Captain Honors: Thanks for helping with crew morale, we'll thank you by posting the video and getting you fired.
This is long. If you don't read it, that's ok, I won't lose any sleep. I'm typing this for me.
For those of you who may not have been following this story, here's a couple of links.
Navy Capt. Owen Honors Relieved of Command for Lewd Videos
Navy statement Capt. Owen Honors relieved of command
Here's my opinion of the parties involved and the level of blame to be placed.
The Navy - Blameless - Firing a Captain that can be publicly shown to have acted below the high standards they have set forth is exactly what has maintained the high traditions of the service for over 200 years.
Captain Honors - Blameless - Let's face it, the XO getting in on an underway gag reel is pretty fucking cool. "Holy shit! He IS human! We'd never have guessed! Let's finish knocking out this PM and watch it again." Besides, it's not like he was the Old Man at the time. He did what he thought was within reasonable bounds for a ship that was underway and had a good laugh of the whole thing. I'll bet anyone who served under him enjoyed the hell out of that video and hey, don't you think the Captain would have noticed the XO being filmed? I'd lay money that most, if not all, of the Wardroom knew that video was being made.
The Virginian-Pilot (Newspaper that broke the story) - Blameless - I can't stand the news media in general, but let's be honest, if this fell in your lap as a journalist in Norfolk, wouldn't YOU publish it? Lewd video? Bet your ass it was "lewd"... by civillian standards. I talked about things underway that I don't talk to my wife about. It's a different world out there, and things like vulgar and lewd are really fairly non-existent, there is proper operation without losing lives and there is fucking up. If you don't fuck up, sure, take a picture of yourself in a shower cap with a walkie talkie, how could that hurt anyone? Request permission to enter maneuvering carrying just your clipboard and wearing just your boots and a belt to hold your TLD (you know who you are!). It's funny. We'll laugh. No one will die. Is it lewd? Yup. That's why I wouldn't walk into a bank wearing just boots and a belt, but no one in the bank has the ability to kill a lot of their co-workers by flipping the wrong switch on the ATM, either.
The "Leaker" - FULL BLAME - This video was never meant to leave the confines of the USS Enterprise. Period. Something like that, produced as a morale boost for the crew, has probably been done on 90% of deployments in the Navy. It may not always be a video, it may just be a party (Halfway Night). It may be skits or jokes or a bitch book with "lewd" cartoons. The bottom line though is that someone thought it would be funny to send to a wife/girlfriend/family member or (I hope not, but you never know) they were fucking dumb enough to post the goddamn thing on the internet. A video like that should be held sacred among the crew and never taken off of the ship to be shared. You may notice that I'm pointing the finger pretty squarely at the blueshirts here and I think that's fair. I don't know any officers that wouldn't see the implications of something like this going public and be sure that their copy, if saved at all, had a very tight leash kept on it.
All that being said, to the person who actually leaked the video: congratulations, you've destroyed the career of a good officer who was set to lead our men and women into war because 3 years ago he thought it might be nice if they all had a good laugh to break the stress and monotony. Well fucking done.
To Captain Honors: I wish there was something I could do to help, but I think we all understand that petitions or viral video rebuttals to what has happened are useless gestures at this point. I'm very sorry, Captain, that this happened to you. It's a lesson that you should never have had to learn and I hope that you are able to salvage your career for the good of your honor and your family.
Copyright 2011; used with permission of the author.