Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly Submits Resignation

U.S. Military Secretaries Hold Discussion In Washington DC

U.S. Military Secretaries Hold Discussion In Washington DC

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly submitted his resignation Tuesday, one day after he was heard telling the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt that their former captain was "stupid."

Audio of Modly's speech to the USS Theodore Roosevelt leaked on Monday that led to several lawmakers calling for his resignation. In the audio, Modly could be heard telling the crew over a PA system that their former commander, Capt. Brett Crozier, was "too naive or too stupid" to remain in command of the vessel after a memo about coronavirus infections on the ship leaked to the media.

Modly apologized Monday night in a statement, for calling Crozier "stupid" in his remarks to the crew.

"Let me be clear, I do not think Captain Brett Crozier is naive nor stupid. I think, and always believed him to be the opposite," Modly said in his statement. "We pick our carrier commanding officers with great care. Captain Crozier is smart and passionate. I believe, precisely because he is not naive and stupid, that he sent his alarming email with the intention of getting it into the public domain in an effort to draw public attention to the situation on his ship. I apologize for any confusion this choice of words may have caused."

It's unclear whether Defense Secretary Mark Esper will accept the resignation.

Photo: Getty Images