USS Theodore Roosevelt

Discussion in 'West Mall' started by Statalyzer, Apr 8, 2020.

  1. Statalyzer

    Statalyzer 10,000+ Posts

    Good summary here: How the Navy's response to an aircraft carrier's coronavirus outbreak spiraled out of control and led Trump's top Navy official to resign

    What really gets me is that he is under fire for emailing multiple Navy leaders, including some who are outside his chain of command. So if the information then got leaked, shouldn't the first order of business be to find out which Navy leader is leaking information sent to him by ship captains, and then come down hard on THAT guy? Has our navy not improved it's ethics any since haranguing Capt. McVay of the USS Indianpolis to the point of suicide?

    Glad to see the acting secretary Modly has stepped down, but now they need to do right by the current captain, and others like Adm. Baker need to be held to account as well. Sad to see that Trump has taken the wrong side on this too, especially the laughable hypocrisy of saying "he shouldn't be talking that way in a letter."
  2. LongestHorn

    LongestHorn 2,500+ Posts

    By July 28, 1898, malaria and yellow fever were rife among U.S. Army troops garrisoned near Santiago de Cuba on the island of Cuba. Fifth Corps, to which the Rough Riders was attached, had 4,270 men seriously ill (and dying), and corps commanders feared the unit could be wiped out if it stayed in Cuba.[1] The McKinley administration, however, planned to keep the corps in Cuba until peace negotiations with Spain concluded. Public opinion was also against bringing home an army infected with yellow fever.[2]

    Several senior officers met with Major GeneralWilliam R. Shafter, commander of Fifth Corps, and unanimously asked that the corps be withdrawn to the United States.[2] It is unclear whether Shafter agreed and asked for this in writing, or whether Shafter disagreed and the corps commanders decided to put their request in writing. Colonel Theodore Roosevelt(commander of the First Volunteer US Cavalry Rough Riders), the only non-general officer of the group, was asked by the rest of the group to draft a round-robin letter outlining the problems with living conditions and disease to send to Army Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The letter would also be deliberately leaked to the press.

    President McKinley wanted to know who leaked the letter.

    The aircraft carrier is named after the OG author and leaker. Colonel Teddy Roosevelt.

    Theodore Roosevelt captain followed in footsteps of ship’s namesake by writing bombshell letter
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    Last edited: Apr 8, 2020
  3. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 10,000+ Posts

    I think there's a lot of blame to go around. First, Crozier shouldn't have gone outside the chain of command to try to stir up ****. That's not his job, and it's not his place. Whether he was the leaker or not, he enabled the leaker. It was right to shitcan him first.

    Second, the recipients of the email should never have leaked it. Obviously, the leaker should be determined and canned.

    Third, Modly was right that Crozier acted unprofessionally. However, he approached his unprofessionalism with more unprofessionalism. Why fly out to the ship and make a big scene?

    It was just an ugly situation with pretty much everybody involved acting stupidly. It's an embarrassment.
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  4. Statalyzer

    Statalyzer 10,000+ Posts

    This is how things work when protocol trumps what's right. If his first duty is to the commanders and only second to the crew and the ship, then something is wrong.

    Former admiral John Kirby: "Based on justification put forth by acting SECNAV for why he lost trust & confidence in the TR CO, hard to see it as anything other than an over-reaction & unwarranted at a vital time for the ship." Former general Barry McCaffrey: "This is the worst judgment by a defense official possible. Terrible signal to sailors"

    Gen. Mark Milley (JCOS Chief) and Adm. Michael Gilday (Chief of NavOps) both were against firing Crozier, but Trump and Modly overruled them. I think these guys understand the importance of the chain of command pretty well and what a captain's job and place is.

    It's been really interesting to browse forums of US veterans. While obviously I can't be sure that every person on there is actually a veteran, it's almost unanimous support for Crozier - and in today's partisan climate it's about the least party-line major issue of the moment.

    Some examples:

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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
  5. Horn6721

    Horn6721 Half of seeming clever is keeping your mouth shut.

    Are you sure Trump wanted him fired ? Trump said Tuesday that Crozier should not have gone outside the chain of command but Trump had looked at the Capt's record and it was very good. Trump said he should not lose everything for one bad day and that he, Trump would look into it. Did not sound like Trump had anything to do with the firing of the Capt.
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  6. Statalyzer

    Statalyzer 10,000+ Posts

    You may be right, but it sounds like Milley and Gilday, despite supporting Crozier, didn't argue too strenuously with Modly because of Trump. Possibly it was their perception of Trump and not what Trump actually thought?
  7. Horn6721

    Horn6721 Half of seeming clever is keeping your mouth shut.

