Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Sticking It To The Man

What would you do? Imagine you find yourself in a situation where you feel that, although you recognize you're not blameless, you feel like you're being made the "fall guy" to protect your higher-ups. Would you go along with it, hoping that by "playing the game" they'll take care of you in the end? Or would you fight back?

Last year, we discussed the story of the former amphib XO who demanded a court martial rather than accept NJP for training and procedural deficiencies that led to the death of a Sailor. (He was acquitted.) Now, we see that CAPT Owen Honors, former CO of USS Enterprise (CVN 65), is saying what everyone already knew -- that lots of senior officers knew about his videos, and didn't complain about them at the time.

It's an interesting dilemma. When one finds themselves the designated "bad guy" in a media firestorm, is it the better part of valor to fall on one's sword and assume that all the good ol' boys will appreciate you doing "the right thing" and make sure you get taken care of during your post-Navy career, or do you name names and go down fighting?

One particular case sticks out to me from the Submarine Force. I won't mention the name of the ship, but there's been one very prominent incident since this blog started where, I'm convinced, 90% or more of the submarines in the fleet would have done the exact same thing as this boat did in terms of pre-incident planning, and many would have suffered the same fate given the same tasking. Would you "take your medicine" and hope they'll take care of you behind the scenes, or come out swinging?

127 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's assume for the sake of argument that you're talking about USS San Francisco. Their operational boss appeared to route them through dangerous waters with little or no warning. After the grounding, the investigation appeared to conclude there was a chart onboard that might have given some indication of a potential problem in the general vicinity of the grounding.

The investigation didn't seem to fault the operational boss, who theoretically had that same chart and access to additional, better navigational information. It also didn't seem to fault the Navy's chartographers, who certainly had that same chart and access to additional, better navigational information. No, it was just the boat's problem, so the Navy cut them loose. Sometimes loyalty is just an Einbahnstrasse.

As far as the grounding itself goes, at one point or another, I successfully served as Navigator on three different classes of submarines. And there but for the grace of God go I.

2/05/2011 10:06 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come out swinging. If you're being thrown under the bus publicly, you can rest assured you'll be thrown under the bus privately. Besides, if my "buddy" is going to lie through his teeth to protect his career knowing full well what I did was with his approval and comment, I wouldn't want his help anyway. In fact, that would simply motivate me to tear his ass off of his perch and kick him to the curb.

2/05/2011 10:13 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can certainly understand why he's pissed at them. People who you thought were your friends, mentors, whatever and they aren't saying anything. Not sure I'd publicly rip them but privately might be a different story.

Except for being pissed I'm not sure what Honor's thought process is on this. It's not like they ordered him to make the videos. They aren't going to clear his record and give him his command back because his superiors knew about these videos. Do I think those guys should've stepped and said, "I knew about that, I didn't think it was a big deal, blah, blah, blah". Yes, I do. Do I think Honor's looks like a whiner by bringing all this up when he knows it's not going to do anything to help his case? Yes, I do but he understandably pissed at these guys and that's why I think he's doing it.

2/05/2011 10:28 AM

 
Blogger Curt said...

Here, the difference is that it was the XO who was 'the performer.' The question in my mind, is, "Why wasn't the CO of the ship held accountable?

It is the CO who should go quietly into the night. Silently.

So, Honors should "Stick it to the Man," and the CO's who fall prey to circumstance, should bite the bullet (IMHO).

2/05/2011 11:09 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honors' career is already shattered thanks in no small part to his spineless, limp-wristed, PC assclown superiors. If I were him, I'd twist a knife into as many of those careers as possible - then I'd write a book dishing all the dirt on every single one of 'em.

2/05/2011 11:30 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Honors writes that book, it is a good bet his kids never make it to the Academy.

We know paybeck can be hell, but when the related cooling systems are designed and run by hypocrites, career-ruining is just the start.

2/05/2011 11:52 AM

 
Anonymous Curtis said...

Out swinging with a switchblade.

2/05/2011 12:38 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the Duke of Earl says:
For me, it would depend on the point in my career and the punishment. In Capt. Honor's position, I'd go quietly. In Lt. Calley's position, I'd come out swinging!

2/05/2011 1:58 PM

 
Blogger MT1(SS)WidgetHead said...

"Would you "take your medicine" and hope they'll take care of you behind the scenes, or come out swinging?"

That question can only be answered on a case by case basis. Every situation along these lines is different.

