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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, 09:52 PM   #61
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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.
What are the odds this isn't going to splatter all over them as well?
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:58 PM   #62
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What are the odds this isn't going to splatter all over them as well?
Heck, I hope I don't have the IG coming to ask me questions!
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:56 PM   #63
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Heck, I hope I don't have the IG coming to ask me questions!
Ask any officer from the Tailhook era about what happened if you were up for promotion during that timeframe...
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:40 AM   #64
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He probably has lost his career due to his lack of judgment. Regardless of how funny the video is to some, he should not have been involved with it.
Not only involved, but produced them. And used Navy equipment and his subordinates as a supporting cast to boot.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:02 AM   #65
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I voted "Other," also -- for the same reason. I am, at this point, influenced by the 1,400(plus?) folks, who have come forward and who served under him, that consider him to have been a very good officer... if not the best.
Typical age of a shipmate is 18-25, with few over 35, except for Chiefs and senior officers. They've been raised in a YouTube culture, where this type entertainment is the norm. Junior personnel without career intentions, just want to survive their active duty years. They will like any leader who makes their life easier, regardless if it is to the detriment of good order and discipline.

There is a fine line between being a "people person" style leader, and being everybody's bud. This guy crossed it.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:09 AM   #66
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Everyone is human. Some of us have faults. We still need the best guys available to command troops on the ground, run ships and fly airplanes if we are in combat.

I didn't vote. I'm not a US citizen or resident and I have never served in the military. I can show you two examples from the Canadian military and ask you which person you'd rather have in a position of command.

In my mega-corp days I commanded led a group of about 50 people. Political correctness was not high on our list of priorities. Respecting each other but not necessarily everyone in mega-corp or the world was. Juvenile humour was tolerated as long as it didn't get nasty or target one of "us". I'm sure there is a line, I think I knew if it had been crossed but I'm not sure I was willing to draw it before the fact.

Yes, in today's world the XO did something dumb. He's not running for office, he's supposed to run one of the most potentially destructive things on the planet. Is he Jack D. Ripper?
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:06 AM   #67
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Everyone is human. Some of us have faults. We still need the best guys available to command troops on the ground, run ships and fly airplanes if we are in combat.

I didn't vote. I'm not a US citizen or resident and I have never served in the military. I can show you two examples from the Canadian military and ask you which person you'd rather have in a position of command.

?
The answer I think is that neither of these guys is fit to led. In the case of General Menard, military blogger/journalist Micheal Yon had been trying to get General Menard fired for what Mr. You believes was some horribly bad decisions which led to the deaths of NATO troops in Afghanistan. Yon is an opinionated guy but his allegations coupled with the sex scandal seem like NATO and Canada are better off not having this guy command troops in harms way.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:39 AM   #68
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I don't think a "more PC military" is a reason why there's been less decisive butt-kickings in military endeavors since Vietnam, but I think it's a related issue to what I think is the cause. We seem to think "being nice" to the enemy will make them like us and stop doing globally unacceptable things. We seem to think that if "the enemy" are people of color, that there is a racist motive. We're becoming a society that doesn't accept that there are winners and losers, whether in war, in life, in Little League. Total war requires a winner and a loser.

In short, I think we've waged war with one hand tied behind the military's back since the 1960s. I don't think they are allowed to do what might need to be done to ensure total, decisive victory. I don't think the military becoming "kinder and gentler" is the direct reason for that, but is a side-effect of societal attitude shifts in general. We are in some ways being "wussified" as a society into thinking that conflict is always avoidable, and it is spilling over into all aspects of our society and culture, including the armed forces.

Plus, how we define "PC" changes over time with cultural values. At one point in history, Truman's order to desegregate the military could have been seen this way, but few today would suggest this was a bad idea that was caving into well-intentioned but misguided desire for social progress in the civilian world.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:56 AM   #69
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What are the odds this isn't going to splatter all over them as well?

I hear they're all retiring with honors...
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:01 AM   #70
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Orwell on Kipling: the latter's "grasp of function, of who protects whom, is very sound. He sees clearly that men can only be highly civilized while other men, inevitably less civilized, are there to guard and feed them." (1942)
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:07 PM   #71
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What bothers me more than the video (which, rightly or wrongly, was done with the consent of his CO to boost the morale of the troops and seemed to have the desired effect for the majority them, by all accounts) is that "someone" with an axe to grind waited four years for him to get his command to bring this up again..Did Captain Honors screw up in 2006? Probably. Is he getting screwed in 2011? Royally, IMO.


My thought exactly: 4 years? Puh-lease.

