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. James

    The Commander was the "Sacrificial Lamb". If everyone was held accountable that was at fault the Ranks would be pretty thin in this instance. Poor taste-Yes–Fired–No–Thanks to the "Yellow Journalism " that I grow quite tired of we have lost another quite capable service man. What a waste of a service man who has dedicated his whole life to the USA and defending our country.

    February 1, 2011 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. AD

    OK, cut the BS about the Navy commanders doing thier job and just wanting to make an example of him. If these videos were that big a deal HE WOULD HAVE NOT BEEN PROMOTED after he made them. This is only an issue because civilians got wind of it and it generated bad press. His bosses are cowards.

    February 1, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Popeye

      Speaking as a former destroyer captain, I can tell you that CAPT Honors was not fired for making offensive jokes. Yes, they were offensive, and yes, there are certainly a lot of people out there over-reacting to them. CAPT Honors was fired because he couldn't be 100% effective as a commanding officer, and any CO who is less than 100% effective is a danger to the mission, his/her ship, and his/her Sailors. A ship's CO has to hold him/herself apart from the crew and be an unimpeachable model of leadership, integrity, and service. Anything less, or any effort to be "one of the guys", compromises his/her effectiveness because at the very least it creates an appearance of favoritism to some elements of the crew, and there is no place for that on our nation's warships. It can be a little lonely and isolating, but it doesn't have to be dehumanizing, and it is the price we pay for the privilege of commanding our nation's warships and Sailors. The American people should rightly expect no less. CAPT Honors' mistake wasn't that he failed a test of "political correctness", it was that he adopted for himself a lower standard of behavior (even as an XO) than his tremendous responsibilities required.

      February 1, 2011 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ben

    What this guy did is mild compared to what REALLY goes on in the military.

    February 1, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  4. Leonard

    Well it's good to know now that he isn't one to go down with the ship....alone

    February 1, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  5. PCola Vet

    With great power comes great responsibility, and the good Capt failed to uphold that.

    February 1, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. Colin

    Sounds like a typical military hose hob to me. It wouldn't surprise me one bit that his superiors knew about the videos, only to be shocked and disgusted when the press got ahold of them. Despite all the military's talk of honor and loyalty, superiors are quick to cast out subordinates like lepers once the press gets involved.

    February 1, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Joesixxpack

      Indeed... Apparently he forgot the first lesson of being in the federal service, it rolls downhill, not up.

      February 1, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • bailoutsos

      Reminds me of the case where a female corrections officer asked her supervisor if it would be okay if she posed nude for a magazine. The supervisor, possibly wanting to see her naked said "okay." When the magazine was published, she was fired.

      February 1, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I have been in the military for 19 years. Please tell me what a 'hose hob' is?
      I don't know who all knew what, but i would bet that his superiors knew of the videos and maybe they knew the videos were a little 'raunchy', but I doubt seriously they knew details. Commanders of aircraft carrieres and Flag rank officers are not going to be bothered with details and would trust the XO to do the right thing.

      February 1, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • jazz

      SURE, blame your boss...doesnt work. NOT HERE.
      YOU WERE GUILTY, YOU MADE THE VIDS..whether your boss knew or not.
      ..And IDIOTS like you should never be put in charge of a NAVAL CARRIER.

      February 1, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Colin

      ha... hose hob. That's just stupid. I dont know what that is either.

      February 1, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • ENC

      I so agree with you. These videos were made 4-5 years ago everyone on the ship saw them yet the powers-that-be made him commander. They could have care less what he did until it came out and made them look bad so they tossed him over board!

      February 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously???

      You guys are obviously not bright enough to realize that "hose hob" was a typographical error. He meant hose job. I hope the lightbulb finally lit up for you!

      February 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      Have you ever seen what happens when you cross the international date line for the first time on a navy ship? These movies are nothing. This nothing but PC going nuts.

      February 1, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tyhouston

      Ex-military here. His bosses probably knew about them, and did not care.
      To a old military member the never ending crying of Hazing, the pandering and babying of troops and sailors is fairly disgusting. We turned killers and defenders of the nation into snobbering teens who can't see they are solider but little more than McDonald's employees. Seriously....

      You can wussafy the Usa but not say...the Marine Corps without serious problems. Problems being weak solider who get killed because their trainers were to scared to make women actually carry their gear, or to many push up might get them reported, or heaven forbid.... they used a swear word...

      February 1, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • asdf

      The military like corporate life is a tree of monkeys. Nothing but smiles looking down and nothing but posteriors looking up. The military is so top heavy these days with rear in the gear political generals getting in the way of course they leak things to take out other rivals as they have nothing better to do.

