Capt. Brett Crozier walked off the USS Theodore Roosevelt for the final time on Friday, but the crew on board made sure he knew how they felt about him.
Crozier was dismissed Thursday after a letter he penned to warn of coronavirus cases on board ended up in the hands of the media.
The letter said more than 100 sailors had been infected and that the outbreak could kill service members unless immediate action was taken, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told Stars and Stripes.
Although he was never accused of leaking the document, Crozier was dismissed nonetheless due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command, Modly said.
Friday morning, hundreds of sailors gathered at the aircraft carrier’s exit to give their former commander a heartfelt sendoff.
“Capt. Crozier,” they shouted, clapping and showering him with praise.
Michael Washington, who shared video of the send off on Facebook, bid Cozier farewell, saying “it's been a pleasure.”
“That’s how you send out one of the greatest captains you ever had,” someone said in the clip.
A separate video posted by Taliah Peterkin shows Crozier exiting the ship down a ramp. When he got to the bottom, he turned to wave to the crew one final time before being driven away.
“So long to our hero Captain Crozier,” Peterkin wrote.
The carrier is docked in Guam and will soon be back under the command of Capt. Carlos Sardiello, whom Crozier replaced in November.
This story was reported from Atlanta.