Acting Navy secretary rips ousted captain of aircraft carrier

Stefan Becket

Editor's note: Acting Navy secretary Thomas Modly apologized for his comments on Monday night.  as he departed the Roosevelt went viral late last week. Modly told the crew that Crozier had caused unnecessary panic with his memo, and to keep that in mind.

"So think about that when you cheer the man off the ship who exposed you to that. I understand you love the guy. It's good that you love him. But you're not required to love him," he said.

"Crew of the Teddy Roosevelt: You are under no obligation to love your leadership. Only to respect it," Modly said later. "You are under no obligation to like your job, only to do it. You are under no obligation to expect anything from your leaders other than they will treat you fairly and put the mission of the ship first, because it is the mission of the ship that matters. You all know this, but in my view, your captain lost sight of this and he compromised critical information about your status intentionally to draw greater attention to your situation."

The acting secretary confirmed the authenticity of the recordings in a statement on Monday and said he stood by his comments. 

"The spoken words were from the heart, and meant for them," Modly said. "I stand by every word I said, even, regrettably any profanity that may have been used for emphasis. Anyone who has served on a Navy ship would understand. I ask, but don't expect, that people read them in their entirety."

David Martin contributed reporting.

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