It's already clear Capt Honors is putting up a fight. Quite frankly, I don't blame him for being pissed off. No doubt he feels like he's alone in this whole freak show in which the media has perpetuated and turned in to a public side show. After reading his Fit-Reps and his side of the story, yeah I say the Capt has a fairly wide berth of maneuvering room here.

Plus he commanded two ships after a successful XO tour on ENTERPRISE. In all that time these "naughty" videos are just now surfacing? I thought they were hysterical. Do they promote good order...maybe not so much but the vids don't detract from it either. But oops, the media and PC police caught wind of it and blew this whole thing completely out of perspective.

I really hope he writes a book. I gladly stand in line at B&N to buy a copy...and yes, there will be a line if the Capt get's published. He'll tear the PC/Nazi diversity trendsetters a new one out in public. He's what I call a Non-Bullshitter and he'll tell ya like it is and play no PC reindeer games when it's time to sit down for a one on one. That's the type of officer I'll gladly serve under any day.

2/05/2011 2:02 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Honors writes that book, it is a good bet his kids never make it to the Academy.

Life isn't top gun. There are other* ways of getting a commission that have jack squat to do of what your daddy did for a living or getting on some congressman's list.

*better :)

Re: SFO "No, it was just the boat's problem, so the Navy cut them loose."

Fwiw, though it may be not as well publicized or called out anyone specifically, the Tycom's (more precisely subopauth's) and their bosses did do a hard look on how they did waterspace and significantly changed the way they did business.

last, in this case if I were Honors I'd come out swinging too. The ones that will give him a job at Northrop or L3 or whatever are the same mafia that are retired O-6's & O-7's who served as mid grade officers pre-tailhook* and that likely think the videos were reasonably funny, within bounds, and Honors is being thrown under the bus by the biggest brass for political expediency.

*and are still pissed their community got thrown under the bus for that

2/05/2011 2:06 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Depends. In a clear "nothing left to lose" situation like the XO video case or the 711 grounding, I would absolutely name names.

Unfortunately, this comes up all the time in cases where "taking the hit" yourself sucks, and feels like an injustice, but where fighting would surely escalate to a "Ok, you win, you're right. But now you'll never work in this town again. Happy?" situation.

When you consider that your reputation and others' influence can extend outside the Navy to private industry, a lot more cases can seem to be in the second category.

2/05/2011 2:07 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Cowboys don't cry. Take your lumps.

2/05/2011 3:18 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Plus he commanded two ships after a successful XO tour on ENTERPRISE. In all that time these "naughty" videos are just now surfacing?"

I'd say that's correct. Looks like the timing is way off for Honors to take any lumps. The higher ups are just trying to cover their own asses politically once the whistle was blown.

2/05/2011 3:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The differences between 711 and CAPT Honors are significant.

On 711, the CO failed to develop a safe navigational plan. No more, no less. He had plenty of info to tell him not to go that fast that deep in that area. For example, Sailing Directions (which is required to be reviewed by the chart prep list) has words that the LAND on the charts from that area could be off by miles due to the age and quality of the data. A prudent mariner would have factored that in.

The consequences included the loss of life, repair costs, and loss of operational time. There may have been problems with the shore side support, but that doesn't absolve the CO.

CAPT Honors, at the time of the videos, was NOT the CO. He was second in command. He is doing exactly the right thing here--telling the truth that his seniors were well aware of, and encouraged, the videos.

If the Navy decides that CAPT Honors is not fit for command (and it has) then fair play dictates that those senior to him that tolerated the behavior be held accountable.

2/05/2011 3:58 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

"If the Navy decides that CAPT Honors is not fit for command (and it has) then fair play dictates that those senior to him that tolerated the behavior be held accountable."

100% agreement. Believe that's what John Harvey will do (his latest comment here: http://usfleetforces.blogspot.com/2011/02/uss-enterprise-cvn-65-video.html#comments).

But as far as OP Honors somehow having this turn out as anything other than a personal disgrace, that ship has sailed. Cowboys don't cry. Take your lumps.

2/05/2011 4:18 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sailing Directions (which is required to be reviewed by the chart prep list) has words that the LAND on the charts from that area could be off by miles due to the age and quality of the data."

The Navy has access to better data. There's no excuse why our charts can't plot the land correctly. Somebody please inform the Navy chartographers about satellites and GPS!

So, tell me again why are we hazarding our vessels unnecessarily?

