Chairman Courtney Statement on Navy Decision to Uphold Firing of Captain Brett Crozier
NORWICH, CT – Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, issued the following statement after the U.S. Navy announced its decision to uphold the firing of Captain Brett Crozier, the former Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt.
“After reviewing the Navy’s investigative report, I am still not convinced the firing of Captain Brett Crozier was warranted,” said Chairman Courtney. “Last March, at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak, Captain Crozier was put in an unknown and impossible position. At that time, even the experts at the CDC and HHS were struggling with COVID-19 guidance, which was changing almost daily. The leaders at DOD were foisting COVID-19 decisions on ‘Unit Commanders’ such as Captain Crozier, who are not experts on infectious diseases. As the report does confirm, his focus was always the health and well-being of his sailors from a highly transmittable, lethal virus that the world—and his crew—was just coming to grips with in real time, with little direction from Washington.
“As this determination has now been made, it is imperative that the Navy focus its attention on balancing mission readiness, the ramifications of a global health crisis, and restoring trust between Washington and the fleet. Much work remains to be done, and on the House Armed Services Committee our work will continue to conduct a full investigation of this firing.”