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Navy Captain should be praised, not fired

Capt. Brett Crozier, then commanding officer of the

Capt. Brett Crozier, then commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, on Jan. 17. Credit: DVIDS via EPA / Seaman Apprentice Kaylianna Geni

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I was outraged that Navy Capt. Brett Crozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt was fired by Navy Secretary Thomas Modly after Crozier warned the service it was failing his sailors if it didn’t remove them from the vessel ASAP after being stricken by COVID-19 [“Navy fires whistleblower,” News, April 3]. His letter made the Navy take action March 31. U.S. Pacific Fleet Adm. John Aquilino said the Navy was developing plans to get sailors off the ship and quarantine them in isolated shelters on Guam.

Crew members praised Crozier in the San Francisco Chronicle. They reiterated it was impossible to quarantine TR sailors and stop the spread of COVID-19. A senior officer told the Chronicle that more than 100 sailors tested positive in less than a week. Veterans have praised Crozier’s letter, saying he put his crew’s safety ahead of damage to his career.

I do not see Crozier as a whistleblower, as the media contends. No published proof has surfaced that he leaked his letter to the media. Crozier is a patriotic American, a commanding officer, and he should be restored to his post with full honors.

Robert F. Salant,

Franklin Square

In December, in an unprecedented move that overrode military protocol, President Donald Trump pardoned war crimes charges against three U.S. military service members. This showed a callous disregard for the rule of law and the military justice system.

Last week, though, he stood by when the Navy “relieved” Capt. Brett Crozier of his command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, a nuclear aircraft carrier with 4,865 sailors. Crozier’s “crime”? Begging his superiors for guidance on treatment for his many sailors who tested positive for coronavirus. And after getting an unsatisfactory response, he risked his career by drafting a letter to higher-ups that was leaked. His crew chanted his name as he left the ship. A true hero! It seems to me that unless Trump is attending a photo op, such as the departure of the hospital ship U.S.N.S. Comfort to New York, he doesn’t care that much about American seamen.

Robert LaRosa,

Whitestone

Capt. Alfred Dreyfus was a Jew and a victim of anti-Semitism in France in 1894. It took 12 years to reveal that the army used him as a scapegoat. Leaking matters, but according to news reports, the Navy wasn’t sure whether Capt. Brett Crozier had, in fact, leaked the letter about his sailors having COVID-19. The Navy maintains that the captain provoked “panic” even though his men were already panicking. History has shown that in the Dreyfus Affair the military produced trumped-up charges to get a Jew, then some of the highest ranks of the French military were punished. An independent investigation should be conducted on how the Roosevelt situation germinated, and Crozier should be allowed to explain. Dreyfus was finally exonerated, promoted and served in World War I. U.S. Navy lives matter, too.

Martin Danenberg,

Islandia

Kudos to Newsday for another riveting and fascinating historical story, “Coming home to a health crisis” [LI Life, April 5]. I was overwhelmed by the sacrifices made by ordinary American citizens who, such as Mary Nimmo Moran, voluntarily entered dangerous and unchartered waters and became casualties of dreaded diseases. It was interesting that the Spanish-American War primer said that “the War Department accelerated the timetable for evacuation” only after a “blistering letter” believed to be drafted by a frustrated Theodore Roosevelt had been sent to newspapers.

It is ironic that now, more than 100 years later, the Navy Secretary Thomas Modly relieved Capt. Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt — named after the 26th president noted above — for doing the same thing that Roosevelt did [“Navy fires whistleblower,” Nation, April 3].

The first duty of a commanding officer is the well-being of his men and women. Crozier performed that duty and was relieved of his command. I see Modly’s actions as both cowardly and self-serving, a disgrace to the military code of justice. Crozier should receive a formal apology from Modly and the White House and be immediately reinstated to his command post on the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

John Wolf,

Levittown

It is with great sorrow that I read that Capt. Brett Crozier, the commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, was removed from command. This is a time when urgent needs require urgent responses. His actions appear justified by the needs of those he was responsible to protect to the best of his ability.

Patricia Tweedy,

Floral Park

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