US Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced on Tuesday that Navy Commander Thomas Mudley, who faced a barrage of criticism for his handling of the new coronavirus outbreak on board the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, had submitted his resignation, noting that he had accepted the resignation.
He was appointed as a replacement by proxy.
“This morning, I accepted Mudley’s resignation,” Esber said in a tweet on Twitter.
“With the president’s approval, I have appointed the Vice-Commander of the Land Force, Jim Macpherson, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Marine Corps.”
Esper accompanied his tweet with a lengthy statement confirming that Moodley “resigned on his own.
He placed the Navy and Sailors Authority over his interest so that the USS aircraft carrier would be able to Theodore Roosevelt and the Navy as an institution to move forward”.
The Minister indicated that the Acting Navy Commander will occupy this position pending the appointment of an original Commander.
“We must now put the needs of the Navy, including the Teddy Roosevelt crew, first, and move forward together,” Esber stressed in his statement.
Moodley Thursday sacked the commander of the USS carrier.
Theodore Roosevelt “nuclear powered Captain Brett Kroeger after he requested in a distress letter addressed to his superiors, and leaked to the media, to allow him to dock to evacuate the carrier from the newly infected coronavirus after the outbreak of the epidemic on board.
The dismissal of Captain Kroeger was widely condemned and considered a cruel and unfair punishment against a respected officer who wanted to protect his ship’s crew by appealing to his superiors to allow him to evacuate the ship after anchoring in Guam.
Kruger had earlier this week informed the Pentagon that the coronavirus was spreading in an uncontrollable manner on board his ship, calling for immediate assistance to isolate his crew.
Krueger warned his presidents that “the spread of the disease is continuing and accelerating,” appealing to them, saying, “We are not at war, no need to die sailors.”
“It would seem an exceptional measure to evacuate the majority of the crew from an American nuclear aircraft carrier deployed in the ocean and isolate them for two weeks,” he added.
Senior Pentagon officials considered that Kruger had erred in leaking his message to the media.
Hundreds of sailors saluted Kruger as he got off the ship, and a video circulated abundantly showed some of them describing him as a hero.
To make matters worse for Moodle, he traveled to Guam on Monday to defend his decision to fire Krueger.
In Guam, Moodle made a speech from the carrier, which was also leaked to the press, in which he strongly criticized Krueger’s decision, describing him as “either stupid or naive” and strongly criticizing the media.
Moody’s speech sparked strong reactions in Congress, with many of his members calling for his resignation.