2/05/2011 4:28 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RD,
Can you explain your thought process?
I agree that this will turn out badly for OP Honors--it already has.

What I can't tell from your comments is whether or not you think he should air "his side" of the facts at this point.

My thought is that by being absolutely truthful with the investigators and the public, he is doing the right thing.

Silence would only allow senior Navy leadership to excuse this away as "one rogue XO" vice the systemic tolerance issue that it is.

Thanks

2/05/2011 4:30 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"On 711, the CO failed to develop a safe navigational plan. No more, no less. He had plenty of info to tell him not to go that fast that deep in that area."

If in fact the land in that area is misplotted by miles, the only safe navigation plan would be to transit on the surface.

But I'm willing to bet that the operational boss assigned them the standard size submerged box moving at a high speed of advance.

So, tell me again why are we hazarding our vessels unnecessarily?

2/05/2011 4:33 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ 4:28PM
Navigation is an art. Bowditch is clear that overly relying on ANY one source of data/info is a recipe for disaster.

My point earlier was that data available on the ship would have prevented this. The sailing directions was but one example. Some of those areas of the world have not been surveyed for a long time, so you have to be prudent.

GPS and satellites aren't perfect either. The prudent use of ALL references has been, and will continue to be, the best option.

2/05/2011 4:36 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd go with "come out swinging," but then I was a SWO and "we eat our young" was not just a motto. CAPT Honors may go down in flames, but maybe, just maybe, if he takes a few of teh Flag Mafia with him, they'll be a little more hesitant to throw the next guy under the bus.

2/05/2011 5:22 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

2/05/2011 4:30 PM: If Honors' purpose was to elucidate the truth, he could do so quite well quietly.

The first 8 pages of his 15-page public letter is an homage to himself - "I did this and I did this and I did this ..." - he's at the bottom of page 8 before the matter at hand is mentioned. He also released his O-6 fitness reports ("Oh look at me again"). So it's all about ego, self-justification, and blame to others. I don't see our Navy on his list of concerns anywhere, nor officer qualities like courage or, yes, honor.

The more honorable path in my view would be to respond truthfully to the investigation and otherwise shut up. Cowboys don't cry. Especially not in public.

2/05/2011 5:40 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay Duck, this is the third time you've made reference about "cowboys don't cry" on the topic at hand. Honors was born and raised in NY. He's not a dumbfuck no account cowboy from the plains of Kansas or the foot hills of Oklahoma. Who gives a shit about cowboys anyway? Nowadays, they're some of the dumbest and lowest payed motherfuckers who are only qualified to take care of someone's cattle and buffalo ranch(s).

Honors is a LEADER!! I too hope he takes down some of the Admiralty who feel they're above all else in life. I also hope he writes a well detailed book. That would be fucking awesome.

2/05/2011 5:54 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although navigation is an art, there are some things the Navy could do to assist its ships and boats. For example, back in the day it was well known that one stretch of the entrance to Pearl Harbor lacked a good fixed nav aid for getting a visual fix on the north side of the entrance. That still may be true. Why didn't the Navy fix that problem?

Even though Pearl Harbor is one of the shortest and easiest maneuvering watches anywhere in the world, it's still possible to make a mistake there. If you don't believe me, ask the crew of USS Guardfish.

Not willing to wait for the Navy to fix a known problem, one enterprising navigator knew an officer who lived in beachfront military housing in Ewa Beach on that side of the entrance. That officer's house had a distinctive cabana on the beach side of the property. One day, the navigator visited the house, decorated one corner of the cabana with a distinctive marker, and plotted the cabana's marker at every opportunity going in and out of port to fix its location. After that, the cabana became part of every round of bearings for a fix.

Gunnery Sergeant Highway would have approved. How about Rear Admiral Ron Thunman (COMSUBPAC at the time)?

2/05/2011 5:56 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

2/05/2011 5:54 PM: The phrase "Cowboys don't cry" comes from an old buddy of mine, QM-3 Gabby Hays of Marble Falls, Texas. He served in WW-II and was wounded in a kamikaze attack on the transport he served in. I knew him later on my first hitch: great shipmate. The phrase is properly used here, as Gabby would use it: don't be a whining, sniveling loser.

OP Honors continues to make disgracing himself and our Navy his primary occupation.

2/05/2011 6:04 PM

 
Anonymous Green Screen said...

This is the FTOW, Rubber Ducky has been relieved of command.

May God have mercy on his soul.

