THE Acting Navy Secretary was told to "shut the f*** up" by a sailor as he told the crew of an aircraft carrier that their fired captain was "naive" and "stupid" when he raised coronavirus concerns.
Several obscenities were aimed at Navy leader Thomas Modly as he blasted Capt. Brett Crozier, who was axed for revealing to a wide audience that 155 of his sailors had tested positive for COVID-19.
A Navy officer told the Daily Caller that commanders tried to keep Modly's unpopular speech from getting to the public.
Crozier is facing disciplinary action after being fired from the USS Theodore Roosevelt for sounding the alarm about coronavirus aboard the vessel.
He will also be "reassigned," despite the Navy facing a huge backlash over the dismissal.
The nearly 5,000 crew members are being taken off the ship in Guam to be tested for the coronavirus.
Video shows of hundreds of sailors cheering Crozier as he walked off the aircraft carrier after being relieved of his duties.
Modly made a lengthy speech aboard the vessel, and admonished the crew for supporting their captain, saying he did not defend US interests.
“So think about that when you cheer the man off the ship who exposed you to that,” he said.
“I understand you love the guy. It's good that you love him.
"But you're not required to love him.”
Modly said Crozier should have known his letter would leak to the media, allowing information about the ship's compromised condition to be published.
If Crozier did not think this would be the result, he was “too naive or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this."
“It is the mission of the ship that matters,” he said.
“You all know this, but in my view your Captain lost sight of this and he compromised critical information about your status intentionally to draw greater attention to your situation.”
Several sailors disrupted the speech with obscenities, including one who said, "shut the f*** up."
The captain's dismissal turned into a hot political issue, with Democrats saying Crozier was wrongly fired, and President Trump denouncing Crozier and defending Modly.
Modly also accused Crozier of betraying his duty.
“It was betrayal,” Modly said.
“And I can tell you one other thing, because he did that he put it in the public's forum and it's now become a big controversy in Washington D.C., and across the country.”
“The spoken words were from the heart, and meant for them,” Modly said, referring to the crew.
"I stand by every word I said, even, regrettably any profanity that may have been used for emphasis.
"Anyone who has served on a Navy ship would understand. I ask, but don’t expect, that people read them in their entirety.”
Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition calling on the US Navy to reinstate Crozier.
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"His actions possibly saved many lives," said the Change.org petition said.
"Although he was fired, his plan to safely remove crew members was still implemented. He is a hero who should be rewarded."
The Navy's top admiral, Mike Gilday, ordered an inquiry.
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