07 January 2011

USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65) - Recent Events

Team,

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.
Thank you.


*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.

51 comments:

dani MarieBernadette said...

(Administrator’s note: This comment was originally posted to the USFF Staff Page)

Admiral, It is with the utmost respect that I ask you what the hell is going on? I am a female civilian and I am astonished with the deplorable manner which Captain Honors of the USS Enterprise has been treated. Since when does the military allow the media to run the show? Who in the military has his back? How dare anyone act as if those silly videos compromise the Navy. They are what they are, a means of blowing off steam for our sons and daughters who are so far from home and in dangerous situations. They are actually lite- hearted fare considering what these sailors would be watching if they were home in front of the television during the daytime. Even the f bomb has become a part of daily conversation across the board. These videos were made and seen on board ship four or more years ago and the only reason that they have become a problem now is because the Navy wants to bow to the politically correct agenda. Captain Honors lives by a set of core values that anyone would be proud of. He is committed to excellence. He works hard to ensure that those young people under his command learn the necessary skills and assimilate the knowledge that is so essential for them to stay alive, win any war and become morally responsible leaders. He values all the individuals on board his ship, respecting their dignity and fostering a sense of belonging. He has built and maintains a mutual trust and respect with his men and women which can only benefit the Navy, the country and their own future lives. He has demonstrated his commitment to personal development when he stopped making those video's years ago. He is honest, just, and consistent in word and deed. Admiral these are the qualities of integrity. They are the qualities we want in our leaders. They are definitely the qualities this country needs. Let us be honest Admiral, we do not live in a world where many of the adults who influence our children have these same qualities. Too often we find that in politics, religion, education and business it has become the norm for unethical, let alone illegal, attitudes and behaviors to prevail. It is time for someone to take a stand. It is time for you to rise up and say Stop! We need to look at this in an honorable manner. It is time for the Navy and this Country to recognize that Captain Honors is exactly the kind of leader that we want. I respectfully sign my name to this letter and I am sending a copy to the White House and to every Newspaper I can think of. Dani MarieBernadette D'Angelo

Anonymous said...

(Administrator’s note: This comment was originally posted to the USFF Staff Page)

Admiral Harvey, you have proven yourself NOT an "officer and a gentleman." The fact that you allowed public pressure, and probably political pressure,in your decision to remove Captain O.P. Honors from command of the USS Enterprise is reprehensible. I support the Navy and Marines as a volunteer through a worldwide organization, and I had the privilege of meeting, and getting to know him. I have also met many of those sailors that were under his command, at one time or another and fellow aviators. They give him "high marks" for his ability to command, and his approachability. He knows that ship fore to aft and the safety and security of his crews is his priority. You Sir, have made a wrongful decision. This will not go away. The Enterprise needs O.P. as it's CO. He nurtured and trained those young sailors for 8 months with blood, sweat and tears....reaching the certifications on time and with high marks. It's because of the leadership and confidence in their CO....Captain O.P. Honors. It's a real man (or men), that can admit when they have made a poor decision and make it a right one...please reinstate O.P. to his place as CO of the Enterprise. With your present decision you have demoralized the Enterprise crew right before their deployment. YOU NEED TO THINK OF THE SAILORS FIRST, NOT PUBLIC/POLITICAL OPINION,THAT'S YOUR JOB!

M. Ittleschmerz said...

Admiral - As a serving post-command officer I fully and unequivocably support the action you took. I am saddened at the heat you are taking over this, especially from those who do not understand the special trust and confidence an XO has - especially the XO of an aircraft carrier.

The critics can have their say, but you excised a cancerous growth and I am thankful for it.

Rubber Ducky said...

The outstanding question is why it took 4 years and 4 stars to find the actions of XO Honors to be unacceptable.

James said...

Admiral -

As someone who has had the privilege and honor to command a warship, I can state unequivocally that I support your decision one hundred percent. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone in CAPT Honor's position that he is held to a higher standard. As you well know, a commander has to not only earn the trust of those he leads, but also of those he (or she) serves. In this case, both trusts were violated.

It seems that many outside the Navy (and even some of our younger Sailors) have focused on the content of the videos...the sophomoric humor or the fact that they were just to "blow off steam". What those individuals have missed is, to my mind, the TRULY grievous act that CAPT Honors committed: setting a negative, hostile command environment for the crew of ENTERPRISE when he was XO. He made it clear that their concerns and their feelings about the videos made no difference to him. He mocked anyone who objected to his unacceptable behavior. He erased ANY personal credibility that he had when it came to dealing with issues of sexual harassment. It was even implied that filing a grievance would do no good -- he was "above" their control. That, more than anything, is what makes his behavior so damaging and toxic. Were I to uncover that kind of previous behavior in one of my subordinates, there is no way I could have faith and confidence that it wouldn't resurface again. That would be deeply disturbing considering the place of special trust and confidence CAPT Honors was now filling.

I hope that people can look beyond the specifics of this case - by all accounts CAPT Honors was personable and in many other ways an effective motivator and leader. Those who would condemn your actions needs to ask themselves: what would happen if someone else - who wasn't as well liked as CAPT Honors - did the same thing and pointed to this case as their precedent? The standards are there - we either meet them, or we don't. In this case, CAPT Honors failed to live up to those standards through his own actions.

The real indication of the character and honesty of CAPT Honors would have been for him to offer his resignation without being asked for it -- that would have proven that he DID understand the mistakes he had committed, and how they impacted his ability to command. As it was, I'm just personally glad that you demonstrated the character required to make that decision.

Anonymous said...

--- Why was nothing done to CAPT Honors when members of his crew originally complained about the videos?

--- Why were these complaints not addressed in his FITREPs?

--- The timing of the leak of the videos is questionable. Flag promotions are around the corner (CAPT Honors is eligible?) up and and the recent repeal of DADT lead me to believe that someone has an "axe to grind"

--- Why wait 4 YEARS to leak a video that you had an issue with 4 YEARS AGO if for no other reason to ruin CAPT Honors chances of making Flag?

determnswomom said...

