most beneficial to the sailors on the Theodore Roosevelt.
Who the hell is lying?
Crozier is 50 years old and is in his prime in the army. Several media reports said that Crozier had little hope of promotion in the future.
According to the U.S. military, the coronavirus epidemic has not affected the war readiness of the USS Roosevelt, and Crozier “exaggerated” the severity of the epidemic.
However, the San Francisco Chronicle painted a completely different scene after interviewing more than a dozen sailors serving on the ship and their families. A sailor living in the upper and lower bunks of the group said, “I want to sleep, but the cough sounded all night…”
Due to the intentional or unintentional disregard of the epidemic by the U.S. government and the military, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. military, including civilian personnel, has repeatedly exceeded 1,300 in a single day, and the cumulative number of cases has now exceeded 136,000.
Several media reports that the U.S. military does not want to convey the message that the epidemic has weakened the military’s combat effectiveness to the outside world, which is confirmed in Modly’s words: “Crozer’s letter raises concerns about the combat capability and combat safety of the Roosevelt…
After Crozier was dismissed, his nameplate was hung on the ship’s memorial column along with other captains.
In October, Crozier’s famous brand suddenly disappeared. After military investigation, it was found that the sailors on the ship secretly took it away for commemorative purposes.
Regarding the spontaneous gathering of the sailors, applauding and cheering Buick Roze, one sailor said bluntly, “That’s the way to say goodbye to the best captain you have ever met.”