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. senior Chief

    I am a retired Senior Chief MAA (Law Enforcement) and I can't count the times I saw the "little man" hung out to dry while the senior people just tip toed away. It'll always be that way, the top people always cover for each other.

    January 31, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • SeanT

      Thats why people on top leave people like us around; to take the blamw!

      January 31, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • SeanT

      blame; not blamw

      January 31, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bill

    What a disgrace that this guy was fired. These videos were made for and by people who understand the reality of life on board a Naval vessel. Those who want him ruined don't know jack squat!!!

    January 31, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sternberg

    We need military commanders, who know how to lead and command. It is a travesty to remove such a man, because he is not politically correct.

    January 31, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dimongirl

      He is just morally reprehensible. No worries though, he will get reduced in rank but get all the benefits he earned while be a disgrace to the uniform. GO HONORS!!!!!

      January 31, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Katie

    If the bosses all knew, then they should have started cleaning house from the top down. There's no place in a civilized society for such juvenile behavior.

    January 31, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Well, Katey, why is there no place for juvenile humor? Have you spent months at sea with little to no contact with loved ones? Have you been willing to sacrifice your life for others? Have you gone to work each day knowing that 'today I may have to die so that others may live'? If you haven't experience that, if you haven't experienced anything beyond the little bubble Mommy and Daddy created around you then I suggest you reverse your "rectal cranial inversion" and stop judging others until you understand them. And remember, that it's people like me and Capt Honors who would fight and die if needed that allow you to have your "civilized society".

      January 31, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Guest

    Former Marine and all of you in support of these videos: Not all members of the military support what you are putting here or feel the same way you do. Everyone has a right to voice their opinion without being told to be quiet. Isn't that what every military member fights for....rights? So you have no right to tell others to hold their opinion in because it disagrees with yours. Offensive or not the vids were wrong by any standard, military or otherwise. Look up your code of conduct and you won't see support for those videos. Being a member of the militaryis an honor and thankfully does not allow for support of conduct unbecoming of any military member. That is what should be supported, the code of conduct not apeish, juvenile behavior that some find funny. Isn't that what is taught throughout basic and all academies?

    January 31, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    Broadcasting "simulated anal rectal exams" and "anti-gay propaganda" is NOT just politically incorrect. It is incorrect, period.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dimongirl

    This guy is just looking for someone to blame for his ignorance. What has happened to good old fashion common sense? He is a disgrace to the uniform and should be punished. The devil made me do defense is old and tired. The Navy is better off without an idiot like this one.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. I'm Da King

    There's nothing wrong with those videos! The military is a MANS world! The only ones that have a problem with it are the ones NOT in the Military and the ones that can't handle the military and want to get out.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • bruce Heinemann

      No, you da idiot..

      Ever heard of professionalism?

      No, its not a "man's" army, its a soldier's army, men and women.

      Go back into your cave, neanderthal....you're soon to be extinct.

      January 31, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • danny d

      hey bruce how many women do you see fighting in combat? oh ya thats right none....however i did hear the army was letting women to the front lines of the dinning hall so in the chow hall your right buddy

      January 31, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • NavyDiver

      I would fight beside any American Man or Woman, just as long as they stand their ground. Military is not a "mans world."

      January 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • skipfrmdc

      I agree with most of the military postings here, but like some others. I am of two minds on this one. I too have been both enlisted man and officer (warrant after OCS) and while I was not "by the book" by any means we all know that in the services..There's THE WAY IT IS AND THE WAY IT OUGHTTA BE.... While the Commander in question showed poor judgement in that he should have known how these videos would be biewed by the civilian media and non-military persons if they ever were made known. CYA, one of the first things I learned in "da crotch". Some of the stuff we pulled would not have gone over very well outside the "machine" either. So. while I have emnity for the Capt. he should have followed rule #1, CYA.

      January 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. keith

    yeah blame your bosses for YOUR actions....that's the way to go about it. Just own up to it and admit you screwed up. That's more respectful and honorable than trying to say your bosses knew all about it. Maybe they did and maybe they didn't, but YOU still did it which makes you guilty of the action. You should have known better as the commander of a nuclear powered aircraft carrier....

    January 31, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Gma

    Honors did nothing wrong. If you have never been there do not judge. For you liberals and other idiots–you would gladly let Honors fight for your freedom and die, but he and 5000 others, can not let off steam after being at sea for months?!

