Saturday, January 1, 2011

CO USS ENTERPRISE under investigation

The Navy announced on 31 December 2010 that it had opened an investigation into "inappropriate videos"  produced by the CO of USS ENTERPRISE while he was the Executive Officer.  The Navy doesn't have much of a sense of humor nor any tolerance in the current political climate for this type of thing.  Captain Owen Honors could be the first CO in 2011 to experience his senior's "loss of confidence" in his ability to command.  He is a 1983 graduate of the United States Naval Academy.  He assumed command of USS ENTERPRISE on 6 May 2010.

36 comments:

Rubber Ducky said...

http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/272467

One sick dude, I'd say...

Previous CO (& RADM-select) Ron Horton's not off the hook on this either.

Anonymous said...

This guy clearly lacked the expected judgement of a good leader. What a joke that this has been swept under the rug for so long. Another idiot that brought discredit to himself and the US Navy and will take countless hours of training and oversight to make sure loss of big flick casualties like this do not happen again.

The CPO Mess said...

I am certain he would not have gotten away with any of this BS with Master Chief Oxley. The Master Chief does not suffer fools lightly. Especially officers.

Anonymous said...

Our friend Larry Rice is going to have some of this stink on him also. This investigation is going to take some time. We'll have two more skippers fired before Owen gets the boot.

Rubber Ducky said...

CNN has picked this up: http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/01/02/navy.videos/index.html?hpt=C1

Anonymous said...

"The responsibility of commanding officers for their units and Sailors is absolute," said Capt. Chuck Hollingsworth, Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) commanding officer. "Their ability to accomplish the mission while taking care of their people is taken very seriously throughout every enterprise in the Navy.

Looks like Rice is going to have a little trouble here. Flag protection society will have to rally.

Rubber Ducky said...

Correct my first comment. Rice is the skipper on the hook during this mess. (Had assumed wrongly that Honors was a direct fleet-up.)

Rubber Ducky said...

And note that Rice now works for John Harvey, who is doing the investigation. I'd pay a lot of money for that conversation.

Best link yet, with video: http://hamptonroads.com/2010/12/raunchy-videos-starring-enterprise-skipper-come-light?cid=srch

ENTERPRISE SAILOR said...

Captain Honor is a good man. I'd hate to see him go down over this.

Anonymous said...

I don't think we can expect Captain Honors to implement the policy for integrating gays and lesbians on ENTERPRISE. This is sad behavior for a man responsible for the leadership of 5000 men and women.

Anonymous said...

I retired after 26 years in 1991. I have been following this good captain's blog for one year now. Maybe all this bs happened during my time -- I don't know. I do not remember hearing about CO's being relieved with such regularity. As I recall a CO usually got relieved for a grounding or running into a pier -- not for morality issues as now. It is very saddening to see all these leaders lose their careers for the lack of judgement they are displaying. I don't know, maybe the internet and instant information has enabled these incidents to come to the fore. What is clear is that a lack of moral standards coupled with piss poor judgement is the perfect recipe for throwing a career over the side.

gene miller cpo usn (ret)

JOPA said...

If a JO or Sailor did this, they would already be GONE !!

Anonymous said...

JOPA said..."If a JO or Sailor did this, they would already be GONE !!"

Wonder what happened to everyone who left fingerprints on this one - http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1919939

Anonymous said...

I'm willing to bet anyone a turkey dinner that this guy is toast.

sick and tired of this said...

I would love to see this clown run Captain's Mast on some poor Sailor and counsel him on "better adult decision making".

I would venture that the crew has lost confidence in the ability to lead of this 'great aviator, superb XO, etc, etc'.

Anonymous said...

For Rubber Ducky: RDML Rice is the J5 at Joint Forces Command and not assigned to Fleet Forces Command.

The related article in the Virginian-Pilot also identifies RADM Spicer and VADM Holloway as having been the strike group commanders during this time. How far up the chain should / could this go based on an apparent "Navy" knowledge of the videos.

Sounds like it may be another version of people getting caught after looking the other way because, after all, boys will be boys.

ADMIRAL MULLEN WEIGHS IN said...

That kind of performance from a senior officer is "disappointing,'' Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a brief interview Monday. But Mullen stressed that he hadn't "seen all the facts.''

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

This behavior was dealt with in the past by his superiors. Shouldn't the case be closed?

Anonymous said...

CAPT Cryp - I am not following your logic on your 3 Jan post. If it was dealt with previously was the outcome of "dealing with it" to be given command of the big E?

gene miller cpo usn (ret)

Anonymous said...

