Army Undersecretary Jim McPherson Replaces Resigned Navy Secretary Thomas Modly

James E. McPherson, General Counsel for the Department of the Army, poses for his official portrait in the Army portrait studio at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, Dec. 29, 2017. (U.S. Army photo by William Pratt)

Army Undersecretary Jim McPherson was named as the replacement for Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly who resigned on Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said, posting a letter via Twitter.

Acting Navy Secretary McPherson has served as Judge Advocate General of the Navy and General Counsel of the United States Department of the Army.

Former Secretary Modly was now the second major Navy leader to lose his job over the infected crew on the USS Theodore Roosevelt. In his letter, Secretary Esper said his hope was this would allow the focus to return to the Navy’s mission, rather those sick sailors.

In pressuring the chain of command to act, the aircraft carrier’s former leader, Captain Brent Crozier, sent out a public email that was leaked to the press, detailing how the crew was sick from Corona Virus and his frustration of the inaction of the higher ups. Following that he was fired for breaking the chain of command and signalling that the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was in distress, though his crew cheered him on his departure for sticking up for them.

Captain Crozier

Meanwhile, Navy legend Rear Adm Select Carlos Sardielle was named to replace Captain Crozier at the ship’s helm.

Navy Capt. Carlos Sardiello, the incoming commanding officer of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, during the ship’s change-of-command ceremony on July 27, 2017 at North Island Naval Air Station.(Howard Lipin / Union-Tribune)

But when former Secretary Modly arrived to the ship to address the aftermath of the situation, he insulted Captain Crozier and called him “stupid or naive.”

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Ultimately, U.S. President Donald J. Trump stepped in to mediate for what he thought of as an out of control situation and because of Captain Crozier’s impeccable record during a long Navy career.

Secretary Esper said that former Secretary Modly tendered his resignation on Tuesday morning and his replacement was named with the President’s approval


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