May 1, 2020

Leadership Crucible

We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset: our Sailors.

Capt. Brett Crozier, then-commander of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, in a March 30 memo to Navy leadership. Crozier was fired three days later and soon after tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

If he didn’t think that information was going to get out into the public, … then he was … too naive or too stupid to be the commanding officer of a ship like this. The alternative is that he did this on purpose. … It was a betrayal of trust with me, with his chain of command, with you, with the 800 to a thousand people who are your shipmates on shore right now. … It was betrayal.

Then-Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly during an April 6 obscenity-laced address to the Roosevelt crew, following Crozier’s firing.

He was only trying to help us!

Anonymous Roosevelt crew member, recorded during Modly’s April 6 address to the crew.

With a heavy heart, I hereby submit my resignation, effective immediately.

Modly on April 7

Calm in the Storm 

This is when you make your money as a commander. The organization is going to ride on your calm, cool, collected and measured, while intense, approach to the crisis. If you are frazzled and all over the map, you are part of the problem. If you are the adult in the room that provides direction but empowers your subordinate leaders to take action, you win.

Gen. David Goldfein, Air Force Chief of Staff, in a message to commanders about leading in a time of crisis.
China Ministry of Defense/Fan Xianhai

Believe It or Not

The ongoing novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) outbreak did not cause cases of infection among the military medics and service members, but improved the combat readiness of the Chinese military instead.

Chinese military news channel, in a claim attributable to a Chinese People’s Liberation Army officer.

The U.S. is not facing the threat of war, but it is seeking enemies everywhere it goes with a Cold War mentality, looking for unnecessary trouble. Even if all crew members on the aircraft carrier disembark and go into quarantine, no other country will wage war on the U.S.

Zhang Junshe, senior research fellow, People’s Liberation Army Naval Military Studies Research Institute, on U.S. readiness with regard to the COVID-19 infections aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, Global Times, April 1. 

All Together Now 

The preponderance of space capabilities across the department, including those from other services, should also be united into the Space Force. So, we are doing that same process that we did with the Air Force, to canvas the Army and the Navy to figure out … how do we unify efforts.

Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, on integrating all the right elements into the new Space Force. 

Not My Bailout

I cannot support a move to lean on the federal government for a stimulus or bailout that prioritizes our company over others and relies on taxpayers to guarantee our financial position.

Nikki Haley, former Boeing board member, in a letter to the board resigning the position. Haley is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and governor of South Carolina.