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Rep. Gallego Statement on Acting Secretary Modly’s Comments to the USS Theodore Roosevelt Crew

April 6, 2020
Press Release

“The speech that Acting Secretary of the Navy Modly gave aboard the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT today was an outrage. In it, he called CAPT Brett Crozier, the ship’s former commanding officer who he removed for “going outside the chain of command” either naïve or stupid for asking the Navy for help within the chain of command. In fact, he criticized CAPT Crozier for not going directly to him, which itself would be highly unusual and outside the chain of command.

The Acting Secretary of the Navy also charged CAPT Crozier with betraying the Navy and criticized the Sailors of the ROOSEVELT for cheering the Captain that tried to save lives on his ship at great personal cost. As a former enlisted Marine, I can attest to how demoralizing it is for senior leaders to belittle and minimize the real problems and challenges facing the everyday people in our armed forces. It is a hallmark of terrible leadership that I personally suffered under in Iraq in 2005. Not only does it crush the spirit of entire chain of command, it quite literally kills people.

In making the comments that he made, on top of the nonsensical decision to relieve CAPT Crozier, Acting Secretary Modly has humiliated himself and the Navy and revealed the true nature of the firing: spiteful ass covering.

Acting Secretary Modly should no longer be allowed to resign. President Trump or Secretary Esper should fire him. They may or may not do so, but I will not hold my breath. Whatever the President and Secretary of Defense do will not be able to change how Acting Secretary Modly has personally and spectacularly disqualified himself as an effective leader of the US Navy. Whenever he goes, his departure from public life will be welcomed by honorable Sailors and Marines everywhere, including this one.”

Rep. Ruben Gallego serves on the House Armed Services Committee and is a Marine Corps combat veteran.