What happens at sea does not stay at sea, Navy Capt. Owen Honors recently discovered. During 2006 and 2007, when Honors was the executive officer (second in command) of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, he created and starred in videos that included female crew members showering together, anti-gay slurs, profanity, simulated masturbation, and other scenes fit for a frat house, if anywhere. The videos were shown during movie nights and apparently intended to raise morale. Honors is now commander of the Enterprise, which was scheduled to deploy within weeks, until the Virginian-Pilot released the videos last Saturday on its website, putting the captain's post in jeopardy. The Navy first downplayed the videos but later said they were launching an investigation. Earlier today, the Associated Press reported that defense officials said the captain would be relieved of command. An official announcement is expected this afternoon. [Check out a roundup of political cartoons on Don't Ask, Don't Tell.]
At least two Facebook pages have sprouted up in support of the captain, with more than 8,000 followers. “The funniest videos I have ever seen,” says one post under the name Erica Foltz Herbert. “And official reprimand maybe but relieveing [sic] him of duty is way overboard…”
“He should be praised for looking after this crew’s morale…” says another post.
But others are concerned that a high-ranking military official’s behavior more closely represents that of a college boy. "When the ship pulls away from that pier, he's it," one officer told the Virginia-Pilot. "To me, that's scary."
"In his defense, I'll say that sometimes, when you've been out to sea for a while, cut off from everything, you start to think things that you would never normally do are actually a good idea," the ship’s videographer told the Virginian-Pilot."You do stupid stuff to stay sane."
But is this stupid stuff enough for Honors to lose his post? What do you think? Is it fair for Captain Honors to lose command of the Enterprise? Take our poll and post your thoughts below.
Previously: Should Congress Raise the Debt Ceiling?