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Navy Captain Relieved from Command of Aircraft Carrier

He knew exactly what he was doing.

by Eric Holdeman / April 3, 2020

When I first heard the report of a letter that was publicized widely being sent by the commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt asking permission to disembark his crew for their safety, I said, "Well, he is not going to make admiral!"

Here's the story of him now being relieved of his command, Commander of aircraft carrier hit by coronavirus removed for 'poor judgment' after sounding alarm.

Here's what I think happened. It was not a lapse of judgment on his part. You don't get to be the captain of an aircraft carrier and be some kind of nincompoop. I think he raised the issue of his crew's safety up via his normal command channels and when he did not get a response -- you might say, "He used the open door policy" to raise the issue higher. That is what they did not like ... :(

Let's do a reality check on the above actions. It was, I think, earlier this week when the Defense Secretary called out DOD's priorities in this crisis, he stated, "Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper's priorities are the protection of service members, their families, and the DOD workforce — and to safeguard DOD mission capabilities or readiness. Additionally, the department must continue to work in support of partners."

When I heard that -- I thought, that sounds well and good, but I don't think those are the priorities of the military. The mission of the infantry is, "To close with, kill or capture the enemy by fire and maneuver." You can only do that by putting your own life at risk. If the priority is to keep everyone serving in the military safe, then the infantry and the defense of America is in real trouble. 

The real mission of our active duty forces is to be able, during this crisis, to project military power in defense of United States interests anywhere it is needed in the world -- period. To be able to do that, we must take care of our soldiers, sailors and airmen. But, their care is secondary to the mission. 

Being in the infantry, we knew that when you're shot dead, the command is "Next!" Someone will come and take your place, until they too are dead or we won. 




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