Author Topic: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain  (Read 15797 times)

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Offline CloudCover

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2020, 12:40:04 »
Interesting list of observations:
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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2020, 12:45:18 »
That was what I was hinting at with my note about wondering why the CO didn’t have the engagement with the Strk Gp Cdr just down the hallway.  If one believes there is good reason to go around (it can exist), then one should be prepared to address why the go-around.

That said, maybe the CO did explain to the recipients via SEPCOR why the routing?  We definitely won’t know that in the short term.

A follow on thought...why didn’t the RDML Baker question (or counter-order) the CO when it was clear he was putting TR into port at Guam?  Yes he’s the CO of the TR, but TR is just one element of the 7th Fleet’s CSG.  Somethings aren’t quite lining up here. 

:2c:

Regards
G2G

What it actually says in the statement is the CSG wasn't aware of the letter; not that he hadn't discussed it with him. 

If I had to guess, my thoughts are that the CSG was willing to sacrifice sailors for the mission (and time table), and the skipper thought it was BS because the operations were general security/showing the presence.  Getting the COVID under control and delaying things for a few weeks would have left them much more mission capable then if it was sweeping through the crew while they were in the Pacific a week out from anywhere.

If you do the math, with 80% getting it (ie ~2500 out of 3200) and 5% needing ventilators that's 128 people in ICU, and the 20% down hard is another 500 sailors miserable in their racks.  It's not like it would be evenly distributed between sections either, so you may not actually have some critical capabilities with enough of the wrong folks out. Not sure what their sickbay is like, but that's probably going to be a lot of people dying.

My  :2c: is there is nothing going on that couldn't have waited a few weeks.  Not really sure what they mean by 'he set up the conditions for it to be leaked', but that seems like a convenient excuse to call in the executioner if he didn't actually leak it to the media.  Sometimes people get so blinded by an arbitrary date and other arbitrary requirements that they lose sight of the fact that a ship limping along isn't actually much use if you really need it, so sometimes makes sense to take a pause and get back to full strength.

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2020, 12:45:41 »
A follow on thought...why didn’t the RDML Baker question (or counter-order) the CO when it was clear he was putting TR into port at Guam?  Yes he’s the CO of the TR, but TR is just one element of the 7th Fleet’s CSG.  Somethings aren’t quite lining up here.

Good point.
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2020, 12:48:52 »
If you do the math, with 80% getting it (ie ~2500 out of 3200) and 5% needing ventilators that's 128 people in ICU, and the 20% down hard is another 500 sailors miserable in their racks.  It's not like it would be evenly distributed between sections either, so you may not actually have some critical capabilities with enough of the wrong folks out. Not sure what their sickbay is like, but that's probably going to be a lot of people dying.

My understanding is that a Nimitz class carrier has just over 50 beds in sick bay, with three ICU.  I suspect that also figured in the Captain's assessment of the situation.
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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2020, 14:01:09 »
Then again we sent the airborne to Somalia. :o                             too soon?
Actually the sequence was:
1. LCol Morneau: "CAR not ready to go to Somalia"
2. LCol Morneau punted, replaced by LCol Mathieu
3. CAR magically ready

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Offline Dimsum

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #30 on: April 03, 2020, 14:09:18 »
My understanding is that a Nimitz class carrier has just over 50 beds in sick bay, with three ICU.  I suspect that also figured in the Captain's assessment of the situation.

And, if more sailors are sick than there are facilities, TR's ability to do...anything will take a hit.  You can't physically distance onboard ship, and if a carrier isn't launching aircraft, what's the point of it cutting laps around the ocean?  :dunno:
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #31 on: April 03, 2020, 14:24:00 »
Actually the sequence was:
1. LCol Morneau: "CAR not ready to go to Somalia"
2. LCol Morneau punted, replaced by LCol Mathieu
3. CAR magically ready

       #OwnWorstEnemy     :not-again:

You forgot the 'Confederate Flag' emoji ;)
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Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #32 on: April 03, 2020, 14:28:07 »
My understanding is that a Nimitz class carrier has just over 50 beds in sick bay, with three ICU.  I suspect that also figured in the Captain's assessment of the situation.