    You are right, Trump did say that even though he was not involved in the decision he agreed with it
    but then he said might look into it since they both are good men
  8. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 10,000+ Posts

    Well, protocols exist for a reason. At what point does it become OK for an officer to take matters into his own hands? And what does that look like? Remember, he didn't just go over his commander's head. He breached the chain altogether and involved a bunch of people who had nothing to do with this.

    And I'm not convinced that he was doing the right thing. We can say he was just sticking up for his crew, but we don't know what was actually going on. No other officers who had a Coronavirus problem (and Crozier wasn't the only one) did what he did. Was the leadership blowing him off or not taking the issue seriously? I can't say that they weren't, because I don't know. However, I can say that the Air Force and the Army are taking it seriously and have been for awhile. I've seen it myself, and I haven't seen any other Naval officers raising the same issue or doing the same thing.

    Kirby and McCaffrey are both partisan Democrats. I'm not going to put stock in anything they say on something that has become a political mess.

    Do we actually know this? It's not consistent with their public comments.

    My grandfather was an O-6 in the Navy for 30 years, so I'm generally sympathetic to their plight. However, I'm seeing a lot of speculation and assumptions from them and not a lot of actual evidence.
  9. LongestHorn

    LongestHorn 2,500+ Posts

    The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help. Except US Navy. Because grandpa. And bailouts. And vaccines.
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  10. HornsCorpsman

    HornsCorpsman < 25 Posts

    First, I would like to say that I have been on Hornsfan for quite a bit and read many threads. I may not agree with people's positions but I do respect them. Also, I am not one to comment as you can see, also, forgive my grammar skills. However this thread hit home for me.

    I am a recently Retired Navy Corpsman of 20 years. I have served on a Aircraft Carrier before and chewed the same dirt with a lot of great men and women in crappy areas of the world.

    What happened to the CO on the TR and how it took place in the media was a horrible look for Leadership and Politicians in D.C.. I think how he sent out an email blast to his peers wasn't the best judgement, however, I sit back and ask myself why would a CO of a Nuclear Carrier do that? I think but do not know he exhausted all his resources and no one in the COC was listening, so he resorted to other efforts. Did he step outside the COC and protocol; **** yeah he did. Would I want a CO to do that for me and my troops if the mission and lives were at stake; your damn right. I have no doubt once he drafted that email and pressed send he knew this would tank his career and a chance at a Star on his collar.

    The aircraft carrier is just one part of a Carrier Strike Group when on deployment, and there is usually a 1 or 2 Star Admiral that is in charge of the Strike Group. It is hard to believe the Admiral didn't know what was going on within the carrier, and I think CAPT. Crozier asked for help and suggested they press pause and get Sailors off the ship. Politics definitely got in the way and some didn't want public or Media to know how bad that COVID 19 hit the ship. Before all this happened it was already in the MSM that 2 or 3 Sailors tested positive for COVID 19. After hearing that I knew they needed to get them off the ship because it was going to spread like wildfire, and it did. I will say a port visit to Vietnam in early March with all this going on wasn't the best idea and would have possibly prevented this.

    The former SECNAV **** the bed when he fired the CO, and video was released of sailors supporting their CO. I believe once this happened many Navy and Marine Corps leaders lost trust in the SECNAV and believed he would put politics and protocol over the lives of War Fighters. Some of what transpired brought back memories of how one of my CO's gave a speech to us when we were heading into a certain AO and said "F that order, we are all coming home so do what you need to do if you feel there is a threat." We all came home! In the end CAPT. Crozier did break protocol and jump the COC. However, being a Corpsman on a Carrier I know the medical staff would have been over run and it would have spread quickly though out the carrier to most if not all the crew. I will be interested to see what transpires in the future, especially, if he retires and comes out with his side of the story.
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  11. Horn6721

    Horn6721 Half of seeming clever is keeping your mouth shut.

    Thank you for inside information. I hope Trump does look into it like he said he would. He also said he looked at Crozier's record and it was a very good record.
    I hate to think that Admiral and the ones back at DOD would really put optics ahead of sailors' lives but sadly I know they do all the time.
    Thank you for what you were willing to do for our country.
    Hope you post often
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  12. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    BZ. Glad to have you onboard.

    I completely agree that the former SECNAV screwed the pooch by coming to the ship and piling on the fired CO—who was clearly well respected and loved by the crew. If you watch the video of his sorry speech, you can hear a sailor yelling ‘What the f@ck!!” In the background. That SECNAV completely lost the crew. He sent the already low crew morale down through the basement to the bilge. And that does matter. This was a different scenario than if we were at war and that ship needed to go into battle right away. We have other CVNs in the fleets.