Admiral, your actions are supported unequivocably by myself, my active duty spouse and my father who left service in 1967. As an upcoming department head, I hope that I will serve with an Executive Officer who holds his job to protect (not ridicule) his staff and subordinates alike with all the customs and courtesies of the Naval Service.

I am appauled that some junior sailors feel betrayed right now and embarrassed that others feel that the videos held no ill-intent in regards to conduct. The videos, at their core, disrespected our service as well as how we are viewed around the world. CAPT Honors was not just a leader to that ship and her sailors, but the Navy and diplomacy that we should provide as a whole in our Uniforms.

He betrayed that trust and his job was absolute, regardless of time or place.

Anonymous said...

Sir,

I only hope the officer with absolute accountability at the time, the CO, and any embarked Flag Officers at the time will also be taken to task. Given the circumstances, the consequences to them must also be made public.

I am personally torn to lose a warrior whose troops would follow him through fire, but fully support your decision.

We are just not done yet.

Vr/M

SWO Bubba said...

Admiral - I support your decision 100%. As an Officer heading to my XO/CO ride (under Fleet Up), I hear you loud and clear and so do my peers. The attitude communicated by the videos does not reflect our true culture of honor, courage and commitment. America's Navy is an honorable institution and we must uphold these ideals.

Anonymous said...

Admiral,
You did the right thing. It came way to late, but it was still the right call. Capt. Honors showed an incredible lack of judgment and integrity by making those stupid videos, and his worst crime was his "Suck it up if you don't like it" attitude. A man like that can't truly lead a whole ship.
Tough day, sir, but you got it right. Now keep going and look at the CO and CSG Commander...

Anonymous said...

Admiral,
You have certainly held yourself to the standard that you expect all of us to uphold; that Sir makes you a true Officer and Gentleman.
With all the support Captain Honors’ is receiving from ENTERPRISE, it is no wonder why it’s taken four years for this information to come out. Those Sailors that were offended probably felt threatened and feared repercussions if they did speak up. Captain Honors himself ridiculed them for finding offense to his sense of humor. When Captain Honors was told of one Sailor that found the videos inappropriate it was Captain Honors’ responsibility to fix the problem. He was XO, the enforcer. What did he enforce? Certainly, he was not enforcing Navy Regulations.
As you are a man of integrity, honor, and courage, I am certain you will not allow those senior individuals, who were obviously aware of the videos, to go unpunished. It’s a shame that there was no true leadership to find a positive and non offensive way to lead those Sailors.
As a Sailor, I worry about the future of our Navy and our Sailors when senior officers and enlisted personnel defend Captain Honors’ actions. Is this happening elsewhere? Are we as leaders allowing our Sailors to be subject to such vulgarity? It’s a shame. I am embarrassed that people don’t truly understand why you came to the decision you did. It has NOTHING to do with the media or public opinion. It has to do with upholding a standard that we, as Sailors live by.
You did the right thing Admiral. You have proven your loyalty and dedication to the Navy and your Sailors.

Anonymous said...

Admiral,

As many other here have attested, I too support your decision 100%. Not that you need my approval, however, I believe it is important to support our leaders decisions when they work towards eliminating hostile work enivornments, promoting unethical behavior, and undermining of superiors authority. Our government and military were built on the premise of protecting the rights and freedoms of the people, not harassing and promoting disorder in the name of 'humoring' the people. Senior Officers establish the mood and pulse of the US Military and are unequivackly the spokesman, both through word and deed, of the military branch they serve in. These videos are inexcusable. Being in the line of fire, on deployment, and stressful environments, which I and many of my military counterparts have been in, does not excuse undermining authority or promoting unethical and unlawful behavior as what was promoted by this XO in a video.

I am very proud that my Navy still has a sense and honor to correct this obvious infraction and do what is right and good.

Anonymous said...

Admiral,

I support your decision to fire CAPT Honors because you were dammed if you do and dammed if you didn't. He is the sacrificial lamb, the media can now crawl back into their holes and liberals can gloat about how they got a Navy Captain fired. The Navy has changed; no matter how many BRAVO ZULUs you get, just one mess up will wipe out a stellar 20 year career. (A mess-up can be a DUI, NJP, PRT Failure, etc…) This goes for the E1 to the O-10. What truly does amaze me is the ability for the media to put pressure on the military. I think those videos were known to many more people then everyone would like to admit. Sailors watch worse behavior on TV every night. Those videos are the unspoken truth about life on a U.S. Navy ship at sea. The three minute showers, the water rationing, and everything a sailor has experienced onboard a Naval ship was characterized with satire. Were they in good taste...no… but that is the point, they were funny.

Many of the people supporting your decision to fire CAPT Honors say he lacked integrity and judgment. I think he knew the risks and also knew the sailors he was leading needed a distraction. I would be amazed if some of the previous posters could get the job done as well as CAPT Honors. The Navy needs dynamic leaders who are willing to take calculated risks especially when sailors are in harm’s way’ on combat deployments. Those videos made me laugh. Would I watch them with my wife or kids, heck no! But that is the point; no one understands life aboard ship and a six month cruise unless you have done it. The videos were a distraction. The previous poster “SWO Bubba” says he hears you loud and clear and Is that what you want? YES MEN? Subordinates who are afraid to exercise their Command Authority? Again, the movies not the best choice of satire, but was funny and effective. You know you are going to offend people, you cannot make everyone happy

Look at the support CAPT Honors is receiving. His supporters respect him and will follow him into battle because they trust him. Too often leaders lead people by intimidation or fear. Good leaders today are a rare bread and many of our so called leaders are managers. Leaders lead by example. Leaders are good followers. CAPT Honors produced a funny, over the top, and professional filmed movie which was not to be taken seriously. You talk to his sailors; CAPT Honors was all business, a role model, and one hell of a Navy Officer. He is the guy you want fighting your ship in battle.

In today’s Navy we kick fat people out regardless of the PT scores or technical ability. We allow gays in the military, which in my view, if far worse than anything CAPT Honors has done. Iam not against being gay. I am against being gay and in the military. Plus, with our current economic challenges, is repealing DADT the most important item on the agenda. No, but again the past 10 years the focus of the Navy has been uniforms, PT scores and body fat, continuation boards, women on subs, rating mergers, PTS, diversity, and off-duty education. All good stuff, but as the focus has shifted from operations and maintenance to political correctness, our fleet has fallen into a lowered state of material readiness, our sailors are less tactically proficient, our leaders less dynamic and afraid to recommend corrective courses of action because of fear of failing or being seen in negative light.

