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View Poll Results: If I was in charge of the Navy I'd discipline Captain Honors
Slap him on the wrist and tell him to get better joke writer 8 15.09%
Relieve him of command 19 35.85%
Court Martial him 2 3.77%
Discipline the Captain and/or Admirals who also knew about the videos 19 35.85%
Other 11 20.75%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-04-2011, 04:11 PM   #41
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I would think that good judgment should be the #1 qualification for the XO of an aircraft carrier, and any indication of a lack of good judgment would be a good reason to get someone else for the job.
Any? Judgment is not an all or nothing characteristic. I know people who were excellent naval officers, with whom I would -- and did -- entrust my life. They were sober, diligent, insightful and very good at their job. But some of them had the crappiest judgment in personal relationships. Others had execrable judgment with respect to investing or anything beyond the most rudimentary of financial matters. Both were types of bad judgment, but neither one was a disqualification for serving as a naval officer. These videos were much closer to the type of misjudgment that would disqualify someone from command, but in my mind, at least, did not render Capt. Honors irredeemable. But that's just me. Others would say "why take a chance that his tactical judgment is not the same?" or "why take the chance that the crew will not respect him?", and they would be legitimate concerns. Recognize, however, that people qualified to command aircraft carriers do not grow on trees, so we need to be very careful about who we throw over the side.
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:23 PM   #42
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Not to derail this thread that much.... but how many people have actually viewed the video

I have not... just have seen a few clips on the news...
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:28 PM   #43
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There's a separate thread on this very question, where you can view it yourself. As I understand it, this is a compilation of "greatest hits". Much more video was actually produced.
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:31 PM   #44
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Recognize, however, that people qualified to command aircraft carriers do not grow on trees, so we need to be very careful about who we throw over the side.
One of the recurring themes of the SWOs on that other discussion board was that they'd be happy to have their chance to jump into that tree. There are apparently a whole bunch of carrier-command-wannabes who can't wait for their chance.

But Honors had done XO of the carrier, then nuclear power school/prototype (12 months), then a few years in command of a deep-draft ship, and then more PCO training (6-12 months?) before taking command of ENT, and then 6-12 months of pre-deployment workups.

You can't spit out another one of those COs from the pipeline in just a few weeks... but you can suck them back in after they've finished their carrier command tour!
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:43 PM   #45
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Probably won't watch the videos more than the snippet that was on the news--I'm sure they are funny enough.

The real lesson here is the same one being learned by the young'uns who post naked drunken episodes on Facebook and major sports stars who blithely text words and photos to whomever they wish. If it exists digitally, it exists forever. And if it can be used against you, it probably will be.
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:43 PM   #46
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Any? Judgment is not an all or nothing characteristic. I know people who were excellent naval officers, with whom I would -- and did -- entrust my life. They were sober, diligent, insightful and very good at their job. But some of them had the crappiest judgment in personal relationships. Others had execrable judgment with respect to investing or anything beyond the most rudimentary of financial matters. Both were types of bad judgment, but neither one was a disqualification for serving as a naval officer. These videos were much closer to the type of misjudgment that would disqualify someone from command, but in my mind, at least, did not render Capt. Honors irredeemable. But that's just me. Others would say "why take a chance that his tactical judgment is not the same?" or "why take the chance that the crew will not respect him?", and they would be legitimate concerns. Recognize, however, that people qualified to command aircraft carriers do not grow on trees, so we need to be very careful about who we throw over the side.
+1.

In the electronic age of 20/20 hindsight and a media that manufactures the news out of innuendo and hype, anyone who has ever actually done anything is subject to second guessing, criticism, and condemnation for their actions and accomplishments. Doesn't matter if it was a youthful indiscretion, a regrettable lapse in judgement, or a joke taken out of context, it's all sliced, diced, reconstituted, and elevated to the latest "scandal"on the nightly news and discussed in hushed tones in the cooridors of DC. No wonder why so many wishy-washy media whores get elected to public office, those with ambition and practical experience would rather stay in the private sector (no more "Mr. Smith goes to Washington") and avoid the media circus.

