Captain Crozier, Commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, wrote and distributed a controversial letter that
pleaded for help for crew members stricken by the COVID-19 virus in March of 2020. The communication was
sent to several recipients and eventually found its way to the news media. The situation became front-page
news and was actively debated in the media. Senior leaders believed that Captain Crozier may have avoided
his chain of command for fear that his immediate leader would suppress the issue and expose the sailors to
unnecessary danger. His decisions and actions that lead up to his writing of the letter are fraught with ethical
In this assignment you are asked to analyze ethical aspects surrounding Captain Crozier’s decision to widely
disseminate the letter.
Thoroughly research the issues using the Internet and the resources provided in What You Need to Know. You
may need to conduct additional research to support your analysis.
As you can see by your research, there is a lot going on behind the scenes in this scenario. However, it is clear
that the Captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt was facing a difficult ethical situation and tried to find the
best way to communicate his concerns. There are many questions that likely come to mind, such as:
What was the dilemma facing the Captain? How might he have weighed his decision?
Should the Captain have sent the message? Why or why not?
Was the content of the communication appropriate, taking into the consideration the recipient(s) of the letter?
Did he distribute the letter for maximum effect?
What should he have done differently?
Did the Captain violate Navy ethical guidelines? Are his actions at odds with communication guidelines? Is
that how he should be judged?
Was his punishment justified?
How do you think his crew felt? Is that relevant?
Consider the Captain’s decision to send the letter, the manner in which the letter was sent, and the recipient(s)
of the letter. Complete both parts of this assignment in a single Word document.
Part 1: Analyze the Scenario
Analyze the ethical decision that the Captain faced as it relates to how he communicated his plea and in the
context of his position. Consider the sender, receiver, message, and channel.
Analyze the primary failures and successes of the Captain’s communication strategy. Make sure to consider
how the letter was distributed, the Captain’s possible intent, and the content of the letter.
If this situation had occurred in the private sector and not the military, would the outcomes have been similar
or different? Defend your reasoning.
Part 2: Write a Communication
Imagine that you were the commanding officer of another naval ship who had followed this sequence of
events closely. Your ship’s Public Affairs Officer reports to you and is responsible for many of the ship’s
external communications, and you are anxious to share your lessons learned from the USS Theodore
Send a communication to your Public Affairs Officer that conveys and re-enforces the primary lesson(s)
learned from the incident on the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Be sure you focus on the actions of the Captain.
The medium is your choice, but it is also very important, so state the medium you have chosen within your
message and the reason you feel it is the most appropriate medium to use. Address possible reasons such as
confidentiality, tone, convention, et cetera.