Sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt continue to support their former captain and say he should've been promoted, days after he was relieved of his command, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Last week, U.S. Navy Capt. Brett Crozier wrote a note pleading with Navy officials to send resources to help isolate members of his 5,000-person crew after at least 155 people under his command were infected.
“He had legitimate concerns about his sailors, asked for help in a respectful and honorable way, and then they relieved him of duty” a Roosevelt sailor told The Wall Street Journal.
After the letter leaked to the media, about 2,700 people were evacuated from the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
Top Navy officials said Crozier caused an unnecessary stir when he broke protocol and sent the letter outside the chain of command. The military also called Crozier "stupid" for sending out the letter.
But those some who were previously under his command disagree.
"When higher-ups go against the grain, it shows they actually care about the sailors they're in charge of," another sailor said.
On Friday, the sailors who stayed on the vessel gave Crozier a mass salute as he walked off the last time. Later, Crozier learned he had also tested positive for coronavirus.
News of the coronavirus outbreak came just days after the ship completed its visit to Vietnam on March 9. During the visit, the number of coronavirus cases in the country doubled.
Crozier reportedly sent the letter to various people within the military, suggesting he wanted it to leak to the press.
"We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors," Crozier wrote in the letter.
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