Sunday, January 02, 2011

USS Enterprise XO Video: See for Yourself!

The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot reports that the Commanding Officer of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, Navy Captain Owen P. Honors, Jr., due to deploy shortly to support operations in Afghanistan, while serving as its Executive Officer [XO] on a similar deployment in 2006-2007, starred in the above video series to the crew. See for yourself; the newspaper has bleeped out potentially offensive dialogue.

Here are our thoughts:

1. Consider the time and the context: Any kind of deployment is stressful; leaders need to guide and channel the intensity of emotions towards topics that are less [but not totally zero] politically incorrect, just to burn off the steam and stress and tension in a more [but not completely] socially acceptable manner. Furthermore, back in 2006, one political party controlled both political branches of our government; it takes time for socio-political changes like the Democratic takeover of Congress, effective in January 2007, to filter out to our ships at sea.

2. We need leaders with courage, rather than timid wimps afraid to make a decision. Yes, he should have a little egg on his face [see speculation in the page 2 etc. Comments on TowleRoad], but that's it. Clearly, the crew's loyalty to their Captain has ensured that the American people know what a great job he's doing. [Snark!] Other leaders are certainly learning and will be guided by this, but we don't want to destroy the need for creativity and imagination to maintain morale on a deployment.

3. Make your own decision whether it's really homophobic, or whatever. It's certainly juvenile, sophmoric and a bit raunchy, but so what? Keep the good elements of military culture; don't destroy everything.

4. With Congressional repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," to be fully implemented this year, will all such 'humor' be tolerated? No. Commanders and Leaders will need to ensure that all motivational materials ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect. A more pressing issue is whether Captain Honors recognizes how much things have changed, and the current, pre-deployment command climate on the USS Enterprise.

5. To a certain extent, this video is already a historical document of life under DADT.

Hat tip to TowleRoad.

Hat non-tip here. [They copied our post exactly. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.]

Update: The Navy is investigating.

further Update [08JAN2011]: For some reason, the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot has removed the video from its website; the above video has also been removed from YouTube by the original poster. We left a comment on the newspaper's website politely inquiring why. Sans response from the paper, it's back on YouTube:

Here's the most popular version:

Here's another version:

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At 04 January, 2011 22:34, Blogger Bukko Canukko said...

What's amazing is how many times in these excerpts this porkhole says something equivalent to "I probably shouldn't be saying/recording this" and then says/records it anyway. What a dumbass.

Military men have always been raunchy bastards. Goes with the territory. And sailors especially go wild with whores in every port. But in the old days, guys like my WW II veteran uncles had the good sense (or maybe sense of shame) to keep their farking gobs shut about it when they were outside of the VFW hall.

Now it's like they're so uncertain of their manliness that they've gotta amp it on video. Word up, squidoos -- if you gotta brag about it, you ain't got it.

At 08 January, 2011 22:50, Anonymous David K. M. Klaus said...

Maybe it's just me, but this kind of content from the (then) Executive Officer, and later Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise is particularly disturbing.

The name Enterprise has special significance, and its crew should hold to a better standard.


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