      February 1, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • TexasNavyVet

      When a U.S. Navy ship crosses the "International Date Line," sailors become Golden Dragons. It's a laid back event actually. However, when they cross the equator, it's called "Wog Day," or "Crossing the Line." It's THAT day that Chuck may be referring to. Google it to learn the details. When I crossed and became a "Shellback" in 1985, it was a lot of fun. Today however, the bleeding heart liberal PC freaks would have convulsions if they witnessed the event! What's our country coming to?

      February 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • OC

      The first thing you learn in the service is that S*@# rolls downhill.

      February 1, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gooey takes steel balls or whatever to make fun of your military surroundings. Lighten up people; these folks laugh today but may die tommorow so you have the freedom to express your opinions without being executed one day walking out of a Walmart.

    February 1, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Mandi

      Well said! People do need to lighten up over this. Does anyone reading this article understand that this guy, with all of the 'bosses' knowing, made these videos to keep up morale? The Navy use to make more stops... I can tell you my husband was on the ship in 2006 and saw these videos-they were NOT a big deal! We have much worse being shown publically every day in front of our children! In 2006 there was a period of 56 days out to see with little contact with the outside world- so give this guy a break for trying to help keep things lite out there! These men and women were serving 24/7/365 and a little humour helped the time pass while away from their family!

      Funny thing is there is no discussion of the MANY much more vulgar Navy traditions being brought to light! Look up Pollywogs and Shellbacks–STILL a TRADITION!! GO NAVY!!

      February 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. sbast18 it was someone ELSE'S fault! Typical. As a senior enlisted Navy veteran of several years and of many seagoing commands, I recall how many Officers did pretty much whatever they liked wherever we went. At one command, drunken officers commandeering transportation to bars in Italy and fist fights on the pier, for examples, were not unheard of. Enlisted folks, on the other hand, walked the proverbial plank if they stepped the least bit out of line. Honors has no honor. He did something that would clearly haunt him later even though his cronies thought he was a master comic. So suck it up, buddy. YOU screwed up but at least YOU can still retire. What of the men and women whose careers you destroyed at Captains Mast for lesser though similar behaviors?

    February 1, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Well said – yes it is funny that OFFICERS get a slap on the wrist and still retire with benefits, but enlisted are SLAMMED for the little things and sometimes stupid and they are made a HUGE EXAMPLE OF.

      Well said!

      February 1, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. Clay O Worth III

    Naval commanders always try stupid stuff to get noticed, sometimes is illegal as all get out, he probably deserves punishment?

    February 1, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  10. uhuhreally

    I deal with this subject daily in the military. "Knowledge of" does not not mean agreement or complicity and cannot be used as a defense. According to DoD policy, he created (of his own decision and motivation) a "hostile work environment". Crucify this officer. Council/ privately reprimand the ones who knew and didn't report it.

    February 1, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Mandi

      Funny- "Hostile Work Environment"?? Really? Were you there? EYE WITNESSES on at least 1 cruise deployment didn't see this as hostile, but a welfare and morale booster. Read this article–this is REALITY!!

      February 1, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • lobo feroz

      i thought the point of being in the military was to be working in a hostile work environment 😉

      well its the US miliary so our silly mores that we deal with daily are kicking alive there too..

      i think its dumb.. he was respected and running a freaking nuclear vessel and they just switch him like that..

      makes others start to think maybe they should not buy into that hyper nationalism.. and military people actually sign their life away..

      ahh once crisis hits stronger a lot of the PC crap will be harder to enforce as the luxury of wealth makes one stupid and wasteful

      February 1, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Montana

    Very good points, the fact of the matter they are funny and approved my many. If you found them offensive then you should not have watched them. I am not gay so I don’t go to gay clubs nor would I watch a gay movie. That does not mean it bothers me. I serve honestly and if I don’t like what is on TV then I don’t watch it.

    February 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RoadRunner, Albuquerque, NM

    In a nation that is increasingly becoming known for its demands of "rights," without corresponding "responsibilities," Capt. Honors fits right in.

    February 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. piper

    Hose Hob = Hose job ... It's a TYPO all you geniuses. Sure his command knew about them. What he failed to do was throw them overboard after showing them. Still could maintain plausible deniability like his bosses are doing now.

    February 1, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ACE

    I like his name Honors, nothing honorable about this idiot

    February 1, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • lobo feroz

      well gay people suck

      February 1, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rob

    He's definantly a Naval officer, but gentleman not so much

    February 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
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