Esper Says Accepted Acting Navy Secretary Resignation

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 08th April, 2020) US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said that he accepted acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly's resignation.

Modly resigned after coming under fire for removing and criticizing the captain who raised alarms about a COVID-19 outbreak aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt.

"This morning I accepted Secretary Modly's resignation. With the approval of the President [Donald Trump], I am appointing current Army Undersecretary Jim McPherson as acting Secretary of the Navy," Esper said in a tweet on Tuesday.

On Monday, Modly in an address to the crew of the Roosevelt criticized the ousted commanding officer of the ship, Capt. Brett Crozier, as being either too "naive" or "stupid" when he decided to break the chain of command to raise alarms about a COVID-19 outbreak aboard the ship.

"He [Modly] resigned on his own accord, putting the Navy and the Sailors above self so that the USS Theodore Roosevelt, and the Navy as an institution, can move forward. His care for the Sailors was genuine," Esper said. "I have the deepest respect for anyone who serves our country, and who places the greater good above all else. Secretary Modly did that today, and I wish him all the best."

Esper added that briefed Trump on his conversation with Modly and a replacement choice. He praised McPherson, a retired Admiral with a 26 year naval career, as a smart, capable and professional leader who will restore confidence and stability.