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January 02, 2011

Captain Of USS Enterprise In Hot Water Over Ace Of Spades Lifestyle Approved Videos*

The Captain of the USS Enterprise finds himself in hot water over some videos he made while serving as the ship's Executive Officer.

In one scene, two female Navy sailors stand in a shower stall aboard the aircraft carrier, pretending to wash each other. They joke about how they should get six minutes under the water instead of the mandated three.

In other skits, sailors parade in drag, use anti-gay slurs, and simulate masturbation and a rectal exam. Another scene implies that an officer is having sex in his stateroom with a donkey.

...At the beginning of the videos, Honors jokes that his bosses shouldn't be held responsible for them. "As usual, I want to say that the captain and the admiral - they don't know anything at all about the content of this video or the movie this evening, and they should absolutely not be held accountable in any judicial setting," he says.

As with anything, some people thought the videos were funny, others were offended. Some were offended enough to complain but according to Honors, never directly to him.

"Over the years I've gotten several complaints about inappropriate materials in these videos, never to me personally but, gutlessly, through other channels."

First an aside, some of the editing and video effects are fairly high end and Honors apparently conceived and wrote all of the videos. Where the hell did he get that much time?

As you might imagine, the Navy, as least the corporate, home office part of it is not pleased.

If Capt. Honors didn't think these video would eventually get out (video and the internet are forever, it's a dangerous combination) or that they wouldn't cause a fire storm when they did, he's got a some very serious blind spots. Of course his disclaimer that his bosses didn't know about the contents of the videos shows he must have had some idea about the line he was walking.

I'm not qualified to pass judgment on where these jokes fall within what's acceptable or not in the Navy. Every professional culture has its own lines about what is and what is not acceptable. They are not always clear to the outsider. Of course that won't stop reporters, other commentators and members of Congress from weighing in and likely calling for Capt. Honors' head.

Which brings us to the heart of the matter...Enterprise is about to deploy.

Enterprise just completed an extensive overhaul (she was commissioned in November 1961) that ran 45% over budget for a total of $650 million in order to get one, maybe two more deployments out of her.

The Enterprise Strike Group just finished its training for the upcoming deployment, which according to the first article linked, is scheduled to begin in "weeks".

What's the Navy going to do? Get into this in the days before deployment? Replace at the last minute the Captain who has trained the crew up for this deployment?

No matter the outcome, this is something men and women about to spend 6+ months away from home shouldn't have to deal with.

*I changed the headline and removed two references to the Enterprise's upcoming deployment being in support of operations in Afghanistan because I misread something and I'm not sure that's the case.

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posted by DrewM. at 03:44 PM

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