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. mickey(navy vet)

    you can bet the house that higher ups knew about this but he was the one caught on camera.there is no way an admiral is going to get the boot out of the navy.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Agnim

    So this f&g is ALSO a rat? No surprise here.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bruce Heinemann

    Hey Former Marine:

    Ever heard of professionalism?

    Don't ever tell us civilians to be quiet about anything that goes on the military. We pay you salary, pal. More importantly, people in the military here, abroad, and in the war zone, represent all of us. So when your little fascist ass buddies in Afghanistan murder innocent civilians and cut body parts off as prizes, you disgust and disgrace us all!

    And in case you don't understand that, these murderers not only disgrace their many honorable and patriotic fellow soldiers, they put them all at greater risk.

    Thank God, you're a former marine, you were probable a baby killer in Nam.

    I'm disgusted for all Americans!

    January 31, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      I hope someone is monitoring this discussion because you, Mr. Heinemann, are one angry dude with a very short fuse who needs to be watched. Unfortunately we found out too late in Arizona what can happen with people like you go off their meds.

      January 31, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Health Teach

      I HIGHLY doubt you would have enough guts to say that to a Marine's face, but you hide here in secrecy and spout rubbish. If you don't like the men and women defending your $$, please feel free to take it elsewhere. I assure you that my son would love to have my ex/his father back from what is his fifth deployment since my son's been in school. Instead, he sleeps in the sand and eats products that are laughable packaged as meals so that people like you have the right to freedom of speech. Additionally, man that he is, he'd never deny you for it, because he's a US Marine and that's what they do, fight for those that can't or those that, like you, are to scared to in real life.

      January 31, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • NavyDiver

      Bruce: Military people pay taxes too. If you think about we pay ourselves to work. I think every American has a right to speak about the military but dont assume you know what life is like in the military. You volunteer to be told what to do when to do it and where to do it. No complaints, I would do it all over again.

      January 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • skipfrmdc

      wALK A 1/2 MILE IN MY SHOES, THEN WE CAN TALK!

      January 31, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lee

    Mr. Heinemann-
    I feel so sorry for you. You must be a miserable person. This debate is not about Afghanistan or the job Marines are doing there because politicians you elected have put them there. As a resident of Texas who believes that in the near future we will need these men and women to protect our borders to save us from the chaos in Mexico, I hope to God you don't need one of them to save your sorry butt someday. Your post is offensive and childish.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jimboe

    Hey bigots, go brush your tooth.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chuck in Jasper Ga.

    Covering up certain events in the military by those senior to the service member involved is nothing new. From a leadership position, you weigh what you have versus what you may get in terms of a replacement. From a tactful position only, these films are offensive to some, but simply in bad taste to others. I don't believe it can be argued they caused harm to anyone in a physical sense, nor did it compromise his ability to command . I'm certain, there is more to this story than is being revealed. He probably bucked the system one time too many and this was a way to remove him from his command. In my 22 year career, I beat the crap out of a couple of officers. Nobody in my command cared to prosecute me much less punish me. Granted I was not an Aircraft Carrier Commander, but the principle is the same. It depends on what you are worth to the command at the time.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jbond

    He wasn't much of a leader to begin with!!

    January 31, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • MasterChief

      neither are you stop judging

      January 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Enterprise Alum

    I've been reading alot about the USS Enterprise Lewd Video incident. My comment on the whole issue is a question to you before you pass judgment... have you ever spent half a year in the middle of the sea in harms way... going days without seeing sunlight or weeks without seeing land... working 18 hour days... if you want to simulate... this at home try this and then let me know if the videos bother you: http://www.swordsmen.org/navylife.htm

    Seriously... only Veterans should be commenting on this post...

    January 31, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • tct

      I'm not a veteran but the man who taught me the honor code was awarded the Navy Cross 4 times as a submarine skipper, I'll take his opinion over yours any day. You think his being an oathbreaker, engaging in conduct unbecoming an officer and stating on video that he was intentionally disobeying direct orders is fine, it isn't.

      January 31, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Enterprise Alum

      Hey TCT... had Capt Owens won a major award would you think differently of him and his actions... General Patton was on of the most decorated soldiers in the first half of the century. His actions also were gravely frowned upon by his seniors... conclusion... military awards shouldn't have any bearing on this conversation or your opinion...

      January 31, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • tct

      No, He'd still have proven himself an oathbreaking idiot, Benedict Arnold was a patriot hero before he became a traitor. If you're REALLY either in the Navy or have been you should recognize the name of the person who taught me about such matters, Slade Deville Cutter, he would never accept your aggressive whining and dishonesty from a civilian teenager, you're a disgrace.

