Now more than ever we need heroes. Navy Capt. Brett Crozier spoke up, stood up and did the right thing. He is a hero.

Crozier was relieved of command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt on April 2 after sounding the alarm that more than 150 of the crew’s 4,800 sailors were infected with COVID-19.

“We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die,” he wrote, pleading for help. The letter was leaked and became a Trump administration PR nightmare.

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who was passed over as the permanent Navy secretary, fired Crozier.

Hundreds of sailors cheered Crozier as he walked down the gangplank, alone and off the ship, putting his crew above his career.

Modly said Crozier hadn’t gone through the chain of command. Others said he had and was ignored.


On April 5, Modly called Crozier “stupid.” He said he was embarrassed, blasted the crew and told them to get back to work.

Crozier did the right thing. He put honor above politics and PR. And now he has now tested positive for COVID-19.

For more than 25 years I was an editor at The Virginian-Pilot, Virginia’s largest daily newspaper. Its main newsroom was in Norfolk, home to the largest naval base in the free world. I doubt many sailors condoned Crozier’s firing.

Capt. Crozier is courageous – a leader and a hero.

Connie Sage Conner


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