I'd rather have an experienced hand with some moxie running the Enterprise than some smarmy blow-dried media tool with a blackbelt in Sensitivity Awareness/Political Correctness. I'd like to think that Captain Honors was initially selected for this 2010-2011 command because he was the most qualified candidate. A frat-house video from 2006-2007 doesn't change that, IMO. But, maybe that's just me.
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:51 PM   #47
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M_Paquette, Gumby, more rumor is that NR is particularly displeased at this start to what was to have been the ENTERPRISE's last deployment before decommissioning. Apparently ENT COs get a special NR closed-door briefing on the "special issues" for that ship, and many years were invested in the pipeline that a guy like Honors went through to get to CO of that particular ship.
"special issues" SPECIAL ISSUES! Oh, lordy. I hope that just means things like managing xenon transients in a reactor near end-of-life, and not something like "special issues related to shutdown and replacement of an S2G reactor plant." I'm sure I've seen it somewhere around here, but I can't find it just now.

"Just hold it together for three years. That's all we're asking. Three years without any major incidents or accidents..."

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Old 01-04-2011, 05:13 PM   #48
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Who says minds never get changed on the internet. I reluctantly vote for relieved of command, but to me it was somewhat of a close call. I thought the videos were pretty funny, but then I loved Borat also, more importantly I figured they would appeal to the 20 something on long deployments on a very old ship. Many/most of the sailors of both sexes defended Capt. Honors and the videos, which weighed on my judgment.

After reading Gumby and Nords posts I see that his behavior is completely inconsistent with a professional Navy.
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:14 PM   #49
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...........Many/most of the sailors of both sexes defended Capt. Honors and the videos, which weighed on my judgment. ..........
True, but people used to think blackface skits were a real hoot, too. It all depends on who you identify with.
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:27 PM   #50
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I'm sorry that Captain Honors got relieved of command but he demonstrated a huge error in judgment in making that video. As other have stated he may have been disciplined in private but once this became public the Navy had no choice but to relieve him. Image is important and the Navy must demonstrate that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. I hope the Enterprise's CO and the admirals embarked during his tenure as XO will also be disciplined for sweeping this under the rug.

Incidentally, as a Navy courier I flew aboard the USS Enterprise in 1971 when she was on Yankee Station off the coast of Vietnam. The arrested landing coming aboard is exciting but the cat shot or catapulting the aircraft off the ship is VERY exciting. I was told she had eight nuclear reactors and could reach speeds approaching forty knots.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:09 PM   #51
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I voted "Other" but I have, now, come down on the side of Captain Honors. I do that by putting things in context (in my mind anyway). His job was to motivate very young people to put themselves in harm's way. Those who have worked with teenager/young 20's know that you have to "be like them." I joke about "old fogies" but for that age group it is a very derogatory term and has nothing to do with age but a state of mind. I notice that the 1,400 (or so) formerly under his command were (and still are) fully on board with his subject actions and count it amongst the things that made their service tolerable (my word not theirs). I, also, note that every one of those condemning him have lots of gray in their hair. I know that group also -- "Sure I did that at your age but now see the error of my ways and knowing how wrong I was, by God, you're not going to get away with it."

I, also, will have "nightmares," because of the "gray-hair" action taken, about the Combat Readiness (technical and morale-wise) of this major component of our military -- not to mention the safety of all those young volunteers onboard fighting our battle. (Yeah, I know we are bigger than that but... )

And this comes on the same day that Texas admits to wrongly imprisoning a person for thirty years with a (in the Judge's words), "You are free to go. Thank you very much." ... "Thank you"!!! Thirty years!!! Wow.

What a sad day this has been.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:11 PM   #52
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In my view, it is quite possible to be a "lean mean fighting machine" without also being lewd and juvenile.
It worked for Ghengis Kahn.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:14 PM   #53
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Incidentally, as a Navy courier I flew aboard the USS Enterprise in 1971 when she was on Yankee Station off the coast of Vietnam. The arrested landing coming aboard is exciting but the cat shot or catapulting the aircraft off the ship is VERY exciting. I was told she had eight nuclear reactors and could reach speeds approaching forty knots.
Yup. Eight reactors at that time. Water skiing off the fantail was discouraged. What was really fun was that for catapult operations, one reactor could have it's output redirected to the catapult. (Each reactor makes heat, which drives a steam generator. Steam can go to propulsion and electrical turbines, or to the catapult.) A cat shot was exciting for the aviators, of course, but also for the reactor operator who had to compensate by hand for the massive changes in steam/power demand from the catapult. Another one of them there special issues, I suppose...

