Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly offered to resign on Tuesday following an uproar over a profanity-laced address to the crew of the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt on Sunday, according to a senior defense official with knowledge of the matter.
Modly submitted his resignation letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday after meeting with his boss one-on-one, that official said. Neither Esper nor the White House pressured Modly to resign, the official said, and it is unclear whether Esper will accept it.
And here's a bit of SecNav Modly's speech transcript to give you an idea of what people are so mad about:
"I have… seen things you people wouldn't believe… Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain… TIME TO DIE!!!"
Ah, pardon me I've just been informed that's from Blade Runner. But I'm sure it was pretty close.
Unsurprisingly that loud-speaker blared, profanity-laden address didn't go over well with sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt who felt their Captain (Crozier) had only stood up for them as COVID-19 began taking over the ship:
Especially since Modly flew all the way to Guam to insult Crozier, who the sailors had cheered & supported as he was escorted off their ship days earlier… Like come on Modly, read the room!
In effect, all authority within the Navy and Marine Corps (and sometimes even the Coast Guard), are subordinate to the authority vested in the Secretary of the Navy. Which is no longer Modly. So this story is kind of a big deal but also kind of SNAFU (Situation Normal, All Fucked Up) for how things are going in the DoD right now. Interested to see how this continues to play out.
* Fun & unexpected side note: Tweed Roosevelt (TWEED ROOSEVELT!!!) (TWEED!) even got in the mud with what's been happening with the ship named after his Great-Grandfather:
For ongoing analysis of this dumpster fire from two people who understand all of this and then also me, be sure to follow along with ZeroBlog30: