The Acting Secretary of the US Navy (SECNAV), Thomas Modly, has resigned drawing to a close a week of leaks and speeches that have left the Navy with a new acting head, and a carrier without a captain.

Modly resigned on Tuesday after an audio recording surfaced of him describing the former captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt Captain Brett Crozier as either “too naïve or too stupid” to lead the ship.

Crozier was fired by the US Navy after a memo he sent detailing the effects of widespread Covid-19 coronavirus infection aboard the ship and was leaked to the press. In his memo, Crozier warned Navy leadership: “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 assets – our sailors.”

In a letter, the Secretary of Defence Mark Esper said: “This morning I accepted Secretary Modly’s resignation. He 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.

“Secretary Modly served the nation for many years, both in and out of uniform. 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.”

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