Honors Navy Video Scandal: Beyond The Naked Women Jokes

by Emily Jasper on January 3, 2011

You may have missed the breaking news with all the New Year celebrations, but a video made by a Naval Officer hit the waves after being released by the Virginian-Pilot. Here is the original story.

Navy life is different, that’s all I can say. But it is not an excuse for commanders to think that they are released from leadership responsibility. What breaks my heart is that they are thousands of officers who have led with integrity who will be placed in a position where their past performance may now be questioned. Excellent video programs may be dismissed because generalizations will lead people to think this is how everyone behaves.

The women involved, however, may have it rougher than before. I took a moment to write about that over at Forbes blogs. Take this incident as a lesson to help you start your year off on the right foot.

When your work is your life–and you’re the commanding officer of both–it’s easy to blur the the lines between personal and professional. I imagine that is what happened when Capt. Owen Honors took his videos on the USS Enterprise a little too far.

Back in 2006 and 2007, Capt. Honors, then the second in command of the U.S. naval nuclear aircraft carrier, made and screened a series of tasteless, lewd videos for the crew’s entertainment as part of onboard movie night.

As Adam Weinstein writes on Mother Jones: “… one can almostunderstand what Honors was going for, in terms of irreverence. Too bad he had to bring ‘fag boys,’ jerk-off jokes, and naked women into it.”

Some of the sailors complained. And now that it’s been widely reported from an original story in The Virginian-Pilot newspaper, the Navy says it will investigate the “clearly inappropriate” videos.

Here we are again. I read some of the comments online about the story, many along the lines of: that’s just Navy life…that’s how they treat women…glad to see things haven’t changed. Even former crew member Misty Davis, who worked on the Enterprise’s weapons systems during her 2006-2010 tour, was quoted by the AP as saying: “It’s no worse than anything you’d see on Saturday Night Live or the Family Guy.”

Those are the same excuses and sarcastic comments made about Good Old Boys in business. Why can’t we evolve?

Read the rest of the story here.

Photo is a screenshot from the video posted online.