Brett  Crozier grew up in California, graduated from the United States Naval Academy, and embarked on a thirty-year career in the Navy, flying dozens of combat missions over Iraq and leading at the highest levels of operational command. He served as the commanding officer of a combat F/A-18 strike fighter squadron, the world’s largest and most advanced communications ship, and ultimately the USS Theodore Roosevelt before retiring from the Navy in 2022. Surf When You Can is his first book.

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  • He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1992 and then entered training as a naval aviator. He was qualified first as a helicopter pilot, and then in the Navy’s F/A-18 fighter planes. He was deployed aboard the aircraft carrier Nimitz during the Iraq war, and he held an ascending series of staff and command jobs. He received a master’s degree from the Naval War College; he became executive officer (second in command) of the nuclear-powered carrier Ronald Reagan; and he became commander of the amphibious ship Blue Ridge. Then late last year, as a Navy captain, he took command of the Nimitz-class nuclear carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and the 4,000-plus people in its crew.
  • Brett was designated a naval aviator in 1994 and was assigned as a Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk pilot to the squadron HSL-37 at Barbers Point, Hawaii. He deployed on board USS Crommelin and USS Fletcher for operations in the Pacific Ocean and Operation Southern Watch in the Persian Gulf.
  • From April 2014 until July 2016, Crozier completed the naval nuclear power training program and served as the executive officer of USS Ronald Reagan. During this tour, Ronald Reagan took part in RIMPAC 2014, two maintenance availabilities, a forward deployment to Yokosuka, Japan, to relieve USS George Washington as the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, and several Forward Deployed Naval Force deployments in the United States Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility. From June 2017 to November 2018, he commanded the amphibious command ship USS Blue Ridge while the ship completed an extensive dry-dock refit and then returned to operations at sea. He was assigned command of the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt on November 1, 2019.
  • Leadership – As critical as its individual parts may be to a team’s success, an equally important (yet often overlooked) element of success is how leaders manage the people around them.
    • For me, one of the key aspects of leadership, no matter what the circumstance or scenario, boils down to this: understand the importance of each and every person to the team, make sure they know it, then delegate to them the power to perform to their fullest potential.
  • His letter: “We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors. The spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating.”
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Time Stamps:

00:51 – April 3, 2020

15:08 – Clydesdales, Surfing and Espressos

21:32 – Surfing

28:14 – The Rock and the Jar Theory

35:41 – Focus on the In-Between Times

38:37 – A Story on Humility

48:59 – Be A Master of the Fundamentals

53:42 – How Has Life After the Military Impacted Brett?

55:51 – Life / Career Advice for a College Grad

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