- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The USS Theodore Roosevelt is seeing its third new commanding officer since March after Capt. Carlos Sardiello — who led the ship’s return to San Diego after Capt. Brett Crozier’s firing — stepped down Friday, the Navy said in a statement.

More than 1,000 service members who were stationed on the Theodore Roosevelt had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this year, including ousted Capt. Crozier, who was relieved of command after writing a letter to Navy leaders pleading for help and warning that the situation on his vessel was dire, and that sailors would likely die without a stronger response.

Puerto Rico native Capt. Eric Anduze will take over for Capt. Sardiello, the Navy said. Capt. Anduze most recently served as the executive officer of the USS Carl Vinson as commanding officer aboard the amphibious command ship USS Blue Ridge.

“It was a privilege to lead the Rough Riders a second time weathering the storm that engulfed and sidelined Theodore Roosevelt,” Capt. Sardiello said, pointing to his first stint as captain of the vessel from 2017 through 2019 before Capt. Crozier took over.

He praised the crew for “showing great fortitude in the face of adversity, and reverence and stoicism in remembrance; they have proven that fighting through the threat of infectious disease at sea can be done.”

“The resilience and dedication to mission displayed by our sailors during this pandemic response was truly remarkable,” Capt. Sardiello said.

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

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