2/05/2011 7:21 PM

 
Anonymous ShoreJO said...

The underlying issue here is the Navy's root-cause-analysis-to-death culture.

Why do we have to punish ourselves to the extreme?

Case in point: A shipyard critique on some steam plant layup tags that were found to be inadequate after a ridiculous tag-roll to simultaneously work on the feed pump. Both the Navy and the SY bought off on the tag plan before it occured.

At the critique, the SY nuclear test boss (great guy) said that we had multiple layers of "protection" but ____ happens and didn't think there was any real lesson to be learned. Needless to say, after a resulting 24 hours of stand-down with department wide training about various RPM requirements, the Navy supervision was breathing down our necks to get back on/ahead of schedule.

2/05/2011 7:31 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The first 8 pages of his 15-page public letter is an homage to himself - "I did this and I did this and I did this ..." - he's at the bottom of page 8 before the matter at hand is mentioned. He also released his O-6 fitness reports ("Oh look at me again"). So it's all about ego, self-justification, and blame to others. I don't see our Navy on his list of concerns anywhere, nor officer qualities like courage or, yes, honor."

What's new? He is a naval officer after all!

2/05/2011 8:51 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The more honorable path in my view would be to respond truthfully to the investigation and otherwise shut up.

By releasing his fitreps, he is responding truthfully. In addition, he is laying waste to the PC assclowns' claims that he is unfit for command.

Shut up? I think not. He should be naming names and taking down every spineless prick who didn't have the balls to stand up on this one.

2/05/2011 10:27 PM

 
Anonymous 3383 said...

It depends on the individual and the situation. But- and I learned this first hand- whether anyone says they're going to speak for you, whatever the situation, whether you get anyone else fingered with you, it won't save you. You aren't likely to be listened to or taken seriously, either.

The lesson I took is to either ensure you are above reproach (not easy, and can lose you friends) or accept that what you do has a chance of getting you in trouble and accepting it if your number comes up.

2/05/2011 10:50 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand where he's coming from......the videos ran for a couple of years, are about 4 years old, and he had 2 different CO's during his time. If they are such a problem now, why did nobody reel this guy back in at the time? Too many people who outranked him knew what he was doing at the time for him to be the sole fall guy now.

I'm not wild about the way he's going about it, but I can't put my hand on a Bible and say I'd do it much differently, having never been in those unenviable shoes. He's pissed and feels railroaded, and he has every right to.

MMC(SS)

2/06/2011 1:55 AM

 
Anonymous 594tuff said...

Rubber Ducky,
Thanks for the link, I wasn't aware the investigation was done. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out especially in light of pending flag officer shuffles this year.

2/06/2011 8:04 AM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

Few commenters seem to expect any higher honor code observance from the CAPT than from his superiors.

RD makes clear his view that those senior to him also be held accountable. Fantastic!

Unless the public is told the truth, however, there is scant pressure to hold politicians accountable for their malfeasance, or incompetence.

RD, do you dispute that career survival of flag officers is more dependent upon support from the political correctness bullies than ever? In following your opinions some of us have learned to expect your comfort level with that status quo. You seem to prove so with this:

"The more honorable path in my view would be to respond truthfully to the investigation and otherwise shut up. Cowboys don't cry. Especially not in public."

The only thing wrong with pure idealism has been its blind disregard for human nature, which has throughout history invited corruption in foreseeable circumstances.

President Reagan had it right when he cautioned, "trust, but verify."

2/06/2011 8:49 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's be honest with each other, when it comes to officers in the Navy they're taught not to care about the people below them from the get go. I've watched them personaly stab each other in the back onboard numerous times. I think the true question and one that you don't see in the papers is this "How many enlisted sailors have taken the fall for their officers?" They don't get the option of court martial while at sea if the Captain decides to take them to mast because he realizes if someone doesn't Squadron will come a knocking. It disheartens me to see where the Navy has come.

2/06/2011 9:03 AM

 
Blogger Bigbill said...

I think I have a unique perspective on this based on my service. I was a submariner for 14 years and have been an LDO SWO for the last 11. I served on three submarines and I'm currently serving on my third carrier.

Captain Honors was wrong in what he did. He was the XO of 5000 sailors and in the carrier world, he is the CO of the crew and his boss (the actual CO) is in charge of the ship. He was completely out of line making these videos. It's not his job to entertain the crew and if he was doing his job correctly, he wouldn't have had time to make them. I brings into question his decision making and his priorities. The person I see in the videos is feeding an ego and nothing else. He wanted to be popular, a bad trait in an XO if that's his sole motivation.

