Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly offered his resignation Tuesday, following leaked audio of a speech aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt where he called the carrier’s ousted commanding officer “too stupid or too naïve” to lead the ship.

He initially doubled down on his comments but issued an apology late Monday after widespread criticism, including from Capitol Hill.

Crozier made a plea March 30 to evacuate crew members with COVID-19 or those who had been exposed to it. He was fired after his request was published by the San Francisco Chronicle.

James McPherson, recently confirmed as Army under secretary, will take Modly’s place.

DOD photo by Lisa Ferdinando