      January 31, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mike

    Or he could have been a professional and just done his job. He could have realized that there is a time and a place for certain types of humor.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Navy man

    Wonder where the XO of a carrier even found the time to make these videos. As for all your posts attacking the military, please don't compare what a few idiots do to the rest of the men and women in uniform. There are way more great soldiers, sailors, and marines out there then there are knuckleheads. Times are changing and yes, Americans have gotten more sensitive then ever and we keep baby sitting and pretend that the excuses they make are legitimate.
    As for the one's who think you pay our salary, please don't forget that we pay taxes as well and pay for all the people who chose a life of drugs and alcohol to live. But this is the new era and we will sympathize, because it wasn't their fault they became addicted crack, so it's OK to raise my taxes. You are the same people who sympathize with building the mosque next to the world trade center. 3000 innocent people died that day so let's cherish them by building a holy ground for the people that killed them. At least it can be a meeting place for them the plan there next attack for which will will sympathize with them after it is done, like we have the past 10 years in Afghanistan.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Thank you for denigrating the uniform of the Navy. You've done more damage than that pinhead Captain did with your idiocy.
      Honestly, were the majority of our Navy reflect your opinions, I'd espouse banishing our entire fleet from the land, never to be permitted to return.
      First, you made the mistake of disrespecting the civilians. In the Army, we were trained to RESPECT the civilians, not denigrate them, disrespect them and cast aspersions upon them. Apparently, the Navy ARE scofflaws.
      You blame the populace at large for drug addiction of a few. You cast aspersions regarding a cultural center, insisting on calling it a mosque and decry the rights of civilians to their own damned property!
      You then insult your fellow citizens, who would attend that cultural center, by claiming that they would attack their own nation!
      And don't play the card of who died in those towers, I lost a cousin in one of them. You disrespect his memory.
      Honestly, were we face to face, there'd be a man overboard call. Next shift, anyway...
      You do no honor to this nation by wearing the uniform and speaking that way. Separate as unable to adapt to military life. You're incapable of being a good citizen, let alone service member.

      January 31, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • GdupPapa

      Give Hell Shipmate. For all that have served your opinons matter, for everyone else you are welcome from those that protected your Freedoms!

      January 31, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • NavyDiver

      Stick to your guns shipmate....Army life is way different then Navy life.

      January 31, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • danny d

      wzrd1 is a internet tough guy watch out bc if he was face to face with u he would show u how tough he really is!

      January 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bill

    I watched the videos on the web. While in the U.S. Army I never saw or heard an officer of any rank speak or act in the manner shown by Owen Honors. Forget political correct or discrimination issues. The whole thing wreaked of childish behavior. It was completely wrong and an amazingly bad example for everyone on the ship.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Honestly, were I to have witnessed such behavior of a member of the senior staff, I WOULD have saw to it that he was relieved for cause.
      And I'd do it right to his face.

      January 31, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • tct

      Wzrd1: Thank you, the honor code is too important to let slide (unfortunately it had been rarely enforced for some time), everyone who stands for honor strengthens our nation.

      January 31, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. glasshand

    Soooo... because they knew that makes it "less bad"??? "Loose lips sink... well.... everything." no excuse.

    January 31, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tard

    Train 'em to be heart breakers and life takers... then whine like babies because they aren't choir boys.
    Will the USA survive a full 4 years of Obozo & gang?

    January 31, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • tct

      Your handle is the only honest part of your post.

      January 31, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pragmatist

      Name calling just makes you look like a juvenile.
      Come back when you have facts or a coherent argument.

      January 31, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joe

    This kind of behavior in the navy is normal. Ofcourse a bunch of people would raise hell about things they know nothing about. Ever heard the simile curse like a sailor? The village people song in the navy? The shell back ceremony? Also have an intimate understanding of what it's like to be locked in a can with 1500 dudes and 200-300 women for 8 months out of the year seeing nothing but wires everywhere, shining the same piece of brass everyday, standing in line for two hours to eat crap food, cold showers, cold sleeping quarters, having to take orders from people you are smarter than every day? No, ofcourse you don't. This guy should have been promoted for lightening the mood alot of CO's just tighten down to the point of a gulag. Instead he was fired for political incorrectness. Do you know what Freud said about the easily offended? They are idiots...

    January 31, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      He was fired for disobeying a direct order of the Secretary of the Navy, the Commander in Chief AND the Congress of the United States of America, who said such behavior was unlawful and would not be tolerated.
      Yep, it's politically correct to obey your damned orders!

      January 31, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lanfear

      Poking fun at gays is not "normal" and it should not be accepted. Yes, we get the harships that military folk endure. That doesn't make it OK to take it out on a specific group in society. I'm thinking those who support the videos are those who do not want gays to have equal rights. Well get over it, this is 2011!

      January 31, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • tct

      It wasn't in the officers mess (still a bad example by a XO or CO), it was distributed to thousands of enlisted personnel ON VIDEO! Technically he should have gotten a less than honorable discharge for conduct unbecoming an officer as soon as it was seen (not to mention indicating he was intentionally disobeying a direct order). Honor matters.

      January 31, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lanfear

    Personally I don't find the videos offensive. But just because they were "OK" at one point in time doesn't mean they're OK today. I think all these "Navy Hardasses" need to realize that gays are finally becoming accepted by society. Times change. It's time to treat these people with the same respect as everyone else. I am a civilian who works on a Navy base and I deal only with military personnel. One thing I've learned for a fact - the Navy HATES CHANGE. Well it's time to catch up with the rest of society, sailors. And get off your high horses; anyone can get drunk for a living! 😉

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