WASHINGTON — The junior lieutenant in charge of navigating the USS Fitzgerald when it collided with a commercial vessel pleaded guilty Tuesday to dereliction of duty and acknowledged her role in the deaths of seven sailors last year.
Lt. j.g. Sarah Coppock cried during her court-martial at the Washington Navy Yard. She was sentenced to forfeit half of her pay for three months – an additional month on top of the two she forfeited as her nonjudicial punishment. She also received a letter of reprimand.
“Not a day goes by where I haven’t thought about what I could have done differently,” she said. “There is nothing I can do now but take responsibility.”
Coppock said her success as an officer of the Navy was through the support of her squadrons. “And then, when it mattered, I failed them,” she said through tears. “I made some tremendously bad decisions and they had to pay the price for them.”
Coppock’s unsworn statement followed the testimony of family members of sailors
READ MORE: www.stripes.com/fitzgerald-offic…l-1.525888
Guess they cant blame Russia, China or Iran now for hacking the ships guidance systems !