This guy gets it. 

Capt. Judd Krier is the commanding officer of the USS Iwo Jima, a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship currently undergoing repairs in Norfolk, Virginia.

It can be tough for the crew when a ship is in dry dock. The shipyard can be a grueling and isolating environment for sailors. That has certainly been a reality for the beleaguered crew of the USS George Washington, which has been stuck pier-side since 2017. Sailors in dry dock sometimes endure non-stop construction noise or lack of water on a ship, while others may have to spend time on one of the Navy’s decrepit berthing barges

So last month, to raise the morale of the crew, Krier had an idea: how about a movie?

Krier took most of the crew, everyone except a small section for security and fire-fighting watch, to see “Top Gun: Maverick” as it opened Memorial Day weekend. That’s about 700 sailors. 

Reserving an entire local theater through the Morale, Welfare and Recreation officer, and even chipping in with popcorn and soda? That’ll raise anyone’s spirits.

“It’s a chance for everyone to connect with a great Navy movie,” Krier told, adding, “I know when I announced it, the whole crew was excited.”

“Top Gun: Maverick” has gotten plenty of praise, as it delivers on everything we’d want from Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. Dogfights, reuniting with Val Kilmer’s “Iceman” and, yes, beach volleyball. Basically the perfect movie for a Navy crew. 

The Navy has dealt with its fair share of officer misconduct, but there are still those out there working to improve the morale of their sailors. Maybe it is dressing up like Hulk Hogan or Randy “Macho Man” Savage for award ceremonies like Cmdr. David Hollon, skipper of the USS Chung Hoon. Or, in this case, providing thousands of dollars worth of movie tickets for sailors to enjoy. Let’s hope that came out of the ship’s budget and not Krier’s wallet, though. 

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