In the end, it would have been nice for someone to stand up and tell the public that CAPT Honors is a honorable man that commanded the most powerful warship in the world because of his past leadership and good decision making and this matter of making the movies while not illegal did show a lack of sensitivity to the general public. It would be handled internally and was none of the public’s business because there was no crime that was committed. Feelings may have been hurt, but turn on the TV and you will see much worse.

Shoukhan said...

Admiral,

Please count me as one of the ones who (at first) said this was a blatant attack by the PC police. In particular, what worried me was the firing of an officer for something from 4 years ago. Considering I'm an active duty JO and will (most likely) stay in, this worried me. That being said, upon further reflection on what you've said and the situation as a whole I can honestly say that I fully support the decision you made. It would have been one thing if it had been a bunch of JO's who made this without the CO/XO's knowledge and played it for the crew, but to have the XO do so was stepping over the preverbal line.

My one question is if there will be an investigation into those senior to him and the participants? In my mind, it seems that the professionally honest thing to do is hold all those involved accountable. Sure, the XO was the one with his name on it, but there were the actors as well as the CO (not to mention the SG CDR). If, as rumors state, the CO took action and it obviously wasn't sufficient, then shouldn't he be held accountable as well?

Regardless, thank you for making the tough call. It may be just a JO's opinion, but I'm glad to see someone in the upper levels of our Navy being willing to make the hard decisions and shoot straight. BZ sir!

Anonymous said...

Admiral,

I'm a retired O-6 and I'm just baffled why if Captain Honors did something worthy of him being permanently relieved that his previous chain of command was not relieved first. If his actions were indeed unacceptable, and were known to his CO and presumably other senior officers then why were they not dismissed first? Making a mistake is one thing, covering it up is a whole different problem.

Which brings me to my concern, if this action was so bad, then this is a total break down in the chain of command, and I havent seen any actions that indicate you realize this. So either you don't realize how knee jerk your action seems, or this is a PC move on the part of the Admiralty to close ranks and cover their own by tossing the press a sacrifice, knowing the Press does not understand the way the Navy really works. But we know, and you know. You can't hold Honors solely out to dry, his chain knew too and either they all go, or this is just a move for the Press.

Do the honourable thing.

Anonymous said...

ADM,
SB actual here. I will not rehash the near 700 comments you have reviewed in a separate venue.

There is a civilian voice that says, "I saw them as Honors really poking fun at himself and at the rivalry between the SWOs and aviators. It looked very Saturday Night Live-ish to me, with lots of inside humor that, seemed as if the guy was connected with his crew."

There are some military members who have that same view. The defining point for weather one "gets it or not" is this: The Command Triad. The CO, XO, and CMC. Either you understand the function of these roles or you do not.

I have not, to my knowledge, seen a single opinion from a person who truly understands the role of the CO, XO and CMC who thinks you made the wrong call.

Seaman Timmy, Chief Jones and my neighbor Tim might not get it, but that does not change a thing. The function of the Command Triad is something difficult to explain in a CNN soundbyte, but is essential to the operation of a warship.

XO Honors violated that with his crew, and his Chain of Command was complicit. He essentially DARED the person who told him to "knock it off" to do anything about it and explained quite clearly why he was cool and they were not.

CAPT Honors, Alfa Mike Foxtrot.

Admiral Harvey, Bravo Zulu.

Bill said...

Admiral Harvey,

As another serving post-command officer I support you 100%. You absolutely are doing the right thing to relieve CAPT Honors and continue the investigation.

The first two minutes of that video demonstrate a leadership style that establishes an "in crowd" who thinks the leader is "cool" and an "out crowd" that the leader denigrates as "gutless".

That is unacceptable at any level, especially for CO's and XO's - who enjoy special trust and confidence for lives, resources and the security of our nation.

The video was not a "single mistake" - it reveals leadership that was likely learned and practiced over an entire career. It was an indicator that one of the most trusted leaders of one of our most powerful ships was not leading correctly. The best time to remove this kind of leadership was four years ago. The second best time is now.

Very Respectfully,

Bill

BostonMaggie said...

Sir,

I support your decision 100%. My perspective is that of a civilian, but it is clear that you made the decision with the best interests of the entire Navy in mind.

I know this can't be easy. People are very passionate about this issue. I haven't talked to anyone who doesn't come down hard in one camp or the other. Many are swayed by their own experiences with "political correctness run amok" and it clouds their view. Others know and like CAPT Honors and again, they miss the real issue. I understand how this can happen.

Fortunately, you stood fast and separated the drama from the true issue. You looked at facts and made the decision that was best for the Navy.

Thank you,
Diane F. Miller

John M. Andresen said...

I am a retired Chief Warrant Officer who served on everything from a minesweeper to an aircraft carrier. I retired in 1991. As the EMO on the USS Midway, I briefed Captain Cebrowski (later Admiral) every morning on the bridge during Desert Storm. I was also EMO of the USS Dubuque in 1988 when the BOLINAO 52 incident occurred. I am also what is known as a Westpac Sailor. In recent times I have heard of an ever increasing number of these "Firings" of CO's for various reasons and wonder what is happening? In 1979 onboard the USS Oklahoma City, I was initiated in the "Crossing The Equator" initiation. As part of this, I was chosen to be of special entertainment for the Commander Seventhfleet and received a special whipping of my hindquarters while the good Admiral and others looked on with amusement. Would anyone like to impugn his character? I think not. Certainly not I. After the Enterprise videos became public, Capt. Honors' ability to command was compromised. What troubles me is humiliating manner in which he was relieved. I also have trouble with the length of time that occurred between the event and his dismissal. As I have mentioned, I served on a carrier. I find totally improbable that the CO and embarked Flag were unaware. The entire situation leaves me gobsmacked as I contemplate a neutered Navy sailing into a sea of impotence.
John M. Andresen
CWO3 USN ret.

