Merz was able to verify Crozier’s immediate superior did not know he was sending the memo in which Crozier had urgently asked Navy leadership to evacuate sailors from the Roosevelt as the virus spread. Noting that, “I was not in his shoes,” Merz offered his own caveated assessment of Crozier’s actions pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation.
“I certainly don’t question his motives. I think his motives were pure. He was looking out for his crew,”Merz said.
But Merz also noted all commanders have “a lot of tools available to be heard,” adding “I am not going to second guess him at this point.”
The investigation could be completed as soon as next week. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he isn’t ruling out the possibility that Crozier could be restored to command.