Secretary of the Navy’s online message to the USS Theodore Roosevelt Sailors and Their Families

On March 31, Stars and Stripes would report that the USS Theodore’s Captain had requested that 4,000 sailors be isolated as Coronavirus spreads.

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ATLANTIC OCEAN (June 6, 2014) The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) at sea. Theodore Roosevelt is underway preparing for future deployments. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Katie Lash/Released)

On April 1, Retired Rear Admiral James E. McPherson is sworn in as undersecretary of the Navy.

On April 2, Captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, Brett Crozier is fired. He would be relieved due to his publicized memo concerning the crew of his ship (overwhelmed with Coronavirus infections), thus breaking Navy protocol.

On April 5, it would be reported that the Captain has tested positive for Coronavirus.

On April 6, Thomas B. Modly, Secretary of the Navy, would resign after brutally criticizing the Captain in front of his own men, after having fired Crozier.

On April 7, Admiral James McPherson would be designated as Acting Secretary of the Navy.

On April 11, it would be reported that an additional 100 sailors from the ship would test positive for COVID-19, thus bringing the total to 550 infected sailors.

On April 10, the following would be posted on the Theodore Roosevelt’s Facebook Page:

TR Family and Friends,

A message from Acting Secretary of the Navy James E. McPherson:

To all of our Sailors, Marines, Civilians, and Military Families,

I am honored to return to the Navy-Marine Corps Team as your Acting Secretary.

From my years as an officer in the United States Navy, and my prior service as an enlisted Soldier in the United States Army, I am keenly aware of the sacrifices you make, and the dedication you show, every day in service to our Nation. Thank you for your dedicated service. I look forward to serving alongside you.

Today, with the extraordinary challenges posed by COVID-19, and the continual threats we face in a changing global security environment, our Nation needs you more than ever. Throughout this crisis, Sailors, Marines, and Civilians have stepped forward to protect the American people and our force. From New York to New Orleans, Los Angeles to Dallas, Maine to Guam, you have responded to the medical, logistics, engineering, and security requirements of our homeland during this time of need. And through it all, you have maintained the watch around the world.

Alongside Admiral Gilday and General Berger, we will maximize the resources and capability of the Department of the Navy to faithfully execute the priorities established by Secretary Esper in response to the COVID-19 crisis: Protect our people, maintain warfighting readiness, and fully support the whole of government/whole of nation response to protect the American people.

You are the reason I am extremely confident that we will make mission. Many of you – our active and reserve shipmates – are closing the margin and saving lives through countless and selfless acts of individual initiative and collective teamwork. I am proud of you – our Nation is proud of you. For as long as I have the privilege of serving as your Acting Secretary, I will do everything in my power to support your efforts and safety, and the safety and well-being of your families.

Working together and remaining ever vigilant of the rocks and shoals before us, I know we will help bring our Nation through the present challenge and all that may follow. It is what the Navy and Marine Corps have always done, and will always do, as long as there are people like you maintaining the watch.

Sincerely,

James E. McPherson

Secretary of the Navy (Acting)

On April 10, Defense Secretary Mark Esper says that he is open to the idea of reinstating Captain Crozier.

On April 13, a sailor from the ship, with cases now nearing 600, would die.