Ship Shape Case study, instructions attached  ● Answer all parts of questions 2 and 4 from Case 15.3: Ship Shape. ● Your response should be at

Ship Shape Case study, instructions attached 

● Answer all parts of questions 2 and 4 from Case 15.3: Ship Shape.
● Your response should be at least 500 words.
● Your response should cite each of the following references at least once.

2. The chapter outlines three different approaches to assessing consequences—ethical egoism,
utilitarianism, and altruism. a. Which of these approaches do you feel most accurately
summarizes Captain Brett Crozier’s approach? Why?

b. Which of these do you feel most accurately summarizes Acting Secretary Thomas Modly’s
approach? Why?

c. Which approach applies to Rear Admiral Stuart Baker?

4. The chapter outlines five Principles of Ethical Leadership. Which of these principles applied
to Captain Brett Crozier’s leadership? Which principles applied to Thomas Modly’s leadership?


Act 1—The Virus

It was believed to have begun on March 5, 2020, with the Vietnamese port call of the U.S. naval
aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. The port call in Da Nang, only the second visit by an
American aircraft carrier to the country since the Vietnam War, was ordered partly as a show of
military strength in a region threatened by perceived growing territorialism by China in the South
China Sea.

At the time the Roosevelt arrived there, Vietnam had 16 reported cases of the highly contagious
coronavirus (COVID-19), but they were all in the country’s northern region, far from the ship’s
port of call. Because the Roosevelt, commanded by Captain Brett Crozier, a Naval Academy
graduate with more than 30 years of service, was too large for the city’s docks, the ship anchored
offshore and relied on small boats to ferry its sailors to Da Nang, where they spent several days
within the city, frequenting its restaurants, shops, and hotels and engaging in community service
projects. On the fourth day, several crew members were ordered back to the ship when it was
feared they may have been exposed to COVID-19 at a hotel where two British nationals who had
tested positive for the virus had also been staying.

The Roosevelt then left port and headed out to sea, returning to normal operations with aircraft
flying to and from the ship bringing supplies from Japan and the Philippines. Meanwhile, the
ship’s medical team watched the crew closely for signs of the virus, knowing that symptoms
generally appear within the first 14 days after exposure.

On March 24, an announcement came over the ship’s loudspeakers: “Set River City 1.” This
alerted the sailors that the ship had entered into a period of restricted communications, meaning
no internet or phone calls for most everyone onboard. The reason why, the crew soon discovered,
was that three sailors aboard the Roosevelt had tested positive for COVID-19. Within 24 hours,
the number of cases on the ship doubled and each subsequent day rendered new cases (Simkins,

The Roosevelt, a massive 1,000-foot nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is essentially a small city.
It housed almost 5,000 crew members, all living and working in extremely tight quarters. Crew
members shared common cafeterias, bathroom facilities, other social areas, and narrow hallways.
They worked in close proximity to one another day and night. Even their sleeping quarters were
close with bunks often stacked three high.

The sailors who tested positive were all members of the reactor crew, the group responsible for
running the core of the ship. They were flown to a Navy hospital in Guam, with the ship
following a few days later, docking there to begin testing of the entire crew and engage in
professional cleaning of the ship.

Just a few months earlier, the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship of 2,600 passengers housed in
individual cabins, had eight of its passengers die of the virus while aboard with more than 700
others infected. Captain Crozier knew the Roosevelt, with its tight quarters and significantly
larger crew, had the potential to be much worse than the Diamond Princess; the Roosevelt’s
doctors were estimating that more than 50 crew members could potentially die from the virus
(Gibbons-Neff, Schmitt, Cooper, & Ismay, 2020).

Act 2—The Letter

As the cases aboard the Roosevelt rapidly increased, several options were considered with
Captain Crozier arguing strongly for evacuating nearly all the sailors from the ship, leaving a
skeleton crew of around 500 to perform essential duties and protect the vessel’s reactors, bombs,
missiles, and war planes. The rest of the crew would be quarantined and tested while the ship
was cleaned.

Captain Crozier’s commanding officer, Rear Admiral Stuart Baker, disagreed, feeling that less
drastic action would still protect the crew and leave the ship in operation. Ultimately, 1,000 of
the ship’s crew were evacuated to a gymnasium on base where they slept on cots, which quickly
resulted in several more confirmed cases.

After continued denials from his superiors and watching the situation escalate each day, on
March 30, Captain Crozier laid out his concerns and arguments in a four-page letter titled,
Request for Assistance in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic. The letter was sent via unclassified
email and addressed to Crozier’s commanding officer, Rear Admiral Stuart Baker, U.S. Pacific
Fleet Commander Admiral John Aquilino, and Naval Air Forces Commander Vice Admiral
DeWolfe Miller as well as copied to seven other Navy captains (Simpkins, 2020).

According to the New York Times, prior to sending the letter, Captain Crozier shared the email
with several of the Roosevelt’s most senior officers. When they expressed their desire to add
their signatures to the letter, Captain Crozier refused, fearing for their careers, knowing the letter
might well end his (Cooper, Gibbons-Neff, Schmitt, & Cochrane, 2020).

Pleading for assistance and consideration, Captain Crozier wrote, “This will require a political
solution, but it is the right thing to do . . . 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 asset — our sailors” (Gafni
& Garofoli, 2020). Noting that only a small group of infected crewmen had been removed from
the ship and quarantined, and that “the spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating,”
Crozier requested “compliant quarantine rooms” be provided on shore in Guam for his entire
crew “as soon as possible” (Gafni & Garofoli, 2020).

