WATCH: Navy Officer Relieved Of Command Receives Cheers From His Sailors
Overwhelming cheers and applause from sailors were heard as Captain Brett Crozier left the USS Theodore Roosevelt on Thursday, video of the occasion showed.
Crozier was relieved of his command of the 5,000 crew aircraft carrier after his letter pleading for assistance with the coronavirus outbreak on board was leaked to the press this week, NBC News reported.
The captain will be reassigned and has not been thrown out of the Navy, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said.
Modly indicated previously that Crozier was relieved of his command because he "demonstrated extremely poor judgment" during the crisis, saying his letter was sent using "non-secure unclassified email" to a "broad array of people" rather than up the chain of command.
"I have no doubt in my mind that Captain Crozier did what he thought was in the best interest of the safety and well-being of his crew," Modly said, according to NBC. "Unfortunately, it did the opposite. It unnecessarily raised the alarm of the families of our sailors and Marines with no plans to address those concerns."
The ship was operating in the Pacific but pulled into port at Guam last week after a number of crew members tested positive for the coronavirus. On Wednesday, 93 sailors had tested positive for the virus and more than 1,000 were taken off the ship and put into isolation on Guam, NBC reported.
“We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors,” Crozier had written in his letter.