Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly (pictured left) submitted his resignation Tuesday morning; and shortly thereafter Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he accepted the resignation, consulted with President Trump, and nominated Under Secretary of the Army James McPherson to be his replacement.
Secretary Modly resigned after making poorly-timed remarks to the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt about the judgement of captain Brett Crozier. Modly labeled Crozier as “stupid.” Bad form.
The poor judgement by Captain Brett Crozier did compromise his mission and publicly put our enemies on notice a nuclear powered asset was compromised. He deserved to be removed. However, in response, Secretary Modly also compromised the structure of command authority with public statements exhibiting his own bad judgement. Criticism of command leadership goes up, never down. Doofus. FUBAR.
Command authority is based on a very simple principle: Never compromise your position; and never compromise the position of your leadership. Criticism of decision-making amid leadership ranks can only go up the chain of command, never down.
Commander Brett Crozier and Navy Secretary Modly both violated this simple directive.
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’
Was there a man dismay’d ?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Some one had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.