Atlantic Ocean, June 4, 2020: Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite, elbow-bumps a Sailor following an all-hands call in the hangar bay of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), marking his first visit as Navy secretary to a ship underway. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) remains at sea in the Atlantic as a certified carrier strike group force ready for tasking in order to protect the crew from the risks posed by COVID-19, following their successful deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation. Keeping HSTCSG at sea in U.S. 2nd Fleet, in the sustainment phase of OFRP, allows the ship to maintain a high level of readiness during the global COVID-19 pandemic. (US Navy photo by MCS 3rd Class Samuel Gruss)
Kenneth J. Braithwaite became the 77th Secretary of the Navy during a May 29 Pentagon swearing-in ceremony. He succeeds Acting Navy Secretary Thomas B. Modly, who resigned under a cloud after delivering a speech that criticized Capt. Brett Crozier, former skipper of the carrier Theodore Roosevelt.
Crozier himself had resigned after a letter he had written articulating concerns about the health of his crew, which was ravaged by the COVID-19 virus.
Braithwaite, a Naval Academy graduate and former naval aviator, also holds an advanced degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He had served as the Navy’s vice chief of information, and then as ambassador to Norway.