Cobrarog said...

I am a retired Airline Captain. If I were to have conducted myself that way and gotten caught in a public forum, I must wonder what my passengers would have thought of my professionalism and indeed maturity, to accept the responsibility entrusted to me, every time the cabin door was closed and brakes released. Captain Honors demonstrated behavior unbecoming an officer infront of his subordinates, thus demonstrating bad judgement. I support Your decision Admiral Harvey and belive that Capt. Honors was rightfully and necessarily relieved of his command. You yourself, would have been remiss, had you not carried out your duty. I would then have been questioning your fitness. Thank you for your service sir and God bless the United States Navy.

Anonymous said...

I'm frustrated that the rash of CO firings over the past year or so have in almost every instance shown me that those in place ABOVE those who were fired were complicit and have yet to see a single negative ramification for their complicity. Too bad so many of them are already "out" and thus can't be touched by the Navy, as it is clear that MANY with stars on their shoulder boards that SHOULD have done something then, did nothing.

YN2(SW) G said...

Admiral,

For what it is worth, the decision made was the right one. If MC3 Timmy went around on his own volition and made such videos aboard USS OTHERSHIP, MC3 Timmy would be leaving the Navy. Though it would have never even made it near to your level for him to be ADSEP'd. With one caveat, no matter the rank responsible for the videos, the media would make an issue of it, relatively speaking. In that, MC3's actions wouldn't motivate OP-EDs at the New Atlanticist, CNN Europe or on the BBC (Navy-centric blogs still would have picked up the story up, to some extent). Probably only local media and some National coverage.

Gahlran made some interesting points at his place regarding how our PAOs reacted to the story, in that they didn't really do enough. We need to learn how to engage the media better. If we had engaged the media better, perhaps the first comment/opinion left here wouldn't exist.

V/r
YN2(SW) G

Anonymous said...

Operational Command reduced by almost 50% over the past decade, Flag Command opportunity stays the same/increases, record #'s of CO's being fired, but almost ZERO % relieved in the Flag ranks. The accountability pitch really doesn't add up to the average sailor.

Anonymous said...

Sir,

A different take. Captain Honors has rated others based on what he thinks is right and wrong. Ducks pick Ducks and thus he has probably given the nod to others with similar views as him. Just as his superiors covered for him so he could still progress, I am sure he has done the same for his juniors. With that in mind, the Sailors who are not "in the club" will never have a fair chance to compete. Their mistakes will never be swept under the rug (nor should they swept away) but cited as a reason for not getting the EP/1 of xx. While "the boys" can have multiple hiccups and continue. How do we address that sir? That is a true potential flaw in our FITREP system. Perhaps we need "reviewers" like the USA and USAF has to ensure problems are being documented. I am a post Command Commander and have seen what I describe happen all too often. The "Jim is a really good guy and we must take care of him" is huge in the aviation community. I have done my best to fight against it at my level but this really needs big Navy intervention. Perhaps the investigation into Captain Honor’s situation will talk about this issue as well. For if he was truly held accountable, perhaps a more deserving individual would have picked up the Deep Draft and CVN command. We are not going to change the face of the leadership unless we change how we evaluate the juniors. Again - Ducks pick Ducks.

V/R,
Not One of the Boys

P.S. You made the right call wrt the Captain. Please hold all who cross the line in the videos accountable as well as the leadership that did not take appropriate action. In this case, I think the investigation needs to be thorough but quick and the findings published. Just my humble opinion.

SubIconoclast said...

I stand 100% behind a Commander's prerogative to determine the line between 'bold' and 'reckless,' as well as to fire those subordinate to him when that Commander deems it necessary. It would seem that the line between 'bold' and 'reckless' can shift depending on whether we are at war or in peace, and senior officers must recognize that even units employed in war WILL be evaluated against peacetime standards when they appear in the national media of a nation which is generally at peace.

Today's combat leaders simply have to meet both standards; complaining about it won't change the fundamental facts of the situation. CAPT Honors knew that - he just made the mistake of assuming that he could get away with skipping the "Washington Post" test before recording videos and broadcasting them to thousands. That doesn't make him a bad American but it does diminish his ability to command effectively.

I also find it encouraging to hear that you continue to investigate this issue - which I hope includes substantial effort to hold accountable those who harmed the Navy's capability (specifically, global reputation for the ability to police itself) by failing to report through existing mechanisms (chain of command and/or IG) which is their DUTY to use. That failure of duty is a major part of why this problem went unchecked for so long.

Keep charging Shipmate, I appreciate the good work you do and find it motivating when leadership applies sound logic to tough decisions.

Anonymous said...

ADM Harvey,

My experience is that teams are built through emotional events; two of the strongest being pain and laughter. People coalesce around those with whom they bleed and those with whom they laugh. In Boot Camp, we are torn down as individuals to be reborn as Sailors. As Sailors, it is the laughter in pubs, engine rooms, berthing compartments, and even on the bridge, that make us feel part of something special. I care most about those with whom I've shared laughs and tears. Take that away and you've created a climate of cold professionalism which discourages the very relationships that build high performing teams. Without these connections, it is going to cost more and more money to retain folks to fill critical billets. Being a Sailor will mean becoming more detached from one's environment. Instead of the Navy being one's passion, it is becoming one's job.

As your investigation proceeds, I would understand a decision to relieve CAPT Honors if it shows that CAPT Honors abused or belittled members of his crew in the performance of their duties.

However, I would not understand the decision if it was solely based on CAPT Honors display of juvenile humor. For those who say that the Captain's snippets lessened his effectiveness as a leader, I would ask that they show proof. How did the USS ENTERPRISE perform compared to the other carriers during this time?

Humor has often been the subject of attack and yet humor is the vehicle which often drives the greatest change. Parody highlights the ridiculousness of situations that could not be addressed as readily or as effectively in normal conversation. Hence the successes of shows like Jon Stewart and late night comics.

Some folks have suggested the humor would have been more appropriate at a lower level. Yet, USNA itself squashed attempts at parody evidenced by shutting down the 'Log' and 'Eighth Wing Players' in years past.