The CO and Strike Group Commander are absolutely responsible as well. ADM Harvey is the right person to put things right. He is a SWO nuke which means he's not part of the good old boy aviation community which has given this behavior a pass in the past.

2/06/2011 9:37 AM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Vigilis - "RD, do you dispute that career survival of flag officers is more dependent upon support from the political correctness bullies than ever? "

What folks who don't get out much call PC is in general the sum of public opinion, the American zeitgeist as reflected in current media, scholarship, politics, and law. This is the sea the Navy has to swim in, for two reasons: the Navy stands for the American people and should reflect the values held there; the Navy answers to a wide range of stakeholders who take their signals from the same source. So unless the Navy wishes to hold values other than those of the nation it protects and unless it wants to go out of its way to offend and upset important supporters and champions, it really does have to pursue common principles. PC? No: CP.

The question isn't flag protection but rather flag awareness of the greater culture they should be part of. Most of the flags I've known and served with are aboard for doing the right thing for the Navy - and we should note that to a first approximation these are the best officers we can produce. But some are not particularly swift in knowing what the right thing is and what the changing tastes and opinions and judgments are in society at large. Thus the received wisdom about the Irish, the Italians, African-Americans, Hispanics, Jewish, and other minorities in America and in the Navy have gone from disdain and even hatred to acceptance and understanding. Thus women have gone from being not citizens at all (de facto) to having the vote to having fuller legal rights to arriving at full equality (de jure at least, and de facto in the Navy). Thus the gay community is following the same path, from oppression to tolerance to acceptance. And the Navy can't afford to lag behind society very much or it will find itself across the breakers, as our hero Honors has done.

In particular, Naval Air has had a strikingly difficult time of sorting all this out. The IG investigation of what went on at the 1991 Tailhook convention in Las Vegas (available online) is stunning in the stupidity of the participants. Ditto what this clown Honors did, as ENT XO and just now as the wounded party in a futile attempt to regain honor.

Finally, as to accountability of flag officers. I can name at least two submarine flags who were thrown out of the Navy in disgrace (one for drunkenness and one for sexual harassment; good busts both) and I'm sure the number Navy-wide is much higher. And as was shown with my old boss Frank Kelso and Tailhook, if you're at a really senior flag level and give more junior flags a pass, you take their risk unto yourself (in his case, his sin was believing his junior flags from the 1300 community when they were lying to his face).

2/06/2011 9:40 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What folks who don't get out much call PC is in general the sum of public opinion, the American zeitgeist as reflected in current media, scholarship, politics, and law.

This is not even close to correct. PC is actually the perception of "acceptable behavior" foisted upon the public at large by the MSM and effeminate pols. No one slightly in touch with reality believes touchy feely, PC approved behavior to be the accepted norm - nor will it be.

2/06/2011 10:48 AM

 
Anonymous Stsc said...

I disagree that our Flags are our best officers. A few are, but I think the majority are merely our better politicians. The majority of our best officers leave before Flag rank in my opinion.

As to Honors - nothing he can say or do will make this better for him. Taking out some Admirals isn't going to solve anything but It might make him feel better...not what I would do but in the end it will probably just make a few of the Flag level personnel cuts (coming soon regardless of the big E brouhaha) easier to make.

2/06/2011 10:58 AM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

"This is not even close to correct. PC is actually the perception of "acceptable behavior" foisted upon the public at large by the MSM and effeminate pols. No one slightly in touch with reality believes touchy feely, PC approved behavior to be the accepted norm - nor will it be."

It's that equality stuff that gets you, eh? Darn those Founding Fathers.

2/06/2011 11:04 AM

 
Anonymous Veemann said...

I think it is a gutless statement that he said his bosses approved what he was doing, tacitly or otherwise. He was solely responsible for their production and content so approval or lack of by anybody else on the ship simply isn't relevant.

I also think that the only statement any of the handful of (more) senior officers on the ship (and BTW where was the Chaplain and the JAG during all of this???) can say now is that they though they thought his videos were inappropriate they failed in putting a stop to them.

The only appropriate course of action for Honors is to accept full responsibility and get on with rehabilitating his image. I think if he continues down his current track he will be viewed as untrustworthy and not willing to take responsibility for his action, which are two undesirable characteristics anywhere.