Ladies, ladies -

Let's not get those panties in a knot just yet. Let the Navy investigate. Yes, it may have been bad judgment. A ?crime?. I don't think so. Captain Honors will live to fight another day. Cast off lines, USS Enterprise has important work to do. Owen is the right guy to take them on deployment. It's in the best interest of the Navy. Being XO and being CO, for those who know, are very different animals. He's the skipper now. Let him do the job he was called to do.

Rubber Ducky said...

"For Rubber Ducky: RDML Rice is the J5 at Joint Forces Command and not assigned to Fleet Forces Command."

I think we're both wrong, Believe he retired a month ago or so some blogs report. He was relieved late 2010 at (correct) Joint Forces Command.

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

Chief Miller,

It is being reported that some action was taken again CDR Owen Honors while he was XO and XO movie night ceased. I don't know what action was taken against him. His superiors may have given him a letter of counseling, a verbal reprimand, or simply told to "knock it off." I don't think we can go back and impose some other sanction on him at this point. I don't condone his actions (any of them) and to use President Obama's words - "I think 'the officer' acted stupidly". The rush to judgment should be tempered with a willingness to allow the Navy to investigate and determine what was done previously. That is all I am suggesting.

General Quarters said...

Poor judgement, for sure, especially on the part of the CO for allowing his XO to produce such video. However, timing and main stream media publicity of this incident is intriguing. Looks like a major instance of "gayback" to me. And as we all know, its a bitch.

Now, that the revolution has succeeded, Madame Guillotine is revealed. She is not pleased.

Anonymous said...

Any bets on when the official bio online is replaced with "under construction" ??

Whenever it happens...won't be soon enough. Guess he wasn't paying attention as a JO during the worst of the post-Tailhook fun....

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Rubber Ducky for the update on RDML Rice. The JFCOM J5 now is RDML Aquilino.

I am confused, though, by the comments from the person who wants unknotted panties and reminds us that being XO and being CO are very different animals. No argument.

However, the differences in the jobs don't allow / permit separate standards in judgment and leadership.

(Leaving this room shaking my head.)

Rubber Ducky said...

ABC News says he's to be 'temporarily relieved' tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

OK, so I watched 3-4 minutes of the expurgated video and found it slightly amusing, although as a civilian I don't get the inside jokes. Off-color certainly, but not obnoxiously so. The "gay slurs" come from his mocking of Aviator vs. SWO stereotypes - guess which calls the other what? Maybe the rest is worse, but I can't say I found it terribly offensive.

It doesn't seem that different than some of the JO videos you see floating around on the web, like "I'm on a Boat" linked by Anonymous@4:47pm. On the other hand I suppose the XO is held to different standards.

Anonymous said...

Apparently it IS different if you're the XO. MSNBC is reporting that Capt. Honors has been "temporarily" relieved of his command while the investigation proceeds.

Anonymous said...

Captain Cryptology-
You are correct....rush to judgement should not be made. That being said, in this utterly absurd PC world we are forced to live in now, you have got to think that out of a crew of a few thousand sailors, someone is going to take offense and air their displeasure. It's sad since it appears that this officer was predominantly well liked and respected by his crew.

gene miller cpo usn (ret)

Norfolk Chapter of the SADD said...

The Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions mission is to provide military members of all branches with the best prevention and intervention tools possible to deal with the issues of drinking, reckless driving, and other destructive decisions while maintaining good order and discipline, to assist sailors in making life decisions that will maintain positive lifestyles in keeping with the Navy’s core values, to guide sailors away from making poor and destructive decisions by providing them with positive and dynamic training and to show sailors how to make quick positive decisions and put their training to use in moments of high stress and peer pressure.

Captain Owen may have benefited from:

The “Stop and Think” campaign is a program designed to create a visual and thought- provoking tool to help Sailors realize the need to take a few extra seconds to consider the results of their decisions rather than making a short-fused decision that could have life changing implications or loss of life.

Chris Hauser said...