I thought it was listed as 20 beds, but that's a flexible number - the important number is the staffing.  If I remember correctly, we used to list the AORs as having an 8 bed sickbay but from my brief passage aboard Provider over forty years ago, I'd have a hard time figuring out where those 8 beds could be. (And ships' medical facility design and equipment was one of my responsibilities when at NDHQ in the late 1980s).  It should also be recognized that standard "hospital beds" on naval ships (including the Mercy and Comfort) are usually twin racks (bunk beds); specialized beds - recovery, ICU, isolation, etc - are usually spaces that are equipped with the same beds as you would find in a land-based MTF.

https://www.brooksidepress.org/Products/Military_OBGYN/Textbook/MilitaryOrganizations/NavalAviationMedicine/AircraftCarrierBasedMedicine.htm
https://www.cs.amedd.army.mil/borden/FileDownloadpublic.aspx?docid=42a20fc1-ac8a-4ffd-8251-0bd4ce817be6
https://www.medgadget.com/2014/11/a-tour-of-the-hospital-aboard-uss-america-u-s-navys-newest-ship.html
« Last Edit: April 03, 2020, 14:32:30 by Blackadder1916 »
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #33 on: April 03, 2020, 14:41:35 »
A sister ship:
Quote
The USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH (CVN 77) Health Services Department is manned by approximately 40 health care professionals who provide quality medical care to nearly 6,000 Sailors assigned to the ship, embarked air wing, and carrier strike group personnel. The department is comprised of a 51-bed ward and a three-bed intensive care unit. Services include: X-ray, basic laboratory, routine physicals, psychological counseling, physical therapy, pre-deployment health screenings, occupational health physicals, vaccinations, and emergency care. While at sea, the department is also manned to provide emergency surgery if needed.

https://www.public.navy.mil/airfor/cvn77/Pages/Departments.aspx
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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2020, 15:23:14 »
I'm going to take an opposite PoV here for the sake of discussion and argue that the relief was entirely appropriate.

If the CO didn't leak the document, he certainly set conditions for it to be leaked.  In doing so, he deliberately got out in front of the entire chain of command.  He is not the CO of some backwoods reserve unit, he commands an aircraft carrier, probably one of the single biggest strategic assets on the U.S. shelf, and one deployed to an extremely sensitive area.  By doing so, he broadcast readiness levels of a critical national platform, and clearly tries to put the chain of command into a corner with regards to options on deployment of such an asset to counter actions by regional pacing threats.  I'm only guessing that the CO was hearing answers he didn't like, and decided to escalate.  First off, the decision to ground such an asset is not his decision to make, and second of all, there is a reason we prioritize mission, then men and women, and then self.  While he may of been putting his sailors over his career, was he putting his sailors over the mission?

Admiral Davidson probably didn't appreciate his decision cycle being influenced by a leaked Scribd memo for the North Koreans to read.

Just another way of looking at this - but my sense tells me that if you're going to mass distribute something like this, when you occupy a position as he did, it should come with a letter of resignation.

That's pretty much where I was going with my post, above.  Yes, it's the job of the CO to look after his sailors and naval aviators but that must be framed within the greater needs of sound decision making and communication at the strategic level. He failed in that regard.  And, I believe more officers in the chain of command above him will be found wanting in their exercise of strategic command authority and leadership in the coming days.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2020, 17:46:40 by Haggis »
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Offline quadrapiper

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2020, 16:02:22 »
If you do the math, with 80% getting it (ie ~2500 out of 3200) and 5% needing ventilators that's 128 people in ICU, and the 20% down hard is another 500 sailors miserable in their racks.  It's not like it would be evenly distributed between sections either, so you may not actually have some critical capabilities with enough of the wrong folks out. Not sure what their sickbay is like, but that's probably going to be a lot of people dying.
How major a task is shutting down and restarting the nuclear systems? Thinking of TR coming into port with the virus rampant in Engineering, rather than being able to maintain whatever minimum alongside watch is required. Assume the "shutdown" part is rather quick, but would she have then been N/S without major engineering effort?

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2020, 21:16:59 »
More on Captain Crozers relief. It was on Fox news and my former boss Gen Jack Kean was asked to weigh in. His take was mixed Navy Sec bad and the skipper made an error in judgement. I agree with Commander Salamander and Gen Kean that the Navy SEC was wrong in not allowing the COC to act if they were going to. The priority in peacetime is his sailors. The Captain thought doing so was important even though it possibly was a career ender.

https://blog.usni.org/posts/2020/04/01/we-are-not-at-war-sailors-do-not-need-to-die

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #37 on: April 04, 2020, 01:38:05 »
Well, whatever the ultimate outcome, I had read something that resonated:  This case will be required reading/discussion for staff colleges or Command Boards pretty much forever.
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #39 on: April 04, 2020, 21:34:42 »
How major a task is shutting down and restarting the nuclear systems? Thinking of TR coming into port with the virus rampant in Engineering, rather than being able to maintain whatever minimum alongside watch is required. Assume the "shutdown" part is rather quick, but would she have then been N/S without major engineering effort?

His proposal was basically to go down to minimum crew required and get everyone else ashore in quarantine for a few weeks while the ship was being cleaned. That would have included whoever is required to look after the reactor.  From my really basic understanding, don't think reactors get shut down, but can get basically turned down to a minimum.

Anyway, it would have taken the ship out of rotation for a few weeks, but then they could come back with a healthy crew, high chance of no lingering virus on board, and gone about the business with confidence that they wouldn't have people start to die while at sea.  I guess in some cases the flash to bang on sick to ICU is less then a day, so kind of foxed floating around the Pacific.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #40 on: April 04, 2020, 23:12:45 »
This means fewer port calls during the epidemic. Letting the crew have liberty in Vietnam should not have been allowed. But during my career a tenet of leadership was to take care of your men, maybe the USN doesn't teach that course.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #41 on: April 05, 2020, 00:02:16 »
As if being relieved isn't enough punishment the Navy may be looking at further punishment which to my thinking is some form of a letter of reprimand. The SECNAV is offering redemption a letter of reprimand might be hard to overcome. His rank is safe so all he need do is run out the clock until he can retire.

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #42 on: April 05, 2020, 13:38:12 »
Very comprehensive article on the subject by the Daily Mail:

Quote
Fired captain of USS Theodore Roosevelt tests positive for coronavirus as it's revealed top US commanders 'were opposed to his dismissal but were OVERRULED by Navy secretary because Trump wanted him gone over letter'
- Acting Navy Secretary made decision to remove Capt. Brett Crozier on Thursday
- Crozier wrote letter to Navy high command about coronavirus on USS Roosevelt
- He demanded Navy evacuate aircraft carrier due to an outbreak on board
- Crozier's letter was eventually leaked to the news media on Monday
- Military chiefs initially began investigation into the leak of Crozier's letter
- But the acting secretary, Thomas Modly, decided to fire him immediately
- Modly is reported to have been told that the president wanted Crozier gone
- Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, favored a military probe
- Top naval officer, Adm. Michael C. Gilday, also opposed immediate termination
- But they were overruled by Modly, who announced firing on Thursday
- Video online shows sailors giving rousing salute to Modly as he left ship in Guam
- So far, some 150 sailors who were on board Roosevelt have tested positive
...

See the whole article here: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8189285/Top-commanders-opposed-dismissing-captain-USS-Theodore-Roosevelt-coronavirus-letter.html

I find it interesting that Defence Secretary Esper, in defencing the Acting Secretary of the Navy's firing stating that "Only 155 of the 2,000 crewmen tested positive for coronavirus.

Quote
“We need to take care of the sailors on the ship. We need to ensure their well-being and get that ship back out to sea as soon as possible,” Mr. Esper said. “I’m pleased to report right now over half of the ship has been tested. Only 155 sailors have come up positive. Those are all mild to moderate. There have been no hospitalizations whatsoever. The crew is being taken care of out there.”
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/apr/5/uss-theodore-roosevelt-has-155-coronavirus-cases-m/

Faulty rationalization if I ever heard it. By any level of measurement, 155 infected out of 2,000 is a very high rate of infection and, considering the tight quarters on board ship, was well on it's way to becoming a disaster. With math like that amongst the senior leadership, I can readily see why this captain wrote that letter. It was his duty to do so.

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Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #43 on: April 05, 2020, 13:40:41 »
7th Fleet Commander Arrives in Guam during COVID-19 Recovery
https://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=112554
Quote
Story Number: NNS200405-01Release Date: 4/5/2020 9:52:00
From Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

APRA HARBOR, Guam (NNS) -- APRA HARBOR, Guam (NNS) – The Commander of U.S. 7th Fleet visited USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) leadership in port at Naval Base Guam while the aircraft carrier undergoes its COVID-19 recovery efforts April 5.

Vice Adm. Bill Merz, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet arrived on Guam to support the ongoing recovery effort on the Nimitz-class carrier, and he met with the crew and area leadership.

“The team in Guam has shown enormous spirit and focus getting this ship healthy again. Know that every day, regardless of what the challenge may be, my number one priority is to sustain the warfighting posture of 7th Fleet, and the most important element of this number one priority is the Sailors,” said Merz. “We simply cannot execute the mission of defending our interests, our friends, and our allies without the fighting spirit of the immensely capable men and women of this team. It takes a lot of cooperation and coordination, and although we have a lot of work to do I want to make sure those involved are getting our support and gratitude. The families of our Sailors should be proud of the ongoing efforts and know that we’re going to take care of our people.”