2/06/2011 11:05 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are we even discussing Flag Officer punishment when we all know nothing will happen to the flag officers still on active duty. I'm sure the retired flag (Spicer) and the one about to retire (Rice) will probably get "a letter of caution" or something like that. But VADM Holloway, RADM Horton, and RADM O'Hanlon will all get away with no punishment. Guaranteed, the flags will protect the flags.

2/06/2011 11:27 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite amusing discussion you started Joel!

What I think many are missing or don't realize is that these videos are not some anomaly that magically occurred on USS ENTERPRISE. These videos are a good representation of the irreverent locker room humor that is rampant in the carrier/aviation communities today. Not to say that same humor doesn't exist on submarines (it does), we just don't have a full time media production crew to capture it for posterity.

So given that, what Navy leadership is puckered up about at the moment is that when they pull the chain hard on this investigation, which I think they will, what other videos are going to then surface with other Flags and senior O-6's in them?

Should keep the media (and this blog) in a frenzy for a few months.

2/06/2011 11:56 AM

 
Blogger Harold said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2/06/2011 2:38 PM

 
Blogger Harold said...

Veeman said: "The only appropriate course of action for Honors is to accept full responsibility and get on with rehabilitating his image. "

What exactly is the image he needs to rehabilitate? He committed no crime. He created laughter in the universe, always a good thing. He wasn't PC, rarely a bad thing. Most humor is not PC. Read any decent joke book and you'll see that. Of course, maybe you're one of the humorless that the world would be better off without.

He's the victim of a witch hunt. Nothing more, nothing less.

And after 21 years of active service, I agree with the following comment:

Stsc said...
I disagree that our Flags are our best officers. A few are, but I think the majority are merely our better politicians. The majority of our best officers leave before Flag rank in my opinion.

BTW, one of the best books of limericks I've read is "Limericks too Gross" by Ciardi and Asimov. Somewhere in the foreword there is line by Asimov that goes like this, "There are two types of limericks, dirty and otherwise. Of the limericks in this book, none are otherwise." Two well respected authors, and you could lose your career in the Navy by giving the book to the wrong person, or God Forbid, reading some of it out loud at a mixed sex party.

2/06/2011 2:50 PM

 
Anonymous 3383 said...

Guilt is irrlevant in a witch hunt. That's not the case here, it's abuse of privelege.

2/06/2011 3:51 PM

 
Blogger MT1(SS)WidgetHead said...

"Not to say that same humor doesn't exist on submarines (it does), we just don't have a full time media production crew to capture it for posterity."

Absolutely true. Like I said the last time we discussed this subject...If Capt. Honors had chosen to become a Submariner, chances are more than excellent none of this crap would be happening.

On a side note, I've got $100.00 on the Packers today. Kill'em Green Bay!

2/06/2011 4:01 PM

 
Anonymous Working in a position to know said...

Word on the street is that there are several other videos out there that show NAVAL OFFICERS in a bad light. There even discussions of classifying these videos to prevent public disclosure. Possible house cleaning is in the works to save some face.

What's the concern? Big time budget decisions coming up and the Navy is just becoming a hinderance to the military establishment.

As some have mentioned in this blog before, Navy relevance is going by the wayside as soldiers are fighting and dying.

2/06/2011 4:11 PM

 
Anonymous Casual Observer said...

As an important aside, quoting 5:54pm Anon here:

"Nowadays, [cowboys are] some of the dumbest and lowest payed motherfuckers who are only qualified to take care of someone's cattle and buffalo ranch(s)."

This can't be said often enough or loudly enough.

The most moronic motherfuckers I've run across in my entire coming-up-on-60-years-of life were cowboys. Wish that weren't the case, but 5:54pm Anon speaks truth here. Criminals have a better sense of ethics and class.

2/06/2011 4:21 PM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

RD, "What folks who don't get out much call PC is in general the sum of public opinion, the American zeitgeist as reflected in current media, scholarship, politics, and law."

Nice rebuttal, though inaccurate according to left-wing political essayist and journalist Ellen Willis, who said, “ . . . in the early ’80s, when feminists used the term political correctness, it was used to refer sarcastically to the anti-pornography movement’s efforts to define a ‘feminist sexuality’”.

Generally, any policy or claim opposed by the political right, may be criticized as "politically correct". - Mihkel M. Mathiesen For example.

2/06/2011 4:30 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I want to be an asshole, and if you don't like it, you're just too PC!"