I am a retired LCDR and I have been following this story for a couple of days now. I watched the abbreviated version that the VA Pilot is showing. There is nothing wrong with his "XO Movie Night". It is slightly off color, but nothing worse than on Saturday Night Live or at any movie theater. He built Esprit De Corps, he motivated, he teased and he made fun of what happens every night in every head on the ship. I am referring to "spanking the chicken" not the couple showers. But lets be real. We all know that goes on, there is no way to stop it, just punish it when it really happens. I served with an A6 driver as CO of BATAAN, CAPT Allard. He was a lot like Honors and I would have walked into hell and spit in the Devil's eye if I thought that is what he wanted. Honors is the same way. He inspires his crew, he jokes about the SWO/Aviator rivalry. No big deal, but someone got their feelings hurt, or didn't want to go on deployment so they "leaked" the videos. They started a witchhunt over something that happened 4 years ago and was dealt with then. We have to realize that we need warriors that will fight and will lead. We don't need PC lapdogs that will not take risks. Warfighting is about risks and having your crew/squadmates/shipmates at your back when the going gets rough. He did that, and did it well. Big E won the Battle E, the Battenburg Cup, passed a 3M inspection and an INSURV while he was XO. The XO is a big part of all of those inspections and the ship did well. So, if its results we are judged by, he got them and got them in spades. If it is PC we want then we have non risk takers that will only do what is safe. A carrier/big deck amphib is a stressful world. I am glad we have leaders like Honors and Allard. Too bad we don't have admirals like that.
Now that I have had my say, standing by for the flamespraying that I know is coming. Sincerely Chris Hauser.
PS -- note that I didn't use anonymous. I stand by what I say.

Anonymous said...

Admiral John C. Harvey Jr., Commander of Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia announced that Captain Honors has been relieved of his command.

Admiral Harvey said Captain Honors' "profound lack of good judgment and professionalism while previously serving as executive officer on Enterprise calls into question his character and completely undermines his credibility to continue to serve effectively in command." The admiral said naval officers are "held to a higher standard" and "our leaders must be above reproach and our Sailors deserve nothing less."

He said Captain Honors is being replaced because of "the inappropriate actions demonstrated in the videos."

Captain Honors is being replaced as the carrier's commander by Captain Dee Mewbourne.

Jeffrey said...

I am in agreement with Chris Hauser. I am a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer and I watched the VA Pilot video. I found it humorous and it was not offensive. I have worked for good CO's and XO's and not so good CO's and XO'. The good ones knew how to lead and inspire the crew.

If you have never been on a deployment then you would not understand what it is really like. You have to do things to kill the monotony. Maybe you would like to stand your watch, eat, sleep, and do your job all the time with nothing to lighten the mood. If you did that, guess what, you would be a boring and unhappy individual. So doing something such as CAPT. Honors did was done in a joking manner which was supposed to raise crew morale. So I also believe that some individual "leaked" this in order to start a "witch hunt."

Anonymous said...

Get over yourselves. I know many men and women that worked for CAPT. Honors and they would all follow him to hell and back.

Poor judgement...maybe.

Every person on this post has made a worse decision than this and got away with it. The only thing this man is guilty of is going a little to far in trying to entertain his sailors. I wish him the best and I hope to serve with him someday.

Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

Having been an enlisted Sailor for 24 years and also having the honor to serve under many Captains, some whose names are no longer recalled; because the God of that ship or command needed no name, he was the Captain. That was then, and this is now, when it seems as though the Captain, in a number of recent events has dishonored his Godly status, and is now only another mortal Sailor. Nearly every enlisted Sailor needed and thrived on the leadership and impeccable conduct that was presented by his Captain, and the Captains next in command. Having lived for many years trying to defend such things as, drunk as a Sailor, we must now face a new challenge to defend the Navy against the civilian understanding of “loss of confidence to command”.

Very Respectfully,

Navyman834
E. A. Hughes, FTCM (SS)
USN (Retired)

Lester May said...

On this side of the pond there is great respect for the US Navy. It is thus sad to read of four-stripe captains being dismissed from command, although there seems no doubt that go they should. The poor leadership and judgment shown by Captain Honors and, last year, by Captain Graf, was shocking. Fewer than one per cent of the US Navy’s 1,500 commanding officers are relieved of command each year but, given the detailed reporting systems available on potential commanders, that seems high.

Sea command is a rare privilege and carries with it the power to mould or mar the characters of many; sailors know just how important to a happy and efficient ship are a captain's competence, leadership and integrity. I don’t know if my good captains had read The Royal Navy Officers' Pocket-Book 1944, but the advice on leadership it contains is written in beautiful prose and stands for all time. How true that one should "Never forget that Ratings have few rights; but they definitely have got a right to good Officers."

I am not sure these videos are appropriate from any official, or demi-official source. But they are certainly not appropriate when organised by an XO, a four-stripe captain. These films are the stuff of junior officers and men, not mature senior officers. They cannot be construed as good leadership in any way.

Let's hope that the US Navy soon resumes a steady course, in pursuit of the freedom of the seas and the freedoms of all.

Lester May
Lieutenant-Commander, Royal Navy (retired) - served 1967-89
Camden Town, London NW1, England