Vice Adm. Merz visited locations on Naval Base Guam, discussing logistics and the ship recovery process with counterparts from Joint Region Marianas, Carrier Strike Group Nine, and the Naval Base Guam commanding officer.

The ship arrived in Guam Mar. 27 for a scheduled port visit. Prior to the port visit three Sailors tested positive for COVID-19 aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt. The Navy has undertaken an aggressive mitigation plan that is currently isolating, quarantining, and treating affected Sailors to keep the ship prepared to execute its mission.

The Navy is working closely with the Government of Guam and Joint Region Marianas to follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to move Sailors safely off ship while continuing to maintain the vessel’s readiness to operate at sea.

"Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group is extremely thankful for the overwhelming support from the government of Guam and Naval Base Guam in the fight against COVID-19," said Rear Adm. Stu Baker, commander, Carrier Strike Group Nine. "Even with such short notice, they were able to assist getting our Sailors moved off ship in a short period of time. Their support has been critical to our ability to remain mission ready.”

Sailors from Theodore Roosevelt will be using various hotels across the island, allowing them to align with the recommended 14-day quarantine period while also maintaining an all hands effort aboard to sanitize the ship. The all hands effort though does not rest solely with the Roosevelt, but with all who are helping its Sailors get well and back to sea.

"The Joint Region Marianas and Naval Base Guam teams have moved mountains to help our TR shipmates get healthy and back out to sea," said Rear Adm. John Menoni, commander, Joint Region Marianas. "I can't say enough how proud I am of everyone's hard work during this very dynamic situation. Our partners in the Government and the people of Guam have helped us from day one and we are thankful for their assistance helping the TR Team be ready to fight.”

U.S. 7th Fleet provides security alongside allies and partners throughout a free and open Indo-Pacific. As the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet operates roughly 50-70 ships and submarines and 140 aircraft with approximately 20,000 Sailors.


In the accompanying photos while some of the captions do mention the TR, none show or identify the new (temporary?) CO of the ship that is at the centre of  this story.  https://www.navy.mil/list_all.asp?id=112554

Any bets on how long he lasts?
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Offline garb811

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #44 on: April 05, 2020, 14:53:22 »
Fired Theodore Roosevelt skipper tests positive for COVID-19
Quote
Capt. Brett Crozier, hailed by his crew but fired as skipper of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt by Navy leadership following a leaked bombshell letter, has tested positive for COVID-19, the New York Times first reported.

The paper cited two Naval Academy classmates of Crozier’s who are close to him and his family.

A Navy spokesman declined to comment to the Times on Crozier’s COVID-19 status. Navy officials could not immediately respond to questions from Navy Times about Crozier’s health status or the New York Times report. The commander began exhibiting symptoms before he was removed from the warship on Thursday, two of his classmates said.
...
If true, definitely not the last of that crew who is still going to test positive, notwithstanding the assertion they were being "well taken care of" by Esper.
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Offline X Royal

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #45 on: April 05, 2020, 14:59:33 »
Just seeing on CNN the ousted Capt. has been found infected with COVID-19.

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Offline quadrapiper

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #47 on: April 06, 2020, 01:13:05 »
His proposal was basically to go down to minimum crew required and get everyone else ashore in quarantine for a few weeks while the ship was being cleaned. That would have included whoever is required to look after the reactor.  From my really basic understanding, don't think reactors get shut down, but can get basically turned down to a minimum.
Certainly; I was thinking of the situation if he'd shut up and continued with normal business, leaving a ship unable to go to minimum manning in any useful way.

Offline Lumber

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #48 on: April 06, 2020, 12:28:47 »
Acting Navy secretary blasts ousted aircraft carrier captain as 'stupid' in address to ship's crew

Quote
"If he didn't think, in my opinion, that this information wasn't going to get out to the public, in this day and information age that we live in, then he was either A, too naïve or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this," Modly said. "The alternative is that he did this on purpose."

Modly went on to say it was a "betrayal of trust, with me, with his chain of command."

...

Modly's use of the word "betrayal" is a loaded because saying an officer has betrayed the Navy is a court martial offense.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/06/politics/uss-tr-crozier-modly/index.html
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Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: Navy removes USS Theodore Roosevelt captain
« Reply #49 on: April 06, 2020, 13:03:01 »
A well written commentary about this in War on the Rocks.  Worth the read.

THE NAVY’S CRISIS OF SPECIAL TRUST AND CONFIDENCE
https://warontherocks.com/2020/04/the-navys-crisis-of-special-trust-and-confidence/
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