Fired Navy commander: My bosses knew about raunchy videos
Owen Honors says senior leadership gave "tacit approval" of controversial on-board videos.
January 31st, 2011
12:32 PM ET

Fired Navy commander: My bosses knew about raunchy videos

The Navy commander fired for making racy videos and broadcasting them on a ship says that the movies had the "tacit approval" of senior Navy leadership, the Navy Times reports.

Owen Honors' statement to investigators, obtained by the Navy Times, marks the first time his side of the story has been made public.

Honors made headlines for days in early January when the videos were published on the Virginian-Pilot newspaper site. The films included a simulated rectal exam, anti-gay slurs and sailors pretending to shower with each other aboard ship. In early January, Honors was removed from his post commanding the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise.

An official 15-page statement that Honors gave to Navy investigators states that two commanding officers, two strike group admirals "and myriad other senior military and civilian distinguished visitors" were aware of the videos, according to the Navy Times.

Honors made the videos in 2006 and 2007 when he was executive officer of the Enterprise, and they were discussed during meetings with the ship's commanding officer and other leadership, the Navy Times reports. During these conversations, Honors received “encouraging feedback” about the content of the movies and was never told to stop making them, according to the report.

Honors' superiors did not respond to Navy Times' requests for comment.

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Filed under: Military • U.S. Navy
soundoff (466 Responses)
  1. jma58

    He should have shown "THE GOOD SHIP LOLIPOP" with Shirley Temple.
    Who really cares?

    January 31, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Navywife

    Wow, and here I thought we are supposed to take responsibility for our own actions. His bosses didn't force him to be an idiot, use poor judgement, and make those videos. He is an embarassment to the U. S. Navy, and to the uniform. What a horrible example to set for our men and women who wear the uniform.

    January 31, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Barbara

    @ Butch, the US Navy, or any US military branch, cannot be reduced/compared to a TV show, or movie. In the military there has to be discipline, order and leadership. This commander, obviously had none of the above. Nor, does he have tact or integrity. I work for a large corporation, and in our code of conduct, it is explained very well in black and white... you cannot blame your boss for a decision you made. The buck stops with you, if it looks wrong, smells wrong.... it is wrong. His bosses may have given approval, but anyone with half a brain could tell this was all inappropriate material for the military lifestyle, and should have never been disseminated.

    January 31, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. T

    I like pie.

    January 31, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brian

    The Navy loves it Witchunts......sigh.

    This Captain may have used questionable judgement- who cares? Where were his superiors backing him up? Officers are expected to stand up for their troops- and with good reason. But where was this Captains Battle Group Admiral? Where was any of this guys Chain of Command?

    What a bunch of spineless cowards this guys "Leadership" are. Admirals.....out for themselves and their career only. The most dangerous people in the military.

    What Captain Honors did-right or wrong- his leadership should not have left him hanging? Would a LT leave a Corporal hanging to dry like this? He better f'ing not, I say.

    Higher leadership in the Navy is a joke. As are surge deployments, wasting billions of dollars unecessarily, just so the Navy Admirals can keep up their Fitreps. Disgusting. Shame on any Navy officer with a Star on his shoulders.

    January 31, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • tct

      Questionable judgment and devices is a bad combination.

      January 31, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kenny

    Honors claim that other high ranking Navy Officials had knowledge of his videos simply goes to prove that he was not the lone IDIOT in this venture. By the fact that higher ranking officers were aware simply indicates there were some dumber than him that made it further up the chain of command. That's a negative for our military. Not good at all.

    January 31, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kyle

    Really would like to correct this stupid article. He did not get fired, he STILL has his rank, he STILL works for the military, he got reassigned. Any military person who wants to make cracks about the civilians who don't know what it's like to be in the military, you are the one who signed the papers, you knew what you were agreeing to. I've known plenty of people in the military and they love it, they complain about stuff that is the same as anyone working any other job. Yes, the few who are in combat situations are faced with something the majority of civilians never face, but that might excuse friendly fire accidents, ptsd, and other combat related mistakes, but not the behavior of this officer.

    January 31, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      This incident (reported THREE years later) is a career killer for him. I smell politics.

      February 1, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. The two witnesses

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    January 31, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mac

    I guess no one here has ever served on an aircraft carrier. Everyone needs to remember that when he made the videos he was the Executive Officer of the USS Enterprise. That means there was a Commanding Officer and one Admiral on board when these were made and played. These were played over multiple weeks and no one stopped him. Funny how the CO and Admiral aren't being held accountable. Not to mention, XO Movie night has been a tradition of the Enterprise for at least the last 15 years and it has always been racy. Honors may be the scape goat but there are many others that are glad it's him and not them.

    January 31, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • tct

      I agree, but that means others are guilty, it doesn't excuse such basic misconduct.

      January 31, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mac

      I'd say the senior officers are more responsible. They should have put a stop to it immediately, if the videos were inappropriate. They did not and therefore gave tacit approval of the videos and likely encouragement.

      January 31, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • tct

      I agree.

      January 31, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Well said Mac

      February 1, 2011 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • SDFrankie

      But Mom, Jimmy knew I was doing it and he's my big brother! This isn't fair!

      February 1, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  10. Matt

    I think the reason he brought up the several senior officers who were aware of the videos was not necessarily to implicate them, but rather to highlight the Navy's ever changing standards (which seem to change every time the political winds shift). As someone who has 14 years experience with this, I can say that the Navy has now decided that leadership must cater to the most easily offended among us and check with CNN before doing anything controversial. The simple fact is that he was fired from fear of adverse public reaction, not due to degraded mission readiness. For proof, one should look at his fitness reports from this period (now available online), the retention awards the Enterprise (and his subsequent ship the Mount Whitney) received, the ship's safety record, the results of Navy audits and inspections of the Enterprise as well as the various unit awards that it received.

    January 31, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Matt, there you go again with your non-crazy non-emotional common sense. I can't believe how levelheaded you are...shame on you 😉

      February 1, 2011 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  11. Anonymous

    There was a time when people in this country could laugh at themselves (think original SNL cast...oh the fun) but now we are to "PC" to be able to do that. We get offended by anything and everything and when we're offended, we go for blood and hire attorneys and such rather than just telling the person to shut up. Sad....

    January 31, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. tct

    Then he missed the mark by a wide margin, an officer creating photographic material with s*xual innuendo , especially in uniform or identified by name and rank, has never been acceptable.

    January 31, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ybs

    So, Honors got it up his behind! Now, you know how the old boy network works! You are just a guinea pig!

    Though, the videos were quite funny – SNL material!

    January 31, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
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    January 31, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. pdw

    Its all about being PC nothing more nothing less. The sad part is why wait 3 years before bringing it forward. The top brass of the military is so afraid of gays and women and other groups, that they will not stand up for a officer that
    was trying to bring some relief to a tired crew. Mr Honors should be given back his command and a thank you.

    January 31, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
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