13 lessons from the Crozier incident

Excerpt

An 80-percent solution delivered on time is almost always better than a 100-percent solution delivered too late. Captain Crozier was hyper-focused on a solution he believed would meet 100 percent of the CDC guidelines for protecting his crew. Unfortunately, that solution—moving his crew into hotels in Guam’s tourist district—was not within the Navy’s ability to implement without significant local government and business help, an effort which would take days to weeks. There were other, more immediate, solutions within Crozier’s authority to direct, but he elected not to pursue them because they were not “ideal” solutions.

Brett Crozier is not reinstated

Excerpt

“Everyone up and down the chain of command had a role to play in the inadequate response – including then-Acting Secretary of the Navy [Thomas] Modly,” Smith said of the former Navy official who fired Crozier before stepping down himself. “The department’s civilian leadership portrayed Capt. Crozier’s decision-making aboard the Roosevelt as the critical weakness in the Navy’s response, but the truth is that civilian leadership was also to blame.”

Under the bus

Excerpt

One sailor on the Roosevelt died but many more would have if Crozier had not put his career on the line by speaking up. The same cannot be said of those military and civilian leaders above him who did not step up and continue to throw Crozier under the bus rather than taking responsibility for their own actions.

Military props

Excerpt

President Trump has demonstrated, time and again, that he has no qualms about using the military to advance his personal political ends. He routinely stages uniformed personnel as props for partisan speeches. He treats deployments like political theater, as when he dispatched elements of the 82nd Airborne to the southern border to stoke fears of an immigrant invasion. And he undermines discipline and unit cohesion, pardoning war criminals convicted by military juries.

Resigned

Excerpt

In making a decision so quickly without completing an investigation into the leak, Modly revealed there were other concerns on his mind, particularly the views of President Trump. In November, Trump clashed with Navy leaders over his support of disgraced Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, a dispute that ultimately led to former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer’s departure and Modly’s elevation. When asked about Crozier’s letter over the weekend, Trump said, “I thought it was terrible what he did, to write a letter. This isn’t a class on literature. This is a captain of a massive ship that’s nuclear-powered.”