There are good reasons why the CO has to get through the Aviator/XO path and then through nuke school and whatnot to make CO. He's responsible not only for a floating airport, but for a set of seagoing nuclear power plants running a floating city. I had the honor to be assigned as the trainer for a CO candidate for his nuclear prototype training period. I never worked with anyone so focused before or since. 12 hour days, for months on end, and he flat out KNEW the operation of that plant after about four months, sat his board, and was off. The standard time through that school was 6 months, but word from on high was to get the Captain through ASAP.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:42 PM   #54
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Any? Judgment is not an all or nothing characteristic.
I see your point, and agree with it. Also, those who know my posts know I can be a bit crude, and I like to post irreverent things (remember the Chicken dance video?). I'm not at all offended by this stuff.

But anyone who cannot stop and think for a second -- "Hey, wait a minute" before publishing a video with this kind of stuff, doesn't have good enough judgment to have his finger on the trigger.

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Old 01-04-2011, 07:55 PM   #55
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I voted "Other" but I have, now, come down on the side of Captain Honors. I do that by putting things in context (in my mind anyway). His job was to motivate very young people to put themselves in harm's way. Those who have worked with teenager/young 20's know that you have to "be like them."
I disagree. Attempting to "be like them" was a huge error in judgment and demonstrates this guy doesn't have a clue about what it takes to be a real leader. Anyone recall a highly-regarded military leader who was "just one of the boys/girls"? I can't either...

Capt Honors, along with the Admirals who failed to take action when they first gained knowledge of this 'performance', should be relieved of their commands and strongly encouraged to retire.

Wonder if any of them will show up here?
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:26 PM   #56
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I disagree. Attempting to "be like them" was a huge error in judgment and demonstrates this guy doesn't have a clue about what it takes to be a real leader. Anyone recall a highly-regarded military leader who was "just one of the boys/girls"? I can't either...
I knew as soon as I posted that, that I had phrased it poorly. I don't mean "be like them" in the manner of the 40 year-old mother supplying alcohol to her 16-year old's house party to prove she is still "Cool." The group I am referring to can see through that in a heart beat (so can the 16-year olds, for that matter) and have absolutely no respect for that kind of behavior. I meant "be like them" in the "comrade-in-arms" sense. Captain Honors was (according to them) someone that was respected by his charges and his actions (knowing how to relieve the tension) magnified that. Not an error in judgement but a calculated tactical manuever to assembly a top-notch, highly motivated fighting corp, I suspect. Now that may have been a mistake but it wasn't from lack of maturity or lack of leadership ability... in my opinion. It would be wonderful if we could hold everyone in the military command to a no-mistake standard but so far no one has ever met that criteria.

Now, having said all that, I fully understand the need for "scape goats" - both in this case and the one in Texas. They make us feel so much better about ourselves.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:30 PM   #57
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Ron, I respect your opinion but I think it really odd you're tying in the wrongly-imprisoned guy in Texas with an apalling lack of judgment by a senior military officer. I see absolutely no connection between the two situations.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:55 PM   #58
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Has anyone noticed that we stopped winning wars about when we started cleaning everything up?

Correlation?

Causation?

Who needs to win wars as long as we are PC?
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Those of you who think the military has been hampered since Vietnam have clearly never experienced the transition from conscription to volunteer forces. Even in 1979 we were dealing with the overhang of the Vietnam "hollow force", and its drug culture persisted well into the 1980s. I don't know any military servicemembers or veterans with a few gray hairs who would want to go back to the "good ol' days"...


I am going to side with Nords here. Don't mistake our kinder, gentler, more PC volunteer military of today, for being less effective than the rougher, more brutal, draftee army of yesteryear.

We've fought 3 long counter-insurgency wars in the last 50 years, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq. We also fought 1/2 dozen more conventional wars, Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, Kosovo, and the beginning stages of the Afghanistan, and Iraq. (I am not counting the 'peaceful' missions in Somalia, Lebanon, Dominican Republic etc.).

