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Ex-Blue Angels Commander Accused Of Allowing Lewd Workplace (Video)

Capt. Gregory McWherter
U.S. Navy
Capt. Gregory McWherter

Navy investigators are looking into allegations that Capt. Gregory McWherter allowed a hostile work environment filled with lewd comments and pornographic images while he was commander of the Blue Angels two years ago at NAS Pensacola.

On Friday, the Navy fired McWherter from his post as executive officer of Naval Base Coronado, citing "unspecified alleged misconduct" as the reason.

Wednesday, the Washington Post accidentally uncovered what that alleged misconduct was:

[A]n internal military document that a Navy official inadvertently e-mailed to a Washington Post editor states that a former member of the Blue Angels filed a complaint last month accusing McWherter of promoting a hostile work environment and tolerating sexual harassment.

The complaint described an atmosphere rife with sexually explicit speech, the open display of pornography and jokes about sexual orientation.
NBC News reports McWherter actually encouraged such lewd behavior.

Navy Vice Admiral David Buss, commander of Naval Air Forces, responded to the allegations, saying:

"All Navy leaders, whether assigned to a highly visible unit like the 'Blues,' or to our installations, squadrons, ships and submarines, are held to the highest standards. The Navy expects everyone, from those officers in command positions to Sailors on the waterfront, to provide principled and highly ethical leadership, stressing discipline, accountability, and the importance of treating shipmates with dignity and respect."

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Navy fighter pilot community has long had a reputation as being less than welcoming to women:

While the Navy allows women to serve as fighter pilots, there are far fewer women in those positions than men. While female sailors work in the Blue Angels squadron, there are no women serving as pilots in the unit, a fact that military officials believe contributed to the creation of an environment seen by some as hostile to women.

The Today Show has more on the story: