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Esper to decide fate of USS Theodore Roosevelt captain

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The strange saga of Capt. Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, continues.

In yet another military about-face, sources are now saying the US Navy has recommended reinstating Crozier after he was fired by the Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, for allegedly jumping the chain of command in an attempt to save his crew from a coronavirus outbreak, Jeff Schogol of Task & Purpose reported.

The letter, which became public, not only cost him his job but led the acting Navy secretary to resign in disgrace shortly afterwards.

The New York Times first reported on Friday that Defense Secretary Mark Esper has been briefed on the Navy’s recommendation but wants more time to think it over.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman confirmed that Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday had presented Esper with a “verbal update” on the investigation into the coronavirus outbreak aboard the Theodore Roosevelt, the report said.

“After the secretary receives a written copy of the completed inquiry, he intends to thoroughly review the report and will meet again with Navy leadership to discuss next steps,” Hoffman said in a statement. “He remains focused on and committed to restoring the full health of the crew and getting the ship at sea again soon.”

The Navy also issued a statement on Friday saying “no final decisions have been made” about the Theodore Roosevelt investigation, the report said.

According to a senior defense official, the Navy’s investigation examined multiple commands amid a complex timeline of communications.

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