The letter was leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle and the plight of the crewmen on the USS
Theodore Roosevelt soon became public knowledge in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.

Act 3—Retribution

Infuriated that the letter had been sent to what he considered a wide distribution (though the
recipients were all Navy personnel) and consequently became public due to being leaked to the
press, acting U.S. secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly fired Captain Crozier on April 2.

Modly, himself a Naval Academy graduate and former Navy helicopter pilot, was the acting
secretary positioned to become the permanent Secretary of the Navy. He had replaced Richard
Spencer, who had been fired by U.S. president Donald Trump for opposing Trump’s support of a
Navy Seal who had been charged with war crimes. According to the New York Times, Modly,
concerned that Captain Crozier’s letter would anger Trump, sought the advice of colleagues,
including the chief of naval operations and the chair of the joint chiefs of staff, who counseled
Modly to first order an investigation (Gibbons-Neff, Schmitt, Cooper, & Ismay, 2020). He did

Although Modly acknowledged that there was “no evidence that Captain Crozier leaked the
message” to the media (Cooper, Gibbons-Neff, Schmitt, & Cochrane, 2020) he quickly relieved
the captain of his duties without a formal investigation and, according to Modly’s aides, without
pressure from his superiors, U.S. defense secretary Mark Esper or U.S. president Donald Trump.
NavyTimes would later report that Modly ignored the counsel of his colleagues, “due to the
belief that President Donald Trump wanted Crozier fired” (Simkins, 2020).

Modly’s immediate superior, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, had previously cautioned his
commanders not to make decisions that might contradict Trump’s intended messaging on the
growing COVID-19 pandemic. Modly tried to frame the firing of Captain Crozier as a “loss of
confidence” rather than retribution by claiming the letter had “raised alarm bells unnecessarily”
and that “in sending it out broadly, he [Crozier] did not take care to assure it couldn’t be leaked”
(Cooper, Gibbons-Neff, Schmitt, & Cochrane, 2020).

As Captain Crozier left his ship, hundreds of sailors and airmen gathered to form a “corridor” for
him to openly express their support for the popular and highly respected commander. Videos of
this went viral. In response, Modly chartered a Gulf Stream business jet and flew immediately to
Guam at a cost of $243,000 where he delivered a scathing, profanity-laced 15-minute reprimand
to the Roosevelt’s crew over the ship’s public address system (Gibbons-Neff, Schmitt, & Ismay,
2020). Modly berated the crew for cheering the captain, calling Crozier “too stupid” and “too
naïve” to command a ship and adding that blame for the virus belonged to China. Thirty minutes
later, he abruptly left, fielding no questions.

Within 30 minutes of his departure from the Roosevelt, social media was widely broadcasting
audio recordings of his tirade.

Act 4—R&R: Resignation and Reinstatement?

When Acting Secretary Modly landed back in Washington, D.C., he was immediately directed by
Defense Secretary Esper to apologize. Lawmakers and former military officials were calling for
Modly’s resignation.

The next day, Modly, in quarantine because of his potential exposure to the virus while onboard
the Roosevelt, tendered his resignation.

Captain Crozier subsequently ended up in quarantine at the naval base in Guam, battling the
virus. More than 4,000 of the ship’s crew members were also quarantined with more than 800
testing positive for the virus and one crew member dying from it.

But Captain Crozier’s plight and that of the USS Theodore Roosevelt’s crew had caught the
attention of senior military officials and raised awareness and concern for other warships and
missions. General John Hyten, chair of the joint chiefs of staff shared, “From my perspective, it’s
not a good idea to think that the Teddy Roosevelt is a one-of-a-kind issue. To think that it will
never happen again is not a good way to plan” (Gibbons-Neff, Schmitt, & Ismay, 2020).

The Navy subsequently instituted new health and safety procedures for ships at sea and for those
preparing to head out on deployment to prevent future outbreaks, including requiring crew
members to wear masks and observe social distancing guidelines. In addition, in preparation for
deployment, a ship’s crew must be quarantined for 14 days before boarding the ship.

More than 345,000 people signed an online petition to reinstate Captain Crozier. Legislators
urged the Pentagon to reconsider. The chair of the House Armed Services Committee and other
top subcommittee leaders condemned Crozier’s dismissal, stating that “Dismissing a
commanding officer for speaking out on issues critical to the safety of those under their
command discourages others from raising similar concerns” (Cooper, Gibbons-Neff, Schmitt, &
Cochrane, 2020).

Amidst pressure from the public and lawmakers, and after a preliminary inquiry, the Navy’s top
leadership took the unprecedented step to recommend reinstatement of Captain Crozier as

commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt. The final decision on whether Captain Crozier
would be reinstated as captain of the USS Roosevelt was delayed by acting Navy secretary
James E. McPherson (who replaced Thomas Modly) who has called for a broader investigation
into the matter (Martinez, 2020). At the time this was written, Crozier remained in the Navy,
maintaining his rank, but had been given a temporary duty assignment in San Diego
(Ziesulewicz, 2020).

Required References

● Heffernan, M. (2019). The human skills we need in an unpredictable world | TED
Talk. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from

● Links to an external site.

● Clarifying the mediating effect of ethical climate on the relationship between ethical

leadership and workplace bullying by Carla Freire and Maria Ines Pinto Clarifying
the mediating effect of ethical climate between ethical leadership and workplace

● Download Clarifying the mediating effect of ethical climate between ethical
leadership and workplace bullying.pdf

● Northouse, P. G. (2021). Leadership: Theory and practice (9th ed.). Thousand Oaks,

CA: SAGE Publications.

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