    The cat was already out of the bag that sailors on the TR had the virus. The Captain didn’t release that info to the world for the first time via his email. And you don’t need inside info to be confident that the CO tried to get some action from his chain of command before sending the email.

    We loved our corpsman (“Doc”), who literally was the doctor underway. People should realize that a guy in his 20’s or early 30’s without a formal non-Navy medical education is doing the work of an MD (which could include surgery on the wardroom table) underway on small ships and subs. He once had to sedate a guy who ‘psyched out’ underway and put him under a 24 hour watch.
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  13. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 10,000+ Posts

    Respectfully, you have no idea if this is true. You are speculating. Why is he the only commander in the Navy deciding to tell the chain of command to go **** itself and take the matter into his own hands? Like I said above, this is not the military's only case of Coronavirus, but it is in there only one of a commanding officer deciding that the rules don't apply to him. If they truly weren't listening, there'd be others all over the world.

    It's easy to say that in isolation. The problem is that if you give an inch on this, what happens the next time a commanding officer decides to go rogue? Eventually, the chain breaks down. You're not going to win wars with that sort of thing.

    By the way, none of this excuses the SECNAV, he acted like an unprofessional dildo as well.
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    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
  14. HornsCorpsman

    HornsCorpsman < 25 Posts

    Mr. Deez,

    I am speculating, I do not argue that at all. Many of us are, and we may never know what happened behind closed doors that led to this happening. It is just hard to wonder why a CO of a Nuclear Carrier would go rogue, especially, when his next step from a successful tour as the CO of a Nuclear Carrier is Admiral.

    True this isn’t the only case of this happening in the military, but I think it is the only Navy Ship on deployment where COVID 19 showed up. I think the Nimitz had 1 case but they are in their home port of Bremerton, WA, not on deployment. The medical department on a carrier isn’t equipped to handle COVID on board, especially while on deployment. I haven’t heard of it showing up on the battlefield, yet. That would be a nightmare in itself. We had a suspected outbreak of the Swine Flu when I was in Afghanistan in 2009, but we squashed that before we hit decisive operations. We procured a tent and separated a few Marines and Corpsman for 2 weeks from other troops.

    It is easy for me to say since I am not there. I have had a CO step outside the lines for us, but it wasn’t done publicly like this; more of a behind the scenes F You speech. As you stated this leaves an open door for other military members to try this stunt. Although, I have seen it happen in Social Media, but it is usually junior troops and they get hammered. I guess I just have a hard time wrapping my head around how all this went down, especially, since it went so public and it was done at a higher leadership level.

    Side Note:
    I did have a young Sailor write about their displeasure for the direct COC on FB, but saw it shortly after it was posted. I called the sailor told them to take it down, had them meet me for a beer and talk to them about what that could have caused. The Sailor was frustrated, and I remember laughing and telling them welcome to real life and the Navy. They have gone on to have a great career and would out rank me now.
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  15. Horn6721

    Horn6721 Half of seeming clever is keeping your mouth shut.

    Yes the Capt did go outside his chain of command. We don't know yet what he did IN the chain before he wrote that memo.
    I look at his motive and then I look at the motive of whoever leaked it.
  16. Statalyzer

    Statalyzer 10,000+ Posts

    I'm sure other commanders occasionally communicated information to someone outside their direct line of command without getting fired, and we just haven't heard about it.

    Some of the most famous examples of WW2 apparently should have resulted in captains and admirals being sacked. "Look out for Sheffield!" "Where is Task Force 34, the world wonders."
  17. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 10,000+ Posts

    OJ beat the rap for murder. That doesn't mean we let everybody off.
  18. Monahorns

    Monahorns 2,500+ Posts

    From what I know of Navy chain of command, I wouldn't trust them to watch my dog for a day. Bunch of idiots.
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  19. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 10,000+ Posts

    And yet of all the thousands of commissioned officers in the Navy who deal with that chain of command every day, only one thought it was a good idea to bring the idiots at the New York Times and Washington Post into it.
  20. Horn6721

    Horn6721 Half of seeming clever is keeping your mouth shut.

    Mr D
    Has it been proven the Capt leaked the memo?
    Yes there are thousands of officers but how many are in charge of a ship with so many ill and not getting any help ?
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
  21. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 10,000+ Posts

    Does it matter? If he didn't leak it, he gave it to the person who did. Furthermore, there was little reason to give it to that person unless that person was going to leak. Outside of leaking it, the people who weren't in the chain of command had no authority to fix his problem.