I voted slap him on the wrist and slap his higher ups, too. He did sound like a good officer, and, heaven knows, we need those.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:05 AM   #72
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For those of you concerned about axe-grinders and long delays, let me say it again with an [edit]:

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In another 1990s case, a senior O-6 had sexually harassed one of his staff. Following the approved practice of the times, she reported his behavior and negotiated an appropriate private resolution. But then [several years later] he was selected for flag officer, [even though at the time] she had been given the impression that his career was over. The resulting issue was tried all over again in the court of public opinion, and the Navy suffered for the impression of trying to sweep it under the rug the first time.

I suspect that when Honors pulled these stunts in 2006-07, someone did complain vigorously enough to have the matter investigated. Honors probably got a wrist-slap, maybe an unofficial oral reprimand, and was told to go forth & sin no more. Meanwhile those who originally complained about his behavior were probably told that "the matter has been addressed". When those people saw that he'd returned to the carrier as CO, they probably felt that the matter had not been adequately addressed and decided to go to the media.
... and I'll give you another example.

In the mid-1990s a submarine admiral fraternized with one of his subordinates. The affair later turned coercive and she filed a complaint that quickly deteriorated into a he-said-she-said drama. It was the latest of a series of senior-officer sexual-harassment incidents that was regarded by the CNO, Admiral Boorda, as the "last straw". The admiral was literally taken to mast and "awarded" restriction to quarters before being retired at a lower rank.

The Navy holds annual meetings of all its flag officers, and at one point during the next "convention" ADM Boorda put on a small piece of theater for its senior attendees. He pretended that the submarine admiral (who by this time was on restriction at another naval base) was sitting in a chair at the conference table, and then the CNO lectured that empty chair as if he was speaking personally to the admiral. Apparently he went on about morals and fidelity and adultery at some length. He then lectured the room on what would happen to the next flag officer who was associated with even a whiff of sexual scandal.

Any roomful of admirals includes a number of people who have known each other for several decades, including shipmates who've spent a lot of time on liberty doing stupid things together. Years previous to this conference, when Boorda was the admiral of a carrier battle group, he was rumored to have suffered a notorious case of "defective zipper syndrome". Scuttlebutt was that he was given the typical (for those times) counseling wrist-slap and told to sin no more. Several of the admirals in that room were aware of this history and were surprised, to put it mildly, at Boorda's newfound evangelical zeal and his "audacity" at lecturing them on proper morals & ethical behavior. It's been rumored that after this conference, one of those officers quietly leaked the lecture-story plus Boorda's previous behavior to the media. This is one of three incidents thought to have pushed Boorda to suicide.

Axe to grind? Perhaps. But if they really wanted to avenge themselves then they could have leaked the story to the media when it happened-- instead of waiting for years. It's far more likely that, at the time, they considered justice to have been served on someone who otherwise seemed to be a "good guy". However years later when Boorda changed his attitude (or at least appeared to be somewhat hypocritical), people may have been concerned that he'd become overconfident at "getting away with it" and needed to be reined back in. Or maybe they were concerned that the system hadn't worked and that this guy was now in a position to do even more damage.

Everyone wants to work with their chain of command, not fight with it. Everyone wants to be part of a great team, not to destroy their teammates for personal vengeance. I think that the Honors story broke to the media because a number of people felt that Honors had become even more of a problem as a CO than as an XO. If he had truly changed his behavior (let alone made amends) then people would have been inclined to forgive & forget while agreeing to work with a guy who could clearly get things done and was going places. I bet that he returned to ENT with even more of an ego/attitude than when he left, and people decided that they weren't going to put up with still yet even more of his crap.

There's no statute of limitations on stupid. Certain parts of the press (and some shipmates) may be trying to make Honors sound like a good officer, and in many respects he probably is a good officer. However for every Honors there are dozens of other officers who are equally as good at their jobs and who didn't need to "raise crew morale" with such outrageous behavior. We don't read about them in the press because they're doing their jobs and letting their personal behavior examples speak for them. They don't need to be defended by shipmates and the media because nobody questions their honor in the first place.

I don't care if Honors was the reincarnation of Nimitz & Halsey. His behavior harmed more than it helped and his trend was apparently not improving. No one is indispensable or irreplaceable, and the Navy is better off having set an example of how this type of behavior will play out.

I think the other O-5s and O-6s around Honors' video efforts should also be hunted down and invited to retire. I think that Honors' command master chief should also be shown the exit. I just hope that the witch hunt doesn't extend to the more junior participants, who may have known better but who could not be expected to have the leadership skills to speak up and "redirect" his efforts without rightfully fearing reprisals.

