Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly has just resigned from his designation, as confirmed by two officials. Modaly confirms his resignation after a day he ridiculed and then apologized to a captain he had ousted for raising concerns about a COVID-19 outbreak on his aircraft carrier.
Modly served his resignation in Tuesday morning conversation with Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the officials confirmed. Esper accepted his resignation and asked the Under Secretary of the Army James McPherson to replace Modly from his position and responsibilities.
The confirmation of his quit came when Modly stinging remarks about Capt. Brett Crozier, broadcast over the loudspeakers on the USS Theodore Roosevelt on Monday and drew criticism from the legal professionals and lawmakers along with disapproval from President Donald Trump.
“He resigned on his own accord, putting the Navy and the sailors above self so that the USS Theodore Roosevelt, and the Navy as an institution, can move forward,” Esper wrote in a Tuesday statement.
The controversy began last week when Capt. Brett Crozier, Commanding officer at the Theodore Roosevelt sent a help memo to the board array of the Navy officials seeking help due to coronavirus outbreak on the ship. And that particular memo turned out to be a headline when leaked unknowingly.
While the time being Crozier was removed from his command on Last Thursday, Modly said when he decided to make a decision, Capt. Crozier went out of the loop of command and leaked the sensitive information.
And a day later a video emerges showing thrings of Theodore Roosevelt crew members cheering for the walk-away of Crozier from the ship.
Modly traveled to Gaum on Monday and delivered a speech comprising some insulting words for Crozier like “stupid or naive” for writing the memo and accusing him of a “betrayal of trust.”
“If he didn’t think, in my opinion, 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,” Modly said.
Later on, when several media outlets started serving as a hot cake, Modly read a statement “I stand by every word I said.”
But just after a few hours when President Donald Trump raised voice of support for Crozier, Modly released an apology note which says “Let me be clear, I do not think Captain Brett Crozier is naïve nor stupid,” and “I think, and always believed him to be the opposite.”
“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,” Modly said. “I apologize for any confusion this choice of words may have caused. I also want to apologize directly to Captain Crozier, his family, and the entire crew of the Theodore Roosevelt for any pain my remarks may have caused.”
The U.S ambassador of Norway, Kenneth Braithwaite has been nominated to replace Modly as secretary of the Navy, but a senate confirmation is still awaited.