Thursday, January 06, 2011

USS Enterprise skipper goes boldly indeed

The USS Enterprise (CVN-65) is the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. At 342m, she is the longest naval vessel afloat in the world. She displaces over 93,000 long tons and is due to be decommissioned in 2013 after serving for 51 consecutive years, the most of any U.S. aircraft carrier. The "Big E" is one of 11 Aircraft Carriers currently in US naval service and to command her is one of the most coveted assignments in the entire Navy.

The fortunate officer to hold the assignment of master and commander most recently was Captain Owen Honors who relieved Captain Ronald Horton on May 6th last year. He was due to take the massive vessel and her more than 5000 crew to the Middle East to support Operation: Enduring Freedom in the coming weeks. However, now he will not because - yes you guessed it - he fucked up!

Apparently Capt. Honors, while previously serving as the XO of the Enterprise, produced some non-standard videos in '06/'07 to entertain the crew. OK enough PC bullshit - the man made risqué videos where he constantly swore, insulted homosexuals, appeared with two "chicks" in the shower, observed two male sailors rubbing lotion on each other in another shower and a considerable amount of simulated masturbation. Basically he did everything save dressing up in drag and fondle fake breasts like Gary Busey did in Under Siege. Honors did however wear a dressing gown where it was suggested he wasn't wearing underwear - so maybe I'll leave it up to you to decide which is worse.

Naturally, the videos were never supposed to see the light of day outside the environment of the USS Enterprise. Lucas, they weren't even supposed to be seen by the ship's CO and Honors even takes the time to provide a "disclaimer" with the intent of absolving his superiors of any repercussions from the videos. However, these things always come to light don't they? Someone who was no doubt offended by the content provided the Virginian-Pilot newspaper with all it needed to break the story in its Sunday editions and to post an edited version of one video on its website.

"It's no worse then anything you'd see on Saturday Night Live or the Family Guy," said Houston native Misty Davis, who worked on the Enterprise's weapons systems during her 2006-2010 tour and is one of a growing band of staunch supporters of Capt. Honors to emerge in the past few days. The Navy top brass however were suitably unimpressed with the information released and were quick to launch an investigation.

Tuesday afternoon, Admiral John Harvey, Commander, Fleet Forces Command, relieved Honors in disgrace for demonstrating exceptionally poor judgment. Harvey stated that despite Honors’ incident free performance as CO, the admiral thinks his lack of professionalism calls into question his character and undermines his credibility to continue to effectively command. Captain Dee Mewborne, currently Chief of Staff for US Cyber Command and former USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CO, will replace Honors for the Enterprise's final overseas deployment.

One particular point that emerged is most interesting - that Capt. Honors was apparently told to stop his personal brand of entertainment in 2007 some years before he was elevated to CO himself. This leads to the question that if Captain Horton knew about the videos, did Horton's superior, the Carrier Strike Group Commander know too? And if so, why did Horton [now a Rear-Admiral] or Rear Admiral [now Vice Admiral] Daniel Holloway, Enterprise Strike Group commander in ’07, not take the necessary disciplinary action against Honors at the time? Were they saving their own skin or protecting their predecessors Captain [now Rear-Admiral] Larry Rice who was Enterprise CO before Horton took command in '07 and Rear Admiral (lower half) [now Rear Admiral] Ray Spicer, Commander, Enterprise Strike Group during it's 2006 deployment for not knowing about the videos or not acting upon them? Suspicious indeed, one would think that after Tailhook they'd have learned something.

Conspiracy theories aside, it is not uncommon for humorous “skit” videos to be produced by troops for the troops on board a ship/sub or even a base. It’s morale boosting and team building, as well as harmless fun provided of course that you use some measure of common sense and don't go out of the way to target a certain group of people [unless it's the french]. Now I may not agree myself with openly gay servicemen in the military, but neither would I condone the way they’ve been treated in Captain Honors' videos. By virtue of his grade he should clearly have known better; once you get the "eagles" on your shoulder you’re in a special class of officer and gentleman – not one that simulates being naked with only a shower cap on and calling people under your command cowards for complaining about the gay-bashing anonymously. You are a leader, a commander, you inspire courage, morale and dignity not parade around like an idiot in costumes for the entertainment of the..., I'm actually going to stop there.

See two of Captain Honors' full videos here and here.

Source: Fox News/ABC/Sky

1 comment:

Constance said...

You'd think with a name like "Honors"...

my word verification is "rongst"