Maybe I talk pretty harshly for someone who never did an XO or CO tour and retired after failing to promote to O-5. But, dammit, I wanted to be led by people whom I respected and admired-- not by outrageous personalities. There are way too many leaders who mask their insecurity, their flaws, and their failures by this over-the-top egotistical attitude. They push their crews into ever-worsening spirals of disregard for the standards, the safety, and the lives of those they're supposed to be taking care of. For every Honors in the fleet, there are a half-dozen wannabes who use his behavior as an excuse for even more outrageous stunts. I'm sorry that it took so long for justice to happen, but at least the system finally worked before he took the ship on a combat deployment and caused some real trouble.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:35 AM   #73
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Nords, one of these days I hope you will feel comfortable enough to tell us how you really feel about the Honors incident.

On a more serious note, I think this statement is particularly accurate when I look back on my years in the military:
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... I wanted to be led by people whom I respected and admired-- not by outrageous personalities.
Had I been a junior officer serving under Honors I would have followed his orders and I might have considered him a good comedian, but he would have never had my respect.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:58 AM   #74
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Had I been a junior officer serving under Honors I would have followed his orders and I might have considered him a good comedian, but he would have never had my respect.
Was his behavior in 2010 when he was assigned this command the same as it was in 2006 when the videos were made?

People do learn, mature and evolve. Leadership is developed over time, not captured in a static snapshot. Being promoted to CO in the highly competive naval officer corps would indicate to me that he had apparently been evaluated eight ways to Sunday by the senior brass and deemed to have developed sufficiently as a leader by 2010 to earn this plum assignment.

The failure of leadership in this incident occured way above Captain Honors pay grade, IMO.
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:18 AM   #75
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People do learn, mature and evolve. Leadership is developed over time, not captured in a static snapshot.
True.

However, Capt Honors graduated from the Naval Academy in 1983. He'd been honing his leadership skills for almost 25 years when these videos were made. It cannot buy into the theory that his judgment and leadership abilities have matured and evolved enough in the succeeding three or four years to give him a pass/promotion.
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The failure of leadership in this incident occurred way above Captain Honors pay grade, IMO.
Agreed. I think I read that the investigation wasn't stopping with Honors.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:41 PM   #76
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I watched the video. I was not offended. I was not on the cruise, have never served under Capt Honors, and don't really know what type of officer he is. I do know there were two type of officers I served under, one you would do anything he ask because he ask, the other because you were scared not to. These two types have been typified by Gen Bradley and Gen Patton in WWII. Both got the job done, but it was a hell of a lot more 'fun' under Bradley.

I don't believe in judging someone with out all the facts, and I certainly don't think we have them in this situation.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:47 PM   #77
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Nords, one of these days I hope you will feel comfortable enough to tell us how you really feel about the Honors incident.
Well, I take it kinda personally. My spouse's USNA class graduated over a thousand ensigns & 2LTs back in '83, and none of them felt compelled to "earn" the troops' respect in quite that manner. Willie McCool & Napoleon McCallum are two who come to mind without grabbing her yearbook.

Oh, and I'd hate for my daughter to run into someone like Honors someday while she's out there trying to qualify as an OOD or do a department-head tour.

I've never had a CO quite as bad as Honors-- quite-- but I've been around a few who had excessively large assessments of their capabilities. When you're out somewhere in "international waters" on a submarine mission trying to remain undetected, let alone avoid a military/diplomatic incident, and the boss thinks that you're holding him back from his Legion of Merit because he's bulletproof and immortal, things can get a little tense.

Especially when you've served with other COs who have shown you how to do it right. Luckily I think those other COs still outnumber the "Honors" style.
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:42 PM   #78
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While Captain Honors has been dismissed, the Army seems to be losing officers voluntarily.

The article claims highest priority on conforming, rather than innovating as prime reasons. While no mention is made of PC, I suspect that is very important part of the conforming requirement. Unlikely that a departing officer would discuss that, since in a civilian j*b PC is at least as important as in uniform.

I like the description by the Germans during WWII. The Americans are unpredictable, they don't conform to their own doctrine.

Contrast that with today's company or battalion grade officer's behavior.

Why Our Best Officers Are Leaving - Magazine - The Atlantic
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A Gay Sailor Who Served Under Captain Honors Supports Him
Old 01-06-2011, 08:54 PM   #79
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A Gay Sailor Who Served Under Captain Honors Supports Him

A Gay Sailor Speaks Out in Support of Capt. Owen Honors - Joshua Green - Politics - The Atlantic

The truth is we are a nation of cry-babies and whiners, so naturally the services will reflect this same ethos.

Long term it can't work, war making is different from playing "fair society" games.

But likely other fatal flaws in our modern USA will do us in first.

Ha
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:39 PM   #80
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I've never had a CO quite as bad as Honors
I had far, far worse. I think that colors my view of things.
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