Four Navy officers get letters of censure over lewd video
March 18th, 2011
03:18 PM ET

Four Navy officers get letters of censure over lewd video

The secretary of the Navy has issued letters of censure to Capt. Owen Honors and three other officers involved in the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise lewd video scandal, Navy spokesman Capt. Danny Hernandez said.

The letters effectively end the officers careers, as they will prevent promotion. The letters cannot be appealed.

Honors created the videos and was second-in-command on the Enterprise at the time. Others receiving censure were his successor, Capt. John Dixon, and former Enterprise commanders Rear Adm. Larry Rice and Rear Adm. Ron Horton.

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Filed under: Military • U.S. Navy
soundoff (294 Responses)
  1. MattK

    The punishment does not fit the crime. I did find the video offensive, however it had been out there for a while. To effectively end the careers of 4 Officers over this is quite harsh. Especially considering this is more than likely the only blemish on either of their careers seeing as how one was given command of the USS Enterprise, two are Rear Admirals and the other was a Captain. You should not hang four Officers out to dry and make an example out of them when the Military chose to look the other way when they were first made aware of the videos.

    March 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brian

    I'm former Navy myself. I think this is way too harsh. These videos were intended to raise the spirits of the crew. The life for enlisted people on a cvn sucks the big one when you're deployed. You have to wait in line to eat, use the bathroom, and pretty much anything else. There's roughly 5000 people on those things during a deployment, and within a month people get depressed. I can say for sure this video was intended to be just like the hazing that goes on during wog day; which is a means of lightening the mood so everyone doesn't kill everyone. Was it appropriate by civilian standards? Of course not. When I first reported for duty, I was told by my chief to go out to the flight line and have my picture taken by one of the birds. They took a picture and sent it around the whole command. In that picture was me, trying to look tough, and in the background one of our air framers with his butt in the window giving the full moon, just above my left shoulder. It was hilarious. I didn't whine and cry about it, even though the laughs were at my expense. I enjoyed the fact I had just been initiated.

    When I made NCO, they made me stand in a small square in one of the squadron spaces and hold a 50 lb tool box in my right hand. Then every petty officer in our command that worked the same shift as I did proceeded to "tack on the rank" by beating the crap out of my shoulder. If they knocked me out of the box, they got to tack it on some more. Technically this is hazing. Did I cry? No. It was tradition.

    Whoever ratted out their CO over this in the first place has no place in the brotherhood/sisterhood of men and women that defend our nation. Most sailors on that ship would tell you they feel the same as I on this. These officers did not deserve this.

    March 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. canuck

    They paid for their actions..the higher you are the more you're accountable. If the same thing happens in corporate world, the offenders get fired..

    March 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Brian

    The military isn't the corporate world. Anyone who has ever served can tell you that. Anyone that hasn't will never understand.

    March 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. IntheNavy

    I think we should get rid of the Navy.

    March 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. canuck

    Dude, wrong is wrong period. Being in the navy doesn't change you guys undersdand that?

    March 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. IntheNavy

    Lets get rid of the Army too

    March 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      You forgot to recommend getting rid of the Air Force and Coast Guard.
      I have a better notion, get rid of you. We need less idiots in this country.

      March 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Wzrd1

    Yeah, we shouldn't have commissioned officers obeying federal law, DoD regulations, Navy regulations and obeying direct orders of the Secretary of the Navy!
    They should do whatever they want to do! Even launch nuclear missiles and bombs at a whim! Even if they want to start a war!
    Because, obeying the law is EVIL! It's politically correct!

    March 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hilo, HI

      excellent point
      and they embarrassed the country too w/ this frat boy behavior they should have left behind decades ago

      March 18, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hilo, HI

      meant for wzrd

      March 18, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. swishla

    Read the article and saw the video before commenting. The Officers showed poor judgement by allowing this to happen no matter what our individual opinions of the video are. Am from a military family (both active and retired) and we're ashamed this was allowed to happen. The officers who previously served with honor have been allowed to keep that by not being dishonorably discharged, not to mention keeping their retirements. Hopefully they'll make more responsible choices in the future because I would not want one of them responsible for my family members.

    March 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Brian

    People die all the time over someone else's opinion of what's right and wrong. I.E. Libya. It's wrong by civilian standards, but an overwhelming majority of the crew of didn't have any problems with it. Men or women. Read the facts.

    March 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • IntheNavy


      March 18, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      The facts: It is ILLEGAL, per FEDERAL LAW. He does NOT outrank the US government!
      It is against DoD policy. He does NOT outrank the DoD.
      It is against Navy regulations and policy. He does NOT outrank the Navy.
      He was given a DIRECT ORDER FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY. He does NOT outrank ANY Secretary of ANY branch of service!
      He's rightfully toast. HOW can *I* trust him with a nuclear aircraft carrier that is armed with nuclear weapons?
      How do I know he won't invade a foreign nation, effectively declaring war?
      Honestly, I don't know WHAT he'd do, since he won't obey his orders or follow the law!

      March 18, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Catelou

      What are you guys chatting about? My internet browser is all messed up and all I can read are the comments.

      March 18, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel Evan Opheim

      Brian –
      What he did was morally WRONG.
      He was WRONG to produce those videos.
      He Deserved what he got.

