A half-dozen former top Navy officials said in interviews Saturday that Modly’s intervention was a mistake that they feared would have a chilling effect on commanders and encourage them to suppress bad news that might upset political leaders.

“I think the firing was a really bad decision, because it undermines the authority of the military commanders who are trying to take care of their troops, and significantly negatively impacts the willingness of commanders to speak truth to power,” said retired Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in an interview Saturday…

By Wednesday, Modly told a colleague he was thinking of relieving Crozier and that Trump “wants him fired.” He was advised by several current and former colleagues, reportedly including Gilday, that such a dismissal would be unwise, and that the matter was best left to the military.