22-Year Navy Veteran Says Capt. Honors Failed as a Leader
As a retired Navy CPO with 22 years of service and another six years spent on board aircraft carriers as a female contractor - long before women were serving on those warships - I've spent all week following this story. What is shocking me the most is the utter lack of recognition throughout Capt. Honors' support system regarding what the true issues are.
This has nothing to do with gays in the military and it isn't about demeaning women serving in the military and it definitely has nothing to do with being politically correct. Those are merely symptoms. The most disturbing thing about Capt Honors is that even at his esteemed level of senior rank, he didn't understand the Navy, his role within it, the rules he is mandated to abide by, and the audience that were at his beck and call.
He took one of the most senior and cherished positions of authority on one of the largest ships in the Navy and decided to grab center stage; with no boundaries, no room for authority or oversight ' and without any regard for others. After all, it was the Owen Honors show ' and if you watch closely, you can see inside a man who was doing those videos, much more to stroke his own ego than to boost the morale of his large crew. As someone on a Facebook wall said so succinctly, "the minute he called any complaints gutless, he lost his leadership capability."
What this is about ladies and gentlemen is that this man was solely responsible for the good order, discipline and morale of 5998 other people on the USS Enterprise, the oldest, the first, and the most unique nuclear aircraft carrier in the Navy. He failed at that job miserably.
By producing these tapes, he was not acting as an Executive Officer. So many articles of the UCMJ come to mind. He created an uncommon "familiarity" with his subordinates - to the extent of watching him (fake) masturbating at his desk or having sexual relations with animals or bunking with other men. That is not something junior officers or junior enlisted should be seeing or imagining from their second in command. Fail.
He created a hostile and offensive working environment with the added issue of sexual harassment. This is clearly proven by his own on-camera rebukes of anyone who found the content offensive or uncomfortable and anyone who filed a complaint was gutless. That is not the type of leadership the Navy is looking for to mentor our troops. Fail. He used his position of authority to: encourage participation in videos that are utterly distasteful and epitomize 'conduct unbecoming of an officer;' to get them produced with government equipment; and to keep his dirty little secret. Fail.
Why did he get yanked three weeks before the Enterprise deployed? Well, if he behaved as he did as the XO on deployment, just imagine what would take place with that much more power in his hands on this upcoming deployment. In summary, Capt Honors is an epic fail without consideration of the political correctness of the videos - it is the highest standards of military correctness in which he failed.