By virtually any measurement, accomplishing the objectives, number of causalities sustained, ratio of casualties inflicted to sustained, minimizing civilian causalities, number of troops required, the wars in 1990 and 2000 were fought much more effectively than those in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Given the size of our military budget winning a conventional war isn't a challenge, but clearly taking out the Taliban in few weeks with small number of special forces is much more impressive than taking over Grenada or Panama.

Obviously there are lot of difference between Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. However, there are also some important similarities. In all 3 countries it the US was trying to prevent one (admittedly pretty bad) government, from being replace by another far worse group. All three countries had a population of roughly 20 million people (South Vietnam population was 19 million in the 1970s). Most importantly all three were classic counter-insurgency wars, that like all counter-insurgencies require years and often more than decade to decide. It appears we were successful in Iraq and we did it with roughly ~1/3 the troops than were used Vietnam. Our losses were 14x higher in Vietnam and civilian casualties although tragically high in Iraq were a fraction of those in Vietnam.

The jury is still out on Afghanistan. But I think it is worth looking at another counter-insurgency war. According Wikipedia the 2nd Cheyna war started in 1999 and major counter insurgency operations ended in 2009. During that time the Russia lost around 8,000-11,000 troops (out of 100,000-150,000 in the area) and killed 50,000 civilian and at least 15,000 Cheyna insurgents. The troop size, and length of Russia's war is similar to Afghanistan and Iraq and in all cases the enemies are Islamist who employ similar tactics (e.g. suicide bombs, IEDs)

However, there are two important differences. First Cheyna is tiny, about the size of Connecticut and has a population of 1.2 million. Second nobody would accuse Putin's army of being kinder, gentle or certainly political correct. The Russia army in many ways is similar to US Army of Vietnam days, when you run into opposition call in the artillery and blow it up.

Reading what Nords and Gumby wrote, I came to see Captain Honors as an old style warrior. Now, if old style warrior can get the job done in the 21st century, then I don't care who gets offended in the civilian world. But I suspect that what we really need is more General Petraus who recognize that tact, diplomacy, and even sensitive at times is a better way of winning wars.
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:39 PM   #59
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Any? Judgment is not an all or nothing characteristic. I know people who were excellent naval officers, with whom I would -- and did -- entrust my life. They were sober, diligent, insightful and very good at their job. But some of them had the crappiest judgment in personal relationships. Others had execrable judgment with respect to investing or anything beyond the most rudimentary of financial matters. Both were types of bad judgment, but neither one was a disqualification for serving as a naval officer. These videos were much closer to the type of misjudgment that would disqualify someone from command, but in my mind, at least, did not render Capt. Honors irredeemable. But that's just me. Others would say "why take a chance that his tactical judgment is not the same?" or "why take the chance that the crew will not respect him?", and they would be legitimate concerns. Recognize, however, that people qualified to command aircraft carriers do not grow on trees, so we need to be very careful about who we throw over the side.

One of the problems with judgment is that a youthful indiscretion CAN hurt you in the future... as an example... I was trying to hire an employee... I had a recommendation for someone that I knew was good.. would have made a great employee... but when we did a background check he had a DWI (DUI) when he was in his late teens... our CEO says 'no way'...

Also, we have had employees with bad credit ratings that we would not hire... would it have affected their jobs I do not know... but as a company we can not take the luxury to try them out...

Our company has a social media policy.... and what you put on your web site that can be attributed to you CAN hurt you.... like this video...
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:49 PM   #60
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Having been on Big E while O.P. Honors was the XO, I can tell you that there were several of these videos made, with lots of help from the ship's public affairs officer, and they were put on every Saturday during the cruise, at 8pm just before the actual "XO's movie," which was usually something like Animal House, Superbad, or some other funny movie. Nobody was forced to watch it, but it sure did a lot for morale. O.P. did a lot for the crew during his time as XO, but obviously crossed the line and got in trouble for it.

My Sailors came up to me one Saturday night, asked if I had seen his video, and then said "The XO is crazy!" However, everyone looked forward to his videos, and I don't think anyone is surprised that he got himself into trouble. What IS surprising is that the CO and CSG Admiral let him make so many movies like this, and there were no repercussions. The ship's Reactor Officer, another O-6, even appears on the film that everyone sees in the press, as does the Supply Officer, a senior O-5. The CO got a star, and the XO pinned on O-6 during his tour and was selected to be a CVN CO.

It's obvious to me that someone was out to get him.
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