PENTAGON – Pentagon officials have expressed concern in recent days that the former commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt may have infected other commanders with a desire to place the well-being of their troops over loyalty to senior leadership, sources confirmed Friday.
“The seriousness of this cannot be overstated,” said Col. Vance Kushner, a Pentagon spokesman. “This isn’t like some kind of virus threatening the health and well-being of our soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen. This is much worse. This makes us sitting here in the Pentagon look like out-of-touch asses.”
A task force to study the issue has already been assembled, according to sources, comprised of senior leaders devoting whatever resources necessary to stop what has been dubbed “Crozier-20” from spreading.
“We will spare nothing to keep Crozier-20 from becoming an epidemic that could critically humiliate the administration’s duly appointed civilian leaders,” said Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who is personally leading the special task force.
“We have no idea how much contact Crozier had with other commanders while contagious with this bold form of leadership. We need to pull out all stops to flatten the curve before we see others succumb to the urge to stand up for their men [and women].”
“As hard as it is to say, this may be our fault,” admitted one general officer on condition of anonymity. “We’ve included so much 'ethics' stuff in officer military training that some may be tempted to take it at face value. That could very well be how Crozier became patient zero.”
While military officers are constantly told how vital it is to “look out for” their troops, traditionalists point out that the “air quotes” used whenever the phrase is mentioned are widely understood, and have long inoculated many in command.
At press time, former acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly had added revisions to senior officer training curricula before his resignation, which added footnotes with a “*wink*” whenever lessons suggest that taking care of sailors is of utmost importance.