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Defense secretary puts hold on Navy recommendation to reinstate USS Theodore Roosevelt skipper

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper says he needs more time before making the reinstatement official

USS Theodore Roosevelt
USS Theodore Roosevelt
(U.S. Navy / Getty Images)
Updated: April 26, 2020 - 11:37am

Defense Secretary Mark Esper told the Navy on Friday that he couldn't yet sign off on a reinstatement of Capt. Brett Crozier to the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Crozier was relieved of his command on the carrier ship earlier this month after writing a letter that was leaked to the press, requesting help about the ship as the crew battled a coronavirus outbreak.

Following a week-long probe into the incident, the Navy concluded that Capt. Crozier should we reinstated as commander of the Roosevelt. Adm. Mike Gilday, the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, met with Secretary Esper for two hours on Friday to discuss the findings of the investigation. 

Earlier on Friday, a spokesman for Secretary Esper said the head of the Pentagon would likely back the Navy's conclusion on the matter. However, Esper now says he has more questions about the probe and will not yet be making a decision about Crozier's fate about the Roosevelt.

Crozier, who tested positive for COVID-19, currently is in quarantine in Guam.

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