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. Erik

    Glad he's gone

    January 31, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Philip

    And as if this is the only time he did this sort of thing. You don't just wake-up one day and say hmmm, think I'll make a video of a rectal exam and broadcast it today. This sort of behavior has been overlooked in his life for a long time, and will no doubt continue unless he admits he has a problem and seeks guidance to rectify it. As for his superiors, they get away with murder and never see the inside of a cell.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • USMC

      "You don't just wake-up one day and say hmmm, think I'll make a video of a rectal exam and broadcast it today. This sort of behavior has been overlooked in his life for a long time, and will no doubt continue unless he admits he has a problem and seeks guidance to rectify it. As for his superiors, they get away with murder and never see the inside of a cell."

      You used the words rectal exam, rectify and inside of...all in 3 sentences!!! Bravo good sir...However I think your a little misguided on this topic. What exactly is wrong with talking about a rectal exam? I see Viagr@ commercials everyday that are worse than that. Whats wrong with addressing his subordinates concerns about the lack of hot water and room in the birthing area and heads? The X.O. was letting his Sailors know that he was living in the same (a big stretch I know) conditions they were. He had to deal with Sailors that he believed were straight/gay, he had to share time in the showers, he had to receive a rectal exam at some point in his career.....Why not laugh about the things we all share?

      January 31, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • WaahWaah

      @USMC "birthing area"? I guess it was to be expected with women on board ship! 😉

      February 1, 2011 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mike

    It is no surprise that his superior officers were aware of the videos, but of course, it's save your own behind and let this guy take all the flak as if they didn't know anything about the videos.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John

    Owen, time to retire while you can do so voluntarily.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kyle Overboard

    Anyone want to do a collective memoir about our port of calls in Guam and Thailand. Oh, Whisky-a-go-go, I am so glad we were all politically correct professional fighting blue-jackets then.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Anthony

    This is not an excuse! The Navy done the right thing by removing this Commander from his ship. HIs maturity level is questionable and although this behavior was condoned it does not mean it was right. This has nothing to do with rather a person served or not as this is simply a matter of what is right and wrong. In my 11 years serving I have seen a lot, but I will tell you that there is a very "Thin" line between what is right and what is wrong. This Commander was wrong and for those superiors who accepted this behavior they also need to be ready to go to the house.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mike

    ex-Commander,
    maybe they did, but they didn't make the videos, did they? You decided to make a spectacle of yourself and now you're complaining about your bosses?

    January 31, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jeff

    HUMMMMMM, so its ok to send Play Boy Bunnies scantily clad to ships and to bases overseas, but thts where we draw the line huh.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • tct

      Yes, public appearances of officers dressed as Playboy Bunnies are qualitatively different than Playboy Bunnies.

      January 31, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. zax

    In my personal opinion, this is conduct unbecoming an officer. Simply said, in a leadership position you are expected to display a certain amount of class. The videos descibed here are simply not acceptable for a person in that position to endorse for shipwide consumption. If he wants to view such videos himself on his own time that is entirely his concern. But involing the entire ship is reckless and unacceptable. I realize this is a high standard, but people in positions such as his are expected to have high standards.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Clark1b

    when politicians do something less than moral (eg Clinton) ... we are told it doesn't matter as long as they perform their job well. but now we are told with this naval officer that it doesn't matter how well he does his job ... he needs to be fired for making movies that are tame when compared to Hollywood movies. Which standard are we going to use ... or will we simply just keep blowing with the whichever way the wind blows?

    January 31, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      1) clinton was not in the military, he did not sign a paper signing away his rights and agreeing to follow the military's code of conduct.
      2) no one should ever accept this behavior from an elected official and you know what? Clinton did lose his job, at the end of his 4 years. this officer still has his rank and still works in the military and he will keep it till he decides to retire.

      January 31, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jim

    How many of you have been deployed? Try spending every day on a ship and not seeing sun light for days some times weeks. Then think about the fear and reality that awaits you when you are sent to shore.. as an ex-marine, and now in the air force this stuff makes us laugh, it helps break up the monotony of deployment.. It makes most that hear it laugh.. Even those that the jokes are directed at... It isn't a big deal and has been done before and will again..

    The jokes that happen among soldiers, airmen, seaman and marines are ot for the civilians to judge.. It is what get some of us through the days...

    I have a number of friends that are gay and a number of friends that are straight, many who were or are in the navy and few if any would even bat an eye at this stuff.

    So stop for a second and realize that some jokes are private and out of context can be taken entirely wrong.. And other times it is nothing more than a joke.. But it is about making people laugh, when life just is't that funny...

    January 31, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • tct

      That's the problem, it wasn't private so he disgraced the uniform.

      January 31, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • USMC

      Amen, and I agree.

      January 31, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. LIn

    Honors on up . . . anyone in the chain of command that knew about the videos and did nothing . . . need to GO. There cannot be a double standard and he should not take the fall if the powers that be were in the know. Get rid of every single one of them and make it fair. Clean up the military.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Thomas

    Why can't the navy go more than two years without embarrassing itself by doing something stupid. Ever since the Tailhook scandal in 1992 the Navy can't go six months without poking it's collective head up it's butt again.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • tct

      Why can't your state go six months without a major crime? They keep sticking their head up their butt!

      January 31, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mitchell

    The book "It's Your Ship" by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff of the USS Benfold shows how a commander can get the best out of his men.

    It was conduct unbecoming.

    Funny...but unbecoming...

    January 31, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. inga

    I don't know why he is putting on his bosses. They are not going to give him his command back. He is only digging his hole deeper as those who could make a decision about his future career are going to see him as a snitch. He should have known better all around.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • tct

      He's risking more than that, if he can't prove it he could be slapped with defaming brother officers, but since they allowed flagrant violations of that very publicly in 2004 they may be hesitant to bring that up. Either it's revenge or he came to grips with reality and decided honor is required among flag rank officers, only he and God really know.

      January 31, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
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