Navy may reinstate fired captain who asked for help with coronavirus outbreak: report

Navy may reinstate fired captain who asked for help with coronavirus outbreak: report
© CBS 8 San Diego/Defense Department

The Navy may reinstate a captain who was removed from his post earlier this month after asking for help with the coronavirus outbreak aboard his ship, The New York Times reported Wednesday. 

Department officials told the Times that Adm. Michael M. Gilday, the chief of naval operations, has indicated that he may reinstate the ousted Capt. Brett Crozier

Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a spokesman for the admiral, told The Hill that “no final decisions have been made.” 

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“As the Chief of Naval Operations has made clear, all options are on the table," Christensen added in his statement. "That said, Adm. Gilday has received, and is reviewing the Preliminary Inquiry. It will take time for the report to be reviewed and endorsed by Adm. Gilday."

Crozier was relieved of his duties as commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt earlier this month by then-acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly. The captain was ousted after he wrote a letter pleading for help with a coronavirus outbreak on the ship that was leaked to the media. 

Modly later resigned after transcripts of an audio of an inflammatory speech he gave on the Roosevelt defending his dismissal of Crozier was also leaked to the media. 

Gilday issued a statement last week stating that the Navy is “moving forward” after the “difficult” past week. 

Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Embattled Pentagon policy nominee withdraws, gets appointment to deputy policy job | Marines, sailor killed in California training accident identified | Governors call for extension of funding for Guard's coronavirus response Democrats demand Esper explicitly ban Confederate flag and allow Pride, Native Nations flags Trump's revenge — pulling troops from Germany — will be costly MORE said last week he is also open to reinstating Crozier. 

"We've taken nothing off the table,” Esper said on CBS News on Friday morning. “My inclination is always to support the chain of command, and to take the recommendations seriously."