CAPT Honors has the support of over 25,000 people on Facebook. CAPT Graf was not able to muster a page. I pray that the investigation will seek to answer the impact of the videos internal to the Navy and focus less on trying to shield the Navy from criticism from those outside who do not serve with us. Alas, I fear the investigation will be more of a witch hunt to appease those who may find fault with our culture.

With Greatest Respect.

Anonymous said...

Admiral,

I would offer that this whole situation and the support for the behavior inconsistent with what Big Navy leadership is willing to support under public scrutiny indicates a failure by our senior flag leadership to effectively communicate and develop the culture it wants. Yes, you have the task of figuring this out at your level and deciding the responsiblity for a handful of Navy leadership involved, but you, the CNO and other senior admirals are going to have to figure out where YOU as the collective Navy leadership have failed to develop the culture you want. Good leaders are obligated to look at themselves when something like this happens and to critically evaluate how their action or inaction contributed to this. Please consider that as you make your decisions and please don't let this impact the Navy culture in a disruptive way with overly conservative, high and right decision making.

Redeye80 said...

Admiral,

I sincerely hope that after the investigation is complete and dust is settled, if those who were senior to CAPT Honors failed in thier duties that they are also held accountable.

I venture to say if the Flag Officer Protective Association rallys as it did post Tailhook that would kill the Navy. I hope that doesn't happen but quite frankly I am not getting a positive feeling on this.

Good Luck,
REDEYE80

Anonymous said...

ADM Harvey,

I am the spouse of an active-duty officer and believe that your decision to relieve Capt. Honors of command, so quickly and solely based on some juvenile videos made 4 years ago, is a frightening sign of poor leadership at the very highest levels of our Navy.

CAPT Honors has clearly done better than serve "without incident" throughout his entire career, and he is a stellar and respectful human being. A committed and loyal officer of his caliber deserves to be treated by his own with more compassion than you have shown.

Perhaps CAPT Honors did cross some traditional protocol lines in his efforts to boost morale on the Enterprise, but shouldn't Flag leadership be smarter than to believe that these videos actually represent his true character? Yes, officers should be held to a higher-standard of behavior, but do you really want to send a message that they aren't allowed to be human?

We are a proud active-duty family, and these last 10 years have been strenuous, to say the least. If an XO/CO can show his/her human side, occasionally provide some levity, and evoke the kind of loyalty that CAPT Honors does, I will gladly choose that leader ANY day for my husband (offensive as he may be) over a prim and proper yes-man. The first will be sure to bring my husband home alive, the second will be sure his FITREP looks good.

Very Respectfully..

Anonymous said...

ADM. Harvey, my son-in-law was on that cruise. He said as much as he hated being on the Enterprise (it stank, the food was awful, the AC ran poorly at best and the water situation was very bad almost the whole cruise), that the best thing he had to look forward to was the XO's skit every movie night. For him, it was a bright light of humor every week in what is normally a lot of hard work with little rest and damn few creature comforts. As part of the air wing with VS-32, he wasn't in the XO's chain of command, but he said he'd serve with CAPT Honors anytime, anywhere.

And until I see the CO of the Enterprise at the time of the incident(s) and the BG commander hauled up on charges, as they damn well knew what was going on, I cannot in good conscience condone yours and the Navy's actions in this matter.

Byron

ADM J. C. Harvey, Jr USN said...

Update - I've read all the posts you've submitted thus far on this issue and will certainly continue to do so.
Several themes have emerged from the comments of those who have posted here either questioning or directly opposing the action I took last week relieving the CO, CVN 65 of his duties.
While I won't respond to each individual post, at the appropriate time I intend to comment on those emerging themes both in the context of my specific actions and my broader duties and responsibilities as Commander, US Fleet Forces.
With the investigation into the cirumstances surrounding the production, broadcast and viewing of the videos 1n 2006-2007 still in progress and many important questions still to be answered, now is not the right time for further public comment by me.
However, when the time is right, I'll continue this dialogue with you. All the best, JCHjr

Quartermaster said...

While your post immediately above is the right response to the issue of the comments, your actions reek as the relief action was wildly premature. Frankly, it was an action of PR CYA, not the action of a leader. This is just another data point on the path of the degradation of the Navy.

The right thing would have been an investigation, then hauling ALL those responsible on the carpet. The way this has been handled so far is entirely unprofessional and displays a character I'd rather not see in a man who has been entrusted with a senior leadership position. CDR Salamander may trust you to do the right thing, but that's rather hard since the you've done the wrong thing out of the starting blocks.

Color me utterly unimpressed.

Salty Gator said...

Sir,
I understand that you find this conduct unacceptable. I understand that it is within your purview to relieve XO honors. I do not, however, understand how you can do this four years retroactively, when the actions were known and reviewed by his Commanding Officer and the Strike Group Commander. Sir, he was counseled to cease and desist production, which he did. If his strike group commander and CO allowed him to progress to command, then why not state to the media that it was handled years ago when it occurred? I sincerely hope that recent events such as the repeal of DADT did not influence this decision--if it did, then you sir are hazarding a capital warship and thousands of lives in that strike group by removing her CO weeks before deployment.
Again, I do not question your decision, I question the timing and the judgment. I hope that we can do better next time, because trust me Admiral, Social Media isn't going away...
VR,
Salty Gator

Anonymous said...

Admiral,
I will dispense with the usual "With All Due Respect..BS" because quite frankly there is none. I am disgusted by your actions and the actions of the rest of the senior leadership of the Navy. You have thrown an outstanding leader under the bus to appease the political left, and protect your career.

I don't know the whole history...but I have seen that CAPT Honors received a letter of reprimand for the skits. That in itself was wrong, but yet another officer covering his ass. It is obvious what the skits were aimed at...emproving morale...and I bet they were effective. Now 4 years later, you throw a good man under the bus, even before the investigation is complete.

I am a former Navy Officer, and have never been so glad to be out...I saw it when I was in, so many officers more concerned with avoiding controversy, preserving their career and covering their ass, instead of preparing for war. You are further reinforcing an environment where the biggest threat to Naval Officers is their senior officers rather than the enemy of the day.

I saw the perfect statement in another blog...when the sheepdogs start acting like sheep, the wolves will win every time. It is clear, your actions demonstrate you are just another sheep, dressed in the uniform of a Naval Officer. Baa

Anonymous said...

Dear Adm Hayward:

I know this was not an easy decision for you. You had these videos thrown at the public, described as "Troublesome", "Lewd", "Raunchy". Some even called them "anti-gay". yet they were clearly taken out of context, several years old, and in real terms, in all appearances extremely effective in the way they were utilized to enhance crew morale on a ship that had been many months at sea.

Was the temptation so great to use this as an example and strong message to all the COs, XOs, and Flag Officers out there? That the Navy accepts only ONE style of leadership, no matter what the circumstances, that one must apply the "Washington Post Test" to any and every decision or policy?

Based on Capt Honor's past performance and effectiveness, was there not some way to make this a "teachable moment" and save the crew of the Enterprise from losing probably their best opportunity to have a successful deployment?

v/r Bruce Sheppard USN(ret)

Anonymous said...

I see several complaints stating the admiral acted too hastily in relieving CAPT Honors. Folks, the ENTERPRISE is set for deployment in mere months. If there was going to be a change in leadership, it had to happen immediately. The crew deserves better than to be kept in the dark as to who will lead them on the deployment, and they deserve to a have a captain who is fully up-to-speed before the ship leaves the dock. Once the decision was made to relieve the captain, there was no need to drag it out. In this case, time truly was of the essence.

Anonymous said...

From the support of CAPT Honors by the active side of the Navy it appears that many consider his actions to be acceptable.
This brings in to question is Senior Navy Leadership out of touch with what is acceptable behavior?? Or, have the EEO and Diversity programs failed in teaching the sailors what is acceptable behavior and what is not acceptable behavior?

Anonymous said...

Admiral,

Looking at this and all the responses from the side of being post command, I think your response was dead on. I am sure CAPT Honors is a good man and a good leader, but that he thought it was all right to start of with denigrating those who followed the Navy's procedures for complaints really made me question whether if I were SN Timmy or Susie I would be able to address a problem with my chain of command. I am equally horrified by the shower piece -- I see where it may have seemed a good idea at the time, but every time he used the "chicks in a shower bit" beyond the water hours message, he undermined the authority of the female officers as it objectified them. I think a lot of the people complaining the firing was due to use of perjorative words miss that he held people he was responsble for up to be looked at not as Naval officers (and this includes the male officers for our female Sailors on board) but as sex objects. His department heads as filthy and as buffoons. Just because a majority of the crew was amused, not offended did not make it right -- this is the Navy not SNL. He was the XO, not Don Pardo.

I am uncomfortable with the time gap -- we argue we are not a zero defect organization, and unless he continued to behave like this in the subsequent command tour, why did we not see if he had learned? Or were there other red flags?

One last query, was he counseled at the time? Was the last video after the counseling? You may not be able to comment, as much of that has to do with privacy. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Admiral,
As a currently serving commanding officer, I can now more fully appreciate the thought process you had to go through to arrive at your decision. It is painful, and difficult to take adverse action against an otherwise fine Naval officer. I initially joined the Army in the early 80s and can attest to the fact that the culture was vastly different than what it is today. The military as a whole is now much better now as an institution than when I first came in and we are continually getting better thanks to leaders that have made it so. Appreciate your leadership.

Anonymous said...

Admiral,

What a frustrating situation! It seems that an effective officer will lose command of a national asset just as it is set to deploy. Of course, CAPT Honors had to be relieved, but the timing and process leaves much to be desired. And there's still more it come...

The actual content of the video almost doesn't matter (from what I've seen, I find some of it really funny and some of it rather offensive) in light of CAPT Honors' own statements.

“As usual, I want to say that the captain and the admiral ... don't know anything at all about the content of this video or the movie this evening, and they should absolutely not be held accountable in any judicial setting." First off, any video that you preface with this comment will probably result in someone being held accountable (eventually at least). Second - and going back to the post about the Leadership Triad, why would you openly state that as XO you are not on the same page as the CO? It's self-nullifying - or a slander against the CO. Imagine an LPO getting up in front of the division and prefacing his comments or actions with "The Chief and Divo don't know about this, so don't hold them accountable." How long would that LPO last?

‎"Over the years, I've gotten several complaints about inappropriate materials in these videos, never to me personally but, gutlessly, through other channels. This evening, all of you bleeding hearts ... why don't you just go ahead and hug yourself for the next 20 minutes or so, because there's a really good chance you're going to be offended tonight." Okay, he didn't feel that his video should have offended anyone and therefore any complaints were unfounded. I would disagree, but can understand the difference in opinion. The problem is the XO's characterization of using "other channels" (CMEO, IG hotline, Chaplain?) as gutless. I think those programs are specifically set up for a situation like this, and bad mouthing these Navy programs does not a good XO make.

{As an aside concerning the skits themselves, I remember a 60 minutes interview with Jerry Seinfeld who stated, "All humor is cruel." The funniest humor is also the most cruel - something the leaders ought to be aware of.}

Accountability for XO videos and its fallout four years later must reach higher than CAPT Honors alone. What could be the explanation by the chain of command from four years ago? "We knew, but only cared enough to tell him to stop so that people would stop complaining. We had no idea that in the 21st century that a offended or disgruntled Sailor might make a copy of the video onto something called a "CD" or "thumb drive" from which it could be posted on another thing called "Youtube" or "CNN.com" in accordance with what we hear is called Murphy's Law. It never crossed our mind that the possible offended or disgruntled Sailor might post the "video" at the worst possible time, which would make us look stupid by relieving the officer of command just prior to deployment, but four years after we thought we had taken care of the matter." This a huge leadership fail on the part of anyone in the chain of command who saw the videos at the time.

But the biggest leadership fail on the part of the chain of command from four years ago is that they did not stop things after the 1st video and mentor an officer who seems to have been quite an effective warfighter. What a waste of money and talent as a result! Developing Sailors is a priority for the Navy, and I think that goes for all ranks, E1 to O10. Of course, if such mentorship was given and not taken by CAPT Honors, the question would be how he was given command afterwards.

The accountability of CAPT Honors' chain of command remains to be seen. I understand from your statement that the investigation is ongoing.

Thank you for listening.

VR/scott

Anonymous said...

Admiral

I am a retired Navy officer. While understanding your explanation of why you made that decision, I - like many others here - am troubled by the timing and nature.

From my limited knowledge of this situation, CAPT Honors stopped making these videos several years ago when (someone) told him they were inappropriate.

Let's assume thta he internalized that guidance and realized that somewhere he'd crossed a line on good taste and judgement. Let's also assume that he changed his behavior and did not ever do it again. That's probably a fair assumption as NO ONE has come forward with any evidence of videos or skits subsequent to that time.

To me, that decision - and changing his ways - indicates good judgement, not bad judgement. Have we reached a point in our Navy where we do not allow someone to recover from a mistake and become a better person, a better leader and a better officer?

What's done is done - I'm not trying to change your mind as there's no going back - but I for one would appreciated the opportunity to serve with CAPT Honors. I look forward to following his future career - most likely outside the Navy - as some innovative enterprise will most surely snap him up!

IC2(SW) CVN 74 said...

“Perception is reality” is one of the most persistent phrases I heard in my four years as a junior enlisted sailor (you know, one of the guys who keeps the ships running so all you admirals can keep getting paid?). For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it means that the perception of the ranking chief or officer is more important than actual reality. I saw this used time and again by officers and senior enlisted who were too stupid or lazy or arrogant to actually bother finding out the truth of a situation before responding to it. I spent countless hours projecting a “positive image” while maintenance was neglected, sailors went untrained and the carrier I was on passed inspection after inspection with flying colors. The Navy hasn’t been tested since the Second World War, and it’s rotten from the inside out. When the time comes and we have to face an enemy in combat, the dead weight in leadership will become apparent as sailors die.
There were exceptions, good leaders who put the ship, the mission and the crew ahead of their own careers or personal desires, but they were few and far between, and I seldom saw them advance to high rank. I won’t pretend to understand the pressures and demands of flag rank; I chose to leave rather than try to succeed in a system I hated succeeding in. Because by the time I left I found myself leading my sailors based on how we would be perceived by those of higher rank. I was very successful, considered one of the top sailors in my division, but I knew that that was only appearance and I couldn’t live with the reality that deceiving superiors had become a required skill for anyone who wanted to advance. If perception is reality, here’s the perception of your junior sailors you’re supposed to be leading. You have no idea what’s going on, and you don’t really care as long as your career is protected. Captain Honors did something stupid. He put the moral of his crew (yes, those lowly apes in the engine rooms, storerooms and other places that don’t have carpet) ahead of his own career, and seems to have lost honor only to others of his rank who rush to agree with those above them. Things like this are the reason I left the Navy, and the reason I’ll never go back.
I apologize if I seem a little bitter, it’s the result of four years of being lied to and threatened on a daily basis by the kind of leadership you seem to want. The only way I knew to work through the overwhelming oppressiveness of Navy “leadership” was by having a good sense of humor, and laughing at the things I couldn’t change. Halfway through my last deployment, laughter was secured by the COC, and I lost my coping mechanism. I developed health problems and my leadership suffered, my sailors suffered, and the millions of dollars of vital equipment that we maintained suffered. Something to think about.

Steve Ortman said...

Neither your statement above nor your statement to the press says what about the videos caused you to lose confidence in the Captain. This smacks of evasiveness and does not mitigate the impression that I have that you are bowing to the Gods of political correctness and throwing a man who is by all accounts a good man and a fine officer under the bus. What would it have taken to get you to stand up and fight for one of your subordinates that needed help? Doesn't 20 years of commendable service earn a guy a little company loyalty and support?

What was it specifically about the videos that you found so egregious 3 years after the fact to relieve him? Why if this decision was so seemingly clear to you did other officers that had direct contact with the video not (apparently) feel the same way? If I were to suggest that you were turning your back on this officer because the heat is on, what have you to say that would cure me of this misconception?

Edgar said...

I wonder how we have come to lose the capacity to laugh at ourselves? I wonder if the creators of such smugness in our warrior environments would ever sustain the horrid heat of battle at such places as Stalingrad or Tarawa? Is each squadron, ship, ballalion, etc., to be the replica of board rooms in civil society? Is the humorous rowdyness of a "band of brothers and sisters" now prohibited? I think most folks understand the politics of the new age - whatever that is - but, that few, if any, would knowingly with intent harm or insult those mates among their crews. But, lastly, I wonder if we have any very senior officers left who would utter those immortal words: "Damn the torpedoes -full speed ahead"! Uncle Sam's "rod & gun club" is about fighting - or, the capacity to fight. Good esprit is part of that. We would do well to keep that in mind.

retnavychief said...

