Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly issued an apology Monday after a transcript and audio of a speech criticizing former USS Theodore Roosevelt Captain Brett Crozier went public, as first reported by the Daily Caller.
Modly’s statement was directed first to the Navy and then to both CPT Crozier and the entire crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
— Tara Copp (@TaraCopp) April 7, 2020
“I want to apologize to the Navy for my recent comments to the crew of the TR. Let me be clear, I do not think Captain Brett Crozier is naïve nor stupid. I think, and always believed him to be the opposite. We pick our carrier commanding officers with great care. Captain Crozier is smart and passionate,” Modly began.
Modly went on to say that he believed CPT Crozier had intended for his letter to reach the public domain, thus drawing attention to the situation on board the Theodore Roosevelt. (RELATED: Recording: When Acting Navy Sec Thomas Modly Called Crozier ‘Stupid,’ Sailors Can Be Heard Shouting ‘What The F***’)
“I also want to apologize directly to Captain Crozier, his family, and the entire crew of the Theodore Roosevelt for any pain my remarks may have caused,” Modly concluded. “They, and the entire Navy, have my full commitment that I will continue to help get the TR back to full health and back to sea where we can move forward beyond this unfortunate situation.”
In Modly’s speech, given over the PA system on the Theodore Roosevelt after Crozier was relieved of duty, he claimed that the letter was proof that Crozier was either “too naive or too stupid to be CO.”
‘Too Naive Or Too Stupid To Be CO’: Leaked Speech Transcript Shows Navy Sec Modly Trashing Fired Carrier Captain To Group Of Sailors https://t.co/cVb1mwrZ1G
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 6, 2020
Crozier was relieved of his command after the letter he wrote, pleading for relief as coronavirus spread rapidly through his carrier, went public. Sailors on board the Theodore Roosevelt hailed him as a hero as he left. He later tested positive for the virus himself.