Acting Navy Secretary Submits Resignation After Calling the Captain of the USS Roosevelt ‘Stupid’

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly submitted his resignation a day after audio of him calling the captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, Captain Brett Crozier, “stupid” surfaced, according to several reports.

In a speech to the crew of the Roosevelt, Modly blasted Crozier for raising the alarm after more than 100 crew members tested positive for the coronavirus.

Crozier had requested in a letter to Navy leadership that the crew of the ship be allowed to disembark and quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus.

“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.”

It did not take long for the news of the letter to reach the press. Modly removed Crozier after that letter was written. He also blasted Crozier for writing the letter during a speech to the Roosevelt’s crew on Sunday.

“If he didn’t think that this information wasn’t going to get out into the public, in this day and information age that we live in, then he was either A, too naive or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this. The alternative is that he did this on purpose.”

The audio surfaced on Monday and later that day, Modley apologized for his comments, “I do not think Captain Brett Crozier is naïve nor stupid.”

He continued, “I believe, precisely because he is not naive and stupid, that he sent his alarming email with the intention of getting it into the public domain in an effort to draw public attention to the situation on his ship.”

Modley’s apology did little to smooth things over on Capitol Hill, where on Tuesday afternoon House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a statement calling for his removal.

“Our oath of office is to protect and defend the Constitution, and therefore our first responsibility is to protect and defend the American people,” Pelosi said, adding, “That is exactly what Captain Crozier was doing when he called for help for the men and women in his charge.”

She continued, “[Modly] showed a serious lack of the sound judgment and strong leadership needed during this time. Acting Secretary Modly must be removed from his position or resign.”

Check out Pelosi’s statement below:

Modly was appointed to be the acting Navy secretary after former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer was forced out of the job late last year over the case of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, as IJR has previously reported.


  1. I am writing as an USArmy Officer(HonDisch) The Secretary was acting within his authority to make such as comment at Cpt Crozier. Crozier clearly breached the “Chain of Command”, When a commanding naval officer can not follow this fundamental requirement for all military personnel, what kind of example he set of those sailors in his command? This would be taught and followed by all officers once we took our oath. He undermined the entire military code honored by all officers of all nations – US, UK, Germany, Russian, China – all of those countries ask for the same from their respective officers No exception

    To release his e-mail to the public – Cpt Crozier intentionally leaked out an top secret information to our adversaries An nuclear carrier battle group represents 10% of US Navy’s surface strike capacity. He is NOT the determined whether it is peace time or not Had he allowed sufficient time for his commander to return an order.. He is talking far beyond his paid grade and rank.. All NCBG, once out in the ocean, must be ready for combat. And Commander degraded his unit combat readiness is deemed as failure to accomplish his mission.

    Assuming his sick sailor impaired or down-graded his combat readiness to such level that he could no longer protect his carrier in the open seas, he has the option of bringing the carrier close to Pearl Harbor and cruising in the vicinity in order to be protected by the land-based fighters so that he could quarantine his sicks at sea. Navy has the best medical corp among the services. Each battle group has tremendous amount of medical resources at its disposal because traditionally, it was designed to be self-sustained out in the open seas for extended period time. We have not seen any evidence that Cpt Crozier’s plan to do so

    Naval ships are designed to be operation without 100% T&E The 100 sick sailors represented a 2% of his force. And for a commander to surrender to the situation, he should be deemed unfit for command

    Just look at the US Army African Command, HQ at Italy, Right in the middle of worst epidemic. Out of close to 15,000 soldiers and civilians, how many tested positive? TWO .. To this day, only two soldiers reported positive. Why? Because Maj. Gen. Roger Cloutier pre-empted the situation and implemented a program strictly. It could be done But in this case, there is no evidence that Cpt Crozier exercise any due diligence and initiative for the situation he is in.

    The Tribune under President Clinton in review Admiral Kimmel’s demotion from a 4 star to 2 star after some 50 yrs later and drawing the conclusion: ” A Commander is responsible for events that will or will not happened.” In our case, Cpt Crozier should face a court-martial

    Sec Modly, you should stay on and help to protect this long established honor for all US Naval Officers.

    1. right on, sir. THAT is why we have a chain of command.. it’s taught in the first week of basic

  2. Great article in the Federalist this morning addressed this very issue:
    “…While operation security is crucial, and will be the technicality the Navy uses to justify its removal of Capt. Brett Crozier, its subtle but true reason is found within the content of his letter rather than just his careless means of distributing it. Crozier’s words revealed a cultural sense of complacency incongruent with the standards of the U.S. Armed Forces, and is why I believe the Department of the Navy ultimately removed him from command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt…”
    By Zachary Ziegler

  3. Neither the captain nor the secretary are stupid. Neither should lose their jobs because of a few I’ll chosen words.
    They should just learn from their mistakes and move on.

    We are all just human and make mistakes.
    Let those who are perfect throw stones at them.

    Just fix the problem , dont fire or discharge th hem

    1. Just which comment are you showing your OWN mental deficiencies about?

  4. I hope that Trump does NOT accept his resignation because he was exactly right. Crozier is neither naive or stupid so his act was intentional. He deserved to be removed from his position and Modley was 100% correct in his actions and his words.

Comments are closed.