Navy reportedly recommends captain ousted over coronavirus warning be reinstated

Capt. Brett Crozier
(Image credit: U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

Weeks after a Navy captain was ousted over his warning about a coronavirus outbreak on his ship, he may be getting his job back.

Adm. Mike Gilday, the Chief of Naval Operations, on Friday recommended to Defense Secretary Mark Esper that Capt. Brett Crozier be reinstated as commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt after he was relieved of command earlier this month, ABC News reports.

Crozier had written a four-page letter asking for help containing a COVID-19 outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which subsequently leaked to the press. He was ousted on April 2, with then-Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly saying it was because he sent the letter over "non-secure unclassified email" to a "broad array of people." Modly would later resign after telling the USS Theodore Roosevelt crew that Crozier was either "too naive or too stupid" to run the ship, a comment for which he apologized.

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Esper has reportedly not made a final decision on whether to reinstate Crozier, and The Associated Press reports he asked for a delay in a public announcement, though a spokesperson for Esper previously said he's "generally inclined to support Navy leadership in their decision." ABC News reports that "according to Navy officials, Crozier's reinstatement was likely to have been the first time that a ship's commanding officer who had been relieved of command for a loss of confidence has been restored to command."

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