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Navy Secretary Who Fired and Insulted Captain for Calling for Coronavirus Help Has Resigned

Boy, Bye!

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 03: Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill December 03, 2019 in Washington, DC. Military secretaries and members of the Joint Chiefs testified about a new GAO report about ongoing reports of substandard military housing conditions and services. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Yesterday we joined the chorus of condemnation of acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly for his actions in relation to Captain Brett Crozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt. After Crozier was fired, by Modly, following a leak that revealed he had pleased with Navy higher-ups for help with an outbreak of coronavirus on the nuclear aircraft carrier her commanded, Modly went on the PA system of the Theodore Roosevelt to insult and demean Crozier.

Now, in the wake of a firestorm of controversy following his remarks, Modly has resigned his post as acting Secretary of the Navy. All we can say is: GOOD.

After firing Crozier, Modly traveled to Guam and delivered a speech over loudspeaker, berating Crozier for being “too naive or too stupid to be the commanding officer of a ship like this.” Modly wasn’t mad about the dangerous outbreak of coronavirus on the ships or the lives that were endangered, but instead was angry because the leak of Crozier’s letter to his superiors begging them for help in this dire situation made the Navy and the Trump administration look bad.

Modly resigned following criticism from the media, and from Washington, including from Nancy Pelosi, who said: “Acting Secretary Modly’s actions and words demonstrate his failure to prioritize the force protection of our troops. He showed a serious lack of the sound judgment and strong leadership needed … Acting Secretary Modly must be removed from his position or resign.”

Following the news of Modly’s resignation (which has been accepted), there was much rejoicing.

In a time when nearly everything is terrible or depressing, it’s rare to see a just result happen so quickly. Good things don’t happen very often, and while we’re sure an equally terrible Trump stooge might replace Modly, this is one we’re glad to put in the win column.

(via Washington Post, image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.