Capt. Owen Honors, the Navy’s foremost ship videographer, was already ousted as commander of the USS Enterprise. Now, after investigating the videos featured sailors making fun of The Gays and simulating sex, the Navy is throwing down the hammer even harder on Honors and others involved in producing and spreading his videos, or at least turned a blind eye to it.
The most serious actions were a recommendation that the Navy secretary place “letters of censure” in the files of Honors as well as senior Navy officers including Rear Adms. Lawrence Rice and Ron Horton, who were commanders of the Enterprise when Honors, then the ship’s second-in-command, was making and showing the videos. Also facing a possible career-damaging letter of censure is Capt. John Dixon, former executive officer of Enterprise who held that second-in-command position after Honors. Such censure could have a devastating impact on careers, and might result in loss of rank and reduction of retirement income.
Adm. John Harvey, the head of Fleet Forces Command, said in Norfolk Thursday afternoon that the investigation is now complete. “This is a very big deal,” Harvey said of the actions the Navy already has begun. Harvey said he met face-to-face with the top officers in recent days to discuss the actions he is seeking against them. “I was dealt this hand and it was my duty to play it,” Harvey said about the investigation he headed. In addition to the top brass, the admiral said he was sending nonpunitive “letters of caution” to 32 officers and sailors who helped produce and broadcast the videos. Those letters will not become part of permanent files for those individuals. He said nonpunitive letters of caution should be placed in the files of Rear Adm. Raymon Spicer, now retired and Vice Adm. Daniel Holloway, who had been commanders of the Enterprise Strike Group.
What lessons can we learn here? For starters, putting iMovie on the iPad is not a good idea for our troops. We don’t need some amateurs following in Owens’ footsteps.