The Navy dismissed the captain of an aircraft carrier crippled by the coronavirus from his job on Thursday, two days after the officer's unusually blunt letter warned that the service would have failed the sailors if it did not remove them from the vessel more quickly, the service would fail them.

Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, the commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, was relieved of command at the direction of acting Navy secretary Thomas Modly. The Navy removed Crozier after becoming increasingly convinced that he was involved in leaking the letter to the media to force the service to address his concerns, a defense official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Modly said Crozier showed "poor judgment" by sending the letter by email to a group of 20 or 30 people. He did not directly accuse Crozier of leaking the letter, which was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, but noted that it appeared in Crozier's hometown newspaper.

The decision comes one day after Modly said that there was nothing wrong with Crozier writing the letter, but that leaking it to the media "would be something that would violate the principles of good order and discipline."

“How it got out into the media I don’t know,” Modly said. “I don’t think anyone would ever know.”