Mr. Gallego pointed to the firings of the commanders of the John McCain and the Fitzgerald, two destroyers that were involved in fatal accidents in 2017 that killed 17 sailors. Those firings came after months of investigations, while Captain Crozier was fired within three days of his letter becoming public.
Yet the Trump administration has in several high-profile war crimes cases chosen not to punish those accused. President Trump, for instance, granted clemency to Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL who was acquitted of murder last year but convicted of a lesser war crime.
For the military, a core issue is that, as the virus spreads, it becomes increasingly difficult to carry on with training and missions.
At U.S. military outposts around the world, commanders have stopped training alongside local forces and instituted other measures to seal off their troops from the virus. Even so, the moves are ultimately half measures as the military, especially those who are deployed, live in shared spaces and can hardly practice the social-distancing restrictions that public health experts recommend to curb the spread of the virus.
That problem is only amplified in the Navy.
Each ship — with confined berthing areas, mess halls and shared bathrooms — is a cramped cell where social distancing is nearly impossible. Once the virus gets on a ship, it is bound to spread, both military officials and infectious disease experts say. Already, Navy officials are worried that other ships may become infected.
Other branches of the military are having issues as well.
Air Force warplanes are flying fewer missions and conducting fewer trainings, operating with split shifts and split crews to limit the exposure of personnel to the virus. The Army has stopped training for some units, the better to limit chances of getting the virus.
As part of his extended explanation of why he removed Captain Crozier, Mr. Modly asserted at a news conference Thursday that the release of Captain Crozier’s letter had panicked the crew and family members, and embarrassed the Navy’s leadership.