As many of you are aware, I relieved the commanding officer of the USS ENTERPRISE on Tuesday of this week. The public statement I released precisely captures what I did and why I did it.
To be clear on the exact timeline of the events related to my decision, the first I was made aware of the videos was last Friday (31 Dec), at which time I immediately ordered an investigation and started gathering the relevant facts. I personally viewed the videos over the weekend and, based on what I saw, I made the decision to relieve CAPT Honors. Prior to the videos being released to the public in the Virginian-Pilot, I had no knowledge of their existence, but when I did view those videos, I took action – just as I would have had I seen them four years ago.
As I mentioned in my statement, there is an ongoing investigation into all aspects of the production and showing of the videos. I will review the facts and take further action where necessary, but, until the investigation is completed, it would be improper for me to comment further on the details of the situation.
Now, I’ve always done my best to be up front with you and in return you’ve always given it to me straight – the good, the bad, and the ugly – just like I’ve asked you to do. Many of you have very strong views about this matter; I have taken the time to read your posts and emails to try to understand your views and opinions. For those of you who do not agree with the decision I made, it would be helpful to read the statement I provided to the media (below) to learn the reasons behind my actions. As I stated in my press release, we hold our Naval Officers to a very high standard of judgment, character, and professionalism and those standards will be maintained.
All the best, JCHjr
USS ENTERPRISE CO RELIEF
JAN 4, 2011
A few minutes ago, I permanently relieved Capt. Owen Honors of his duties as commanding officer of USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) for demonstrating exceptionally poor judgment while serving as executive officer of that ship, from 2006-2007.
While Capt. Honors’ performance as commanding officer of ENTERPRISE has been without incident, his profound lack of good judgment and professionalism while previously serving as executive officer in ENTERPRISE calls into question his character and undermines his credibility to continue to serve effectively in command.
After personally reviewing the videos Capt. Honors created while serving as executive officer, I have lost confidence in his ability to lead effectively, and he is being held accountable for the poor judgment and inappropriate actions repeatedly demonstrated in those videos.
It is fact that as naval officers we are held to a higher standard. Those in command must exemplify the Navy’s core values of honor, courage and commitment which we expect our Sailors to embrace. Our leaders must be above reproach and our Sailors deserve nothing less.
Capt. Dee Mewbourne will be permanently assigned as the new commanding officer of ENTERPRISE. Capt. Mewbourne most recently commanded USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and while in command he completed two successful combat deployments supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Capt. Mewbourne is currently serving as the Chief of Staff for Navy Cyber Forces - he will assume command of ENTERPRISE later this afternoon.
Capt. Dee Mewbourne knows what has to be done, and I have full confidence in his ability to lead the Sailors of ENTERPRISE as they deserve to be led, and must be led, on their upcoming deployment.
My paramount concern now lies with keeping the ENTERPRISE crew properly focused on their deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. This is certainly a difficult time for the crew and their families, but they have proven themselves in a thoroughly professional manner throughout their workup cycle and are ready to go. I have full confidence in their abilities and their readiness to execute all missions during the deployment under Capt. Mewbourne’s leadership.
The permanent relief of Capt. Honors does not end the investigation into the inappropriate videos that he made while serving as ENTERPRISE's executive officer from 2006-2007. The investigation will continue to look at all aspects of the production of the videos, to include the actions of other senior officers who knew of the videos and what they did or did not do in response.
Capt. Honors has been reassigned to administrative duties with the Commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic.
*Administrator’s note – In accordance with our standing rules on the blog, comments that are inappropriate, off-topic or otherwise offensive will not be approved. Our intent is not to censor or control the message of the discussion in any way, but to keep it professional, focused and relevant to the topic of the post.