    Was he not getting help, or was he not getting help on the timeframe and in the manner he wanted? There's a big difference.
  22. Monahorns

    Monahorns 2,500+ Posts

    Well there is something obviously worse than military command, left wing old school news media.
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  23. Horn6721

    Horn6721 Half of seeming clever is keeping your mouth shut.

    Without knowing who received the memo I can not say he knew it would be leaked.
    What I remember is the captain raised warnings in a memo to his leaders. He said the ship was facing a growing outbreak of the coronavirus and he asked permission to isolate the bulk of his crew members onshore, an extraordinary move to take a carrier out of duty to save lives.

    10 days ago when he sent that there were about 150 affected.There are now over 550 infected sailors with one death. So they relieved him of command . But what did they do to protect the sailors? They did NOT isolate the healthy ones. 400 more got infected?
    He likely knew his career was over when he sent the memo outside chain of command.
    He did not get to be a Captain and Capt of an aircraft carrier by being a rogue.
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  24. Statalyzer

    Statalyzer 10,000+ Posts

    Pentagon worries Capt. Crozier’s concern for his sailors may be contagious

    Duffel Blog with a Bee-esque "fake but true" parody here.

    I was in the "I completely disagree, but I'm tracking with you and you're mostly making a decent argument" camp until this. The point is that those examples are both considered cases were expediency and reason actually triumphed and are evidence that a double standard is being applied to this case.
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  25. mchammer

    mchammer 5,000+ Posts

    If the captain and his mission was in peril, does he not have the authority to dock somewhere to get relief? I would have done that and risk a court Marshall than leak something to the media. Let the jerks above defend themselves versus you defending a leak to the media. Seems like the smarter strategy. Of course, I nothing about the navy so fire away!
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2020
  26. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    The coronavirus continues to spread all over the place, including USN ships. Reports are that other carriers have sailors who have tested positive. The quarters are very close, so social distancing is impossible. If this gets much worse (which may or may not happen), look for the Navy to possibly call some Reserves and even some Inactive Readiness Reserve ("IRR") sailors in certain critical ratings back into active duty. The IRR consists mostly of sailors who have recently fulfilled their active duty contracts, but weren't in for at least 8 years. If it gets real bad, the USN may even look towards recent retirees in ratings with critical shortages. And clearly, a lot of sailors on shore duty will find themselves back onboard ships much earlier than expected. The Navy shipyards may see their USN shore duty personnel back on ships, and civilians almost entirely taking over shipyards/repair functions. The fleets can be manned, it will just suck for those who find themselves unexpectedly back on a ship.
  27. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 10,000+ Posts

    LOL. Stat, I get why you don't like my analogy, but the reason why is that you treat as a foregone conclusion that Crozier represented "reason" and being the "good guy," while OJ was obviously the bad guy. I don't presume that conclusion.

    It's easy to look at this in hindsight and say Crozier was just looking out for his men. However, his decision wasn't made with the benefit of hindsight. He gambled. That aircraft carrier was deployed for a reason. Crozier ensured that not only could it not complete its mission but that everybody in the world would know that it could not. What if an enemy had chosen to exploit that and caused whatever its mission was to fail and get other troops killed? Then Crozier's move doesn't look so good.

    I know what you're thinking. Who cares about the mission? Just protect your men. (That's what Crozier's excuse was.) Well, as harsh as this sounds, the mission actually comes before his men's safety. That's why being in the military can be dangerous. Your life is important, but it takes a back seat to the mission.
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  28. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    Predictably, China (the source of the virus) is taking advantage of the situation and sailing more of their vessels in the straits near Taiwan and near the Philippines in an attempt to flex their muscles. Apparently, we’ve very recently moved around some B52s in the region. Whatever our submarines are doing is secret, but I doubt there are many just cruising around Hawaiian waters right about now. Tensions are high with China.

    Our regional friends (Japan, R of Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand) and sort of friends (Vietnam, India, Malaysia) have got to be feeling the pressure as well. China is our principal rival now, and they are rapidly pushing across the line into enemy territory.
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  29. Horn6721

    Horn6721 Half of seeming clever is keeping your mouth shut.

    Yes mission trumps all
    What if a majority of the crew became sick from the virus with not enough medical people on board to treat?
    And if too many of the essential to the mission became ill?
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
  30. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 10,000+ Posts

    Then that becomes the fault of the higher-ups who make these decisions. It's not the right of the captain to take the law into his own hands. That's a bigger danger than the virus.

    And do keep in mind that from everything we're learning about the real death rates, this virus is less dangerous than we assumed. Also, remember who's on an aircraft carrier. It's largely a bunch of young men in good to excellent physical condition. There's probably no group in society more capable of handling this virus than they are.

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