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Captain Brett Crozier was relieved of command for going outside the chain of command because the Coronavirus had infected his ship. His informing of enough people of the problem resulted in the press getting ahold of this story and publicizing it. Crozier emailed 30-plus people but he did not inform his own commanding officer. That’s particularly damning.
Apparently, his actions were popular with the crew as he was cheered when leaving the ship. It’s still early in the story, and there may be more or changed information that could change my mind, but given the facts as I laid out, I agree with the Navy Secretary’s decision.
Here’s some realities about the U.S. military:
- The mission comes first
- People are a close second
Not enough people who join the military are told this by their recruiter. Those two maxims should be posted in every recruiting station, so they know where they stand when they raise their right hand to take the oath.
I did know, because before I enlisted, I had taken some courses in ROTC. Because they do tell officer candidates what they don’t explicitly tell enlisted. Captain Crozier forgot. Or he chose to ignore that.
Some other thoughts:
- This is an important military asset and it was sidelined. There may have been good reasons to risk the crew, if that is what the Navy intended.
- The personnel on that ship were of low risk of dying, given what we know so far about the demographics and other risk factors. I suspect that the crew would have been fine. When enlisting, you’re given a thorough medical checkup, and those remain ongoing as long as you remain in uniform. If anything, they might have developed an immunity, making the unit more effective.
Captain Crozier will apparently be allowed to remain in the Navy, but if he in effect compromised a major military asset, shouldn’t he be court-martialed?Published in