    January 31, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Letting off steam? That's the same excuse every racist, bigot or evil-doer of one kind or another has ever used when confronted with their terrible behavior. Says the Klansman who just strung up a black man in the '30's: "Me an' the boys were jist havin' us a little fun... lettin' off a lil steam now."

      January 31, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Health Teach

      The only lynching here is what happened to Honor's...

      January 31, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ross

      GMA – BLAH-BLAH-BLAH...........you conservative clowns need to grab some morals!

      January 31, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • NavyDiver

      Ross: You go to sea for 6 months straight with maybe four hours of sleep a day without letting off steam. Also it doesnt matter whos liberal or conservative because it was the bleeding hearts in Washington who started this mess. We are the strongest force in the World which made America what it is. Why change?

      January 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Nick A.

    This is a shame in my opinion. The Navy knew all about these videos and at first it seemed they didn't say anything negative. It seems that they did say great job CMDR Honours, this should boost morale which is the XO's main job on ship. Eventually at some point somebody decided maybe these videos were not in the best interests of the ever changing US Navy and decided to shelve them with out any punishment to CMDR Honours. OK I'm fine with that. I actually agree with that. What I"m not fine with is then the videos made it to the media and then the brown stuff hit the fan. If there was going to be punishment it should of happened when the videos were made and first veiwed by his superior officers. The US Navy threw CMDR Honours to the wolves in my opinion. All on the basis of his decision making ability in light of the media exposure of the videos. Well what about the top brass's decision making ability? They are the ones who all knowing of these videos gave or recommended CMDR Honours command of a US Navy Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier. One of the most prestigious posts a US Navy Officer can receive. If his decision making is in question well then I say everyone's, who knew about his videos and had a hand in him receiving command of the USS Enterprise, decision making ability should also be question. You promoted him or recommended him for promotion knowing about the videos and it was no problem before all the PC nonsence in the media. You ruined another great US Military Officer's career to save your own career and keep things PC. Disgusting.

    USMC CPL

    January 31, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • tct

      His conduct hasn't been acceptable for at least 70 years (every cadet was taught certain infractions he put on tape would automatically get you discharged), it isn't a matter of changing standards. If his superiors can be shown to have been aware of the content their careers need to end too, it's one thing for a junior officer to screw up and be covered for, but command rank has no room for such flaws.

      January 31, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick A.

      I agree. I think his superiors are more at fault then CMDR Honours. If he was to be dimissed it should of been as the XO not as the CO. My point is that if his decision making ability is in question then those who were superior to him and knew about these videos, and probibly shared a laugh or 2 with him about them, should also be held to the same standard. They should be removed also. Their decision to cover this up and promote/recommend him for promotion is more of a problem then the actaul videos in my opinion. Very pure command decisions at a very high level.

      January 31, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • tct

      Nick A.: It's great to see someone comprehending and supporting the honor code Slade Cutter exemplified and promoted so well! After 2004 I was starting to wonder if it was still in place, seeing it being used as the standard renews my hope.

      January 31, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      First, Enterprise is not a Nimitz Class carrier. It is the only carrier in its class. I do agree with some of your statements. I don't think he should have lost his command over this. And once this got out, he is getting it up the gigy. I do believe he should be reprimanded and his superiors should be reprimanded as well because we all know that they were aware of these videos when he made them as XO. I still believe that it was STUPID of him to make these videos and it is highly inappropriate behavior for a senior officer.

      January 31, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Anne

    I workfor the military and I am willing to bet that the "boys" and the top not only knew but encouraged this stupid and nasty behavior and that Honors was not only dumb in making the videos but even dumber in thinking that any of the "big boys" would go down with him.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tamars

    of course he had tehir approval. but once found out someone had to take the fall – and it was him, not higher ups. it should ALWAYS be more than one person that loses their job and career in such events.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. tct

    He was sworn to uphold a code of conduct that specifically prohibits even carelessly being photographed in ways he intentionally taped and distributed. I don't consider honor optional or one who shows such terminally flawed judgment fit for command. If his superiors can be shown to have been aware of the content they should be drummed out too.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Velma

    I will never get used to the current idea that treating others the way we want them to treat us and showing respect for our fellow human beings is "just being politically correct!" ...and therefore a bad thing. I will also never get used to the idea that leaders should not be expected to set a good example and encourage those under their leadership to work together as a team. Maybe I am oldfashioned, but I think these standards and expectations have been demonstrated to produce good results. He may have been "hung out to dry" by his superiors, but since he has been designated by Congress as an "officer and a gentleman," couldn't he have shown more common sense?

    January 31, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
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