Because it has to do with leadership, I’ve been reading a lot about the unfolding of events surrounding Captain Crozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Paradoxically, it’s made me both sad and uplifted. Sad for the absolute failure of those he counted on to have his back. Uplifted by his actions, and how his Sailors responded. There is so much to examine, from fear, intimidation, and lack of accountability, to undeniable sacrifice, vulnerability, and selfishness.
Like I said, sad and uplifting.
While reading about it, I stumbled upon a little bit of history: Theodore Roosevelt’s Round Robin Letter. Roosevelt’s great-grandson, Tweed Roosevelt, wrote an eloquent Op-Ed in the New York Times that mentioned it. Written back in 1898, the similarities in the circumstances–from the obvious pandemics to the more subtle politicizing of military decision-making–are unreal.
Ultimately, I’m reflecting on what it means to be a leader and, furthermore, what it takes to become a hero. Sacrifice. And risk. A shit-ton of risk. By my unofficial definition then, Captain Crozier is absolutely a hero.