I just now got to watch the video of the interview with Phillip Ciesla and felt obligated to comment. I am a re...tired Navy Veteran who supports Captain Honors.
There were questions on why the shower scenes in the videos helped morale that I thought Phillip Ciesla did not answer quite well. First, everything in those videos poked fun at aspects of Navy life aboard ship, and it was poked from the view of an Officer showing that all were in the same situation. The shower scenes are a parody of water, a commodity we take for granted as civilians. Ships have to make their own fresh water and it is always in limited quantities. Ships go on water hours where water use is restricted and sometimes there isn't any for days at a time.
When water is available there is a rush to use the showers which are also limited. There is also pressure problems that makes for fluctuating flow. Captain Owens in his shower parody pokes fun at these conditions by showing t...hat Officer Quarters suffer the same discomforts. He goes and attempts to shower. He has trouble with the pressure in his shower, XO's have their own. He then radios to the engine room to complain and is most likely informed there is a pressure problem in his shower and they are on it. So he then begins an adventure to find a shower that is unused. His difficulty in finding one not occupied and the dual occupation in most is to poke fun at the experience felt by the whole. Life is hard on ship. The Captain has cleverly used that realization to make fun of it and help the crew relieve their stress from it. Everything in his videos is a parody of life aboard ship. His alter egos point out the friendly yet harsh competitive camaraderie between officers who serve different roles. The Captain implies he as XO has to serve several roles as do many of the crew and it is refreshing to see in that parody he understands. Just that alone raises ones morale tremendously. The different roles are most often accusing each other of being more important than the other. Referring to a particular role as being gayer than another is not a gay bashing thing, it's an unfortunate play on words to say that one particular shipboard role is more salty ( sailor like) than another. The Captain uses that to show the crew that the same friendly ribbing is also in the Officer ranks. The masturbation stuff though crude, points out that in close quarters there is difficulty with sexual tensions and finding a way or place to relieve them. If anybody thinks that young men and women in the prime of their sexual activity years simply stop or stop thinking about sex for 6 to 9 months when deployed, they are in fantasy land. The masturbation parody brings humor to the fact that they don't and it shows the crew that Officers are no different. There was a time in the Navy where Officers were made out to be celibate priests that were above any human frailties. Captain Honors lets the crew see that they are all in the same close quarter in harms way condition. It brings you together much closer than any civilian can imagine. Heterosexual male veterans say that the camaraderie amongst them is the closest to being gay without being so. Even today there are individuals that I have served with in an environment such as Captain Honors created that I am still close with. It's a bond that will never be broken. The majority of young men and women like Phillip Ciesla that have served with Captain Honors feel cheated of that bond.

Anonymous said...

*Administrator's note: This comment was moved from another thread.

I'm sorry that you saw it in the best interest of the Navy to relieve one of the best CO's someone could have. I think you made the wrong call there sailor!!!!

Tom said...

Admiral.

You did the right thing, something that should have been done four years ago when Honors was XO. There is no place for this nonsense in the military or in civilian practice. Is the military held to a higher standard, damn right, and we should be proud that it is.

I was a young aircrew-man during the cold war on the USS America CV66, we never needed crap like that for morale purposes through the ships limited TV systems. And this is in the day when sailors waited weeks for letters from home, not in today's email, internet, and satellite communications Navy!

I would expect this nonsense from wet behind the ears junior officers, not someone that's groomed for and promoted to command. Having seen the spat of commanding officers relieved for fraternization and other incidents the past couple years, I have to wonder what is being taught at the academy and how these officers are mentored as they grow.

Those that are defending Honors need to pull up their britches, get to work, and grow up.


Tom

Anonymous said...

Now that CAPT Honors has issued a statement that calls into question who knew what and when did they know it (and I have no reason to suspect the man is lying), the dust won't be settling until a few flag officers are called to stand tall before the man and account for their (in)actions. It appears the effort to push responsibility as far down the food chain as it could plausibly go did not work in this case. (Note: this tactic doesn't work well in the private sector, either.)

That's not to say that relieving Honors on the eve of deployment was the wrong call. In fact, it was the right call given the need for immediate action and given the information available from the limited investigation that could be conducted given The E's deployment schedule. But now that it seems his actions had the approval of his seniors, perhaps restoring his command is in order. If not The E, then another CVN? Then again the argument needs to be made that Honors should have know better than to make the videos whether his bosses knew what was going on or not; the man has to account for his own actions.

I will be following the remainder of this saga with great interest.

YNC(SW)(AW) Bernie Burawski, USN, Retired said...

Admiral,

It appears that the ONLY reason you acted was because of the media publicity which is perceived by many to be disingenuous. I can't help thinking that if you had found out about the videos but they were not publicized in the media would you still have taken the actions you have with regard to relieving CAPT Honors? I believe that the media was the driving force in your actions and not the production of the videos by CAPT Honors. I'm not alone. CAPT Honors has over 26,000 followers supporting him on his Support CAPT Honors Facebook page.

Anonymous said...

I am the mother of a junior officer, posting anonymously because wouldn't want my son to suffer because of my opinion. I am appalled that a man of Capt. Honors' talent and proficiency has been removed from command for an incident that happened 4 years ago. Capt. Honors' actions were either acceptable or unacceptable to the Navy at that point in time, and it's clear that this uproar was an obvious reaction to media exposure. Someone wanted Capt. Honors off the Enterprise, and he or she succeeded. In the meantime, we civilians have lost a valuable and experienced leader who by all accounts was much loved by his crew, and it's been posted frequently that they would follow him through fire. That's the kind of guy I want leading my son into battle, and if I had a son or daughter on that ship I'd be quite concerned as they head to sea during wartime under new and unfamiliar leadership.

The timing of this whole debacle stinks--the Navy isn't fooling anyone. It's clear to even we stupid civilians that this matter had long since been addressed by the Navy and the Navy is only embarrassed by media exposure. So let's throw a talented and dedicated leader under the bus, and never mind that it ruins his life.

The media digs these things out, ruins people's lives to sell a few newspapers, then moves blithely on to the next victim. If Capt. Honors had committed a crime I'd have little sympathy for him, but his only crime was his effort to boost morale on his ship. He was not deserving of the horrific media exposure he experienced, nor was his family. It makes me furious as an American that the media is responsible for such garbage in this country, and that they have the unchecked power to ruin lives, even innocent ones. This incident was not news-not now and not 4 years ago. It was an in-house issue that should have been resolved by the Navy.

Most of us are only civilians and perhaps you are right that we don't understand everything about the responsibilities of the higher command. However clueless we may be, we are still capable of smelling a rat and there's a big one lurking here.

Anonymous said...

Adm Hayward:

I personally appreciate your efforts to handle this significant incident in an honest, above-board manner.

As to the issue of "context", there appears to be a small movement afoot by the gay members of Enterprise to show that Capt. Honors and his skits were NOT gay bashing or homophobic in any way, and that his attempts to lighten up life on station were greatly appreciated.

My reference: http://www.wtkr.com/videobeta/6dc57b78-ee6f-4eba-b29d-c810ba4cd7ea/News/Gay-former-Enterprise-sailor-defends-Capt-Owen-Honors

Thank you for your continued attention to this matter, I believe we ALL hope it will be settled to the greatest benefit of both the Navy and the Country.

v/rspy
Bruce Sheppard USN(ret)