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. Joe

    The top brass will never take the fall. He was placed in charge, it happened on his watch, thus he is guilty. Look at the "TailHook" scandal from almost 30 years ago. How many careers were ruined over that? Same thing here. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you have to fall on your sword.

    January 31, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. AT1 Phelps, Vietnam Vet 1964-1976

    Maybe I am old fashioned but the skipper is supposed to be looking for his crew by doing his job to utmost of his abilities not breeding discontent among the troops. Some of you are right that there is cover up above and others could have brought this forward to their congressmen but the service apparently still thinks fear is the answer not leadership.

    January 31, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tom

    His superiors aren't going to take the fall. In the military whenever something goes wrong, someone is always the scapegoat.

    January 31, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tavi

    The Navy saw fit to give him command and the Navy saw fit to take it away. He was judged and punished by his fellow officers for what was basically an internal Navy matter so who cares. If the Navy and his fellow officers wanted him to keep command he would still have it.

    January 31, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. american me

    If this idiot needs his superiors to tell him that bigotry and obscenity are in bad taste, it just proves that they were right to remove him from command.

    February 1, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. momo

    Breeders? Thats a good one. I ALWAYS WAS OFFENDED BY STRAIGHT!

    February 1, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Julie in Austin

      Not all straights are breeders - it's a more specific sort of insult 😉

      February 1, 2011 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. Arglebargle

    Quit the blame game. Be responsible for your own actions.

    February 1, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dave254

    So, you command a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, yet you NEED someone to tell you what is right and wrong?

    February 1, 2011 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. SSgt Mason

    I am surprised at the comments...the policy is Don't ask don't tell don't peruse and don't harass...that is the full policy the balantent disregard shows his inability to maintain professionalism and high yes he needed to be fired! Ifi made a comment about someone I would most certainly lose my stripes and my position. Everyone should realize that regardless of their position they need to maintain professionalism regardless of personal views. Junior enlisted and officers as well as civilians look to people in positions so this reflects upon the military's zero tolerance policy for discrimination and harassment.

    February 1, 2011 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. KATE

    You know, i'm currently serving on board an aircraft carrier in the same class as the Enterprise, and let me tell you, if my captain or my XO were to make a video of this caliber and broadcast it to the crew, they would be notorious, sure, but they would also be held in a higher regard. Lets face it. We're all grown adults, serving in the military. Or, at least we were when I enlisted. The problem that civilians dont see is that more often than not, a CO and XO are so distant from the crew that we dont really know who and what they really are. Kudos to Captain Honors for having the stones to break the monotony of a deployment by trying to entertain his shipmates. For those who have never served on board a Naval vessel, let me tell you, its no walk in the park. Granted its nowhere near as hard as the Army or Marines who are deployed boots on the ground, but its just as difficult to spend months at sea, with no communication from the outside world except for the occasional email from home. Who cares if Captain Honors made jokes? We all, at one point or another, have either made jokes that were off color, or we've heard people make them and have laughed. If you claim that you haven't, then you're a liar. And how does a video that was twisted by the media show a mans character? Really? I never served with him, but I can guarantee that his was well liked and respected by his crew. See, in the years that Captain Honors was the XO, the USS Enterprise was awarded the Battle E two years in a row. For those who dont understand that, thats the highest honor that a Naval warship can recieve. So he didnt think and made a video that made off color jokes and he cursed in it. Does that mean that he was an inefficient leader? I dont think so. But, you know, I'm just a deployed sailor who doesnt know anything about how the "real world" works, because i'm defending your right to sit on a high horse and judge instead of sitting back and being a bunch of hypocrites.

    February 1, 2011 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Why did you volunteer then? I NEVER asked you to defend me, I can do that myself. If no one joined the military we wouldn't have one. Fine by me. All this fear that someone is going to get us unless we blow them up first is so backward. Maybe if we stopped getting into farflung business that isn't ours we would not incur the wrath of their violence. Oh yeah, cheap oil. I'd pay $10 a gallon just so you wouldn't have to be in harm's way and possibly kill another human being. You should have joined the Peace Corps instead. I am sure it would be anything but monotonous. Do you really like taking orders from someone you don't even know? There isn't one foreign army on our land, yet American troops are in 100 countries??? You are a pawn for the military industrial complex. Scary and weird. Get out as soon as you can!

      February 1, 2011 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      bwahahahah Alex you rube. You defend yourself? That's got to be the funniest thing I've see all morning. Yeah, lets see you defend yourself against a bombing raid. Just you, on your own. I'll mention to my fellow service people how horrible they were to deliver aid to Hatian quake and Indonesian tsunami victims too. What a maroon.

      February 1, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
    • tct

      So suddenly the rules against an officer producing such material that could cause them or the Navy disrepute is out the window because it's a carrier? I disagree. My father was radioman on the Oceanographer (charted islands months prior to invasion and their heaviest weapons were 25 caliber rifles) and his CO & XO never had to resort to that. The man who was a second father to me was a submarine skipper who was awarded the Navy Cross 4 times (once for being depth charged on the bottom of Tokyo bay for 48 hours) and he upheld the code till the day he died. Convince me that conditions are worse than what they faced and you might have a point.

      February 1, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Popeye

      There is only one ship in the USS Enterprise class - USS Enterprise (CVN 65).

      February 1, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. joe

    sacrificed on the liberal alter.. of justice..

    February 1, 2011 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    If the Navy could have found an enlisted person to hang this on, they would have. Nice to see an officer be held accountable for his own actions for once.

    February 1, 2011 at 4:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. richp

    Somebody wanted him gone and sandbagged him. Stupid videos, yea, offensive, nope, funny, they tried. I consider them more of a flop than anything else, justification for what they did, nope, witch hunt, yes. Seven years Navy, Seventeen Army.

    February 1, 2011 at 5:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. Alex

    This guy is all to typical of a employee of the federal government. Lives off massive benefits, wastes taxpayer money on stupid projects because he is obviously bored rather than working (as in defending the US), and then whines about it when he gets called on the carpet for it. There is a lot of dead weight in government so longevity and service have nothing to do with it.Ted Stevens of Alaska and Charlie Rangel of NY were the longest serving Congressmen and the most corrupt.

    February 1, 2011 at 6:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. snott

    dose anyone remember when a sailor was killed when a gun turent exploded? and then the navy said the guy was gay and he sabotaged it, only later discovered it had something to do with the powder, well just like this story they will lie ,or do whatever even throwing any one under the bus too protect their image,this is how all are armed forces operate, cya.

    February 1, 2011 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
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