      March 19, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. canuck

    Brian, good logic. Let's get others to vote on what they thing is right or wrong but not on ethics or principles. Do you think it is okay to run a red light if no one gets hurt? If everyone here is in favor then let's do it..sounds silly, doesn' it?

    March 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. IntheNavy

    @Wzrd1 .. you are not very nice ... please leave

    March 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Brian

    And don't get me wrong. That guy could have thought of something a bit more entertaining and less questionable if he wanted to make a video. But just the same it came to light in the civilian world after one anonymous sailor likely went to the press. The Navy knew about it a long time ago. These guys got what they got because of the media, not because the DOD thought they deserved it.

    March 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chaos

      So. The Navy should have done something. Now that it got out, it did.

      March 18, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jared

      I remember when this video came out and some guys that I saw at the mall said that they loved the movie "The Past is An Honor Helicopter."

      March 18, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • jazz

      beg to differ with you...I worked in Navy media...if this ever came to light(not likely with borked COC...) there would be FAR WORSE consequences. than this..This is just to hush them up instead of giving them the CM these (IDIOTS does not define word) IDIOTS deserve. THEY BROKE REGS. ITS called ACCOUNTABILITY.

      ...and where is MEWBOURNE when a NAVY PHOTOG. catches him in the act of supporting and conspiring the violate UCMJ on OTHER MORE SERIOUS ISSUES often told to navy sailors that they SHALL NOT do?

      you wont let anyopne rob from the Sasebo NEX, but you'll let an entire COMMAND STAFF and MEDIA TEAM (on IKE, myself excluded) STEAL from BIG NAVY because they over ORDER on equipment (thousands of $$$ worth) they CANT use? BIGGEST LOAD OF BS IVE SEEN...and its only tip of iceberg JAG office in NORFOLK wont touch.

      March 18, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ladislav Nemec Big Bear California

      Standard operating procedure everywhere, not only in our miliatry and/or industry. Without free press we will quickly sink to the level of China and other dictatorships.

      Of course, the press cannot catch more than, I think, 10% of misdeeds, if that many. Better than nothing, obviously.

      March 18, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • tbrown17

      This had been going on for a long time with nothing said by anyone – big or little. What kind of a culture do they have in the Navy which condones such behavior and sees it as ok? What a joke – covered up for years. A slap on the wrist for high ranking officers who retire gracefully with full retirement pay and allowances.

      March 18, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Tbrown17, so basically you think they deserve to be fired, have all the benefits they've worked hard for at a lower pay than everyone else in their entire lifetime taken away? They were not child molestors, they were not rapists, they played "lewd" videos that offended people. The offended people did not have to watch the videos, they were not forced to, and they may not have been right to play them, however they do not deserve to have EVERYTHING they've worked for taken away. I agree a censure is harsh, however you're crazy if you think they deserve to be treated like a rapist or child molestor because of a video they showed to the crew for years.

      March 18, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lean6

      We are the dumbest society on the planet. Train these guys for 40 years and then fire them because they essentially cut the cheese? Very smart.

      March 20, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  14. Missy

    Both my husband and his father are retired from the Navy and their main comment was that if the four officers had been enlisted personnel they would have faced immediate discharge and had to forfeit all benefits and pensions. Yes I know that what was shown on the ship was not the end of the world but there does need to be more fairness in the treatment between similar enlisted and officer offenses.

    March 18, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • IntheNavy

      So missy .. it runs is your family ??? you know. :0

      March 18, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Missy, I am a retired Navy Officer (just recently retired) and what you are saying or being told is just not true. If this was a couple of Jr enlisted filming exactly the same thing, they would have been sent to NJP (Captain's Mast) and probably busted a rank and docked some pay...but they would not have had their careers ended...but the CMC, XO and Commanding Officer would have been in serious trouble if they allowed the video to be seen..

      March 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seventhrama

      Unfortunately, the Navy invests a great deal more money in officers than they do in enlisted. The Navy's behavior toward officers versus enlisted shows that factor.

      March 18, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob USAF

      I was never in the Navy, 26 years USAF senior NCO, and the punishment would have been the same. Retire, no more promotions for senior enlisted or officers. Wrist slap for anyone in lower pay grades. Responsiblity rest on the leaders.

      March 18, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel, Little Rock, AR

      That's a valid point as long as there have been militaries. E-4's to E-7's run the show, at least in the USMC

      March 18, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      I retired from the Navy in 2005 after 22 years – spending the first twelve as an enlisted man, the last ten as an officer. Enlisted or Officer, it is a "one-mistake" Navy now. "Larry" and his response that an enlisted man would "just go to Captains Mast" and receive some NJP tells me he either retired some time ago or doesn't understand the career realities facing enlisted people today. In the "good-ol-days" the Navy didn't throw people away for screwing up, that's all changed now – FOR EVERYONE. Captains Mast = career over. Not picking on Larry, but the Missys of world also should understand that Officers don't enjoy any type of free ride anymore either.

      March 18, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Miss, they would not have been discharged if they were enlisted. You are just wrong about that

      March 18, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • vincent

      @larry, yes it does. You were an officer therfore you have no idea of what us enlisted men go thru!! There is little accountability for officers in the military. That is why I retired!! SGM Martinez...

      March 18, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Vikram Hooda

    Question- what was in that video that they had to so severely punish these young men?

    March 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonny

      in case you didn't get your answer yet,

      March 18, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
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