You're doing it wrong.

2/06/2011 7:41 PM

 
Anonymous NHSparky said...

Too often was the case that if there was a critique in nuke land, one of two things would happen: 1--blueshirts would burn unless khakis had to go down with them, then 2--nobody would burn.

If it gets down to that point and I were the guy facing the music, I'd certainly not come out swinging (and I've taken my lumps), but certainly make the point that there are those not stepping up to the plate and acknowledging their involvement.

2/06/2011 8:15 PM

 
Anonymous T said...

Come out swinging! FTN! The Navy doesn't give two shits about you. This is true in the civilian world too, but at least they're upfront about it.

The best you can do for the Navy is try to take down some of the trash running it. The whole fleet would be better off with less admirals, and better men running it.

2/06/2011 9:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey look at that, the Packers won tonight.

2/06/2011 9:27 PM

 
Blogger tennvol said...

For those being critical of Honors for going public with his side of the story (rubber ducky, I'm looking in your direction), he didn't. The info was obtained through a FOI request.

2/07/2011 6:24 AM

 
Anonymous STSCM said...

What I learned and expected was loyalty up and loyalty down. It must work both ways. When Honors was dragged out, 4 years after the fact, there should have been a large host of flagged types standing tall to defend him. Obviously no honor with that group, so what does he owe them? Nothing.
Agree completely with what STSC said, most of the best and brightest officers made O-6 and no further, at least in todays Navy. That's why (I think) the cornerstone of the Navy is the E-9 (not running for E-10) and the O-6 (not running for O-7). Those two have the most experience and the most knowledge of the operational Navy and what makes it run. The pols are using the Navy to advance themselves.
And finally, why must the Navy be in the lead for pc and social change? I think we should look at our green brethern and slow the march to the socialist utopia that the rest of us are on.

2/07/2011 8:10 AM

 
Anonymous JPM said...

From personal experience, I came out swinging. When Hartford grounded in La Maddalena in Oct 2003, I found out that my Commodore ‘developed’ his account of events during the investigation to blame me for the grounding after receiving a charge sheet for Dereliction of Duty just 4 hours before being ordered to appear before Admiral’s Mast. I had assumed complete honesty from all involved – BIG mistake, but I wasn’t anybody’s Fall Guy. I could write pages here, but I’ll just summarize that after all the dust settled, I was the only guy of 11 who had all charges dismissed with none of the elements of those charges substantiated. SUBGRU 8 had to order a major review of the PIO's report: my name was deleted completely because I fought back. Oh, and I never spoke to my FORMER, Relieved-for-CAUSE Commodore, the PIO, or Preliminary Investigation JAG again. Ever.

Submarine Force leadership is very good. But they’re still human, with all the combinations of human failings and perceptions. My own boss turned out to be vile. But other Leaders stepped up on their own to my defense. You reap what you sow.

My advice for those still serving: if you’re EVER asked to sign an Acknowledgment of your Rights Under UCMJ, sign and then say NOTHING until you’ve talked to competent legal authority. And if you even get the a hint that there is a line-up against you, ask the chain of command straight up: Are you thinking of charging me? If they can’t give you a straight answer, talk to a JAG ASAP. Your skin will always be more desired by somebody trying to save theirs. And to those of us who’ve moved on from the waterfront, you won’t even get the courtesy of calling a JAG any more: the local Police just want somebody’s skin to nail up on the wall – if they respond to a call, you’re not their friend, you’re just the closest pelt. Silence is golden.

2/07/2011 9:20 AM

 
Blogger SonarMan said...

I seen enough to know that your upper-ups will throw you under the bus to save their own asses. Even if they are clearly at fault or have no reason to do so, except to save face.

2/07/2011 9:27 AM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

STSCM, agree. One would think leftists would want to prove utopian theories actually worked before imposing them on people who, knowing their history, might not appreciate "the American zeitgeist as reflected in current media, scholarship, [and] politics...".

The leftist utopians should begin with Disney's Fantasyland. Let them show how converting its energy consumption to windmills, hydrogen and solar power will suffice to keep crowds coming from around the world on the chance there could be a calm, cloudy or unexpected maintenance shutdown week. Can't wait for that conversion.

Do not-for-profits (also part of their socialist dream agenda) theme parks give travel reimbursements and refunds? Nope!

It won't work, but it feels good, sounds scientific, and it certainly separates "folks who don't get out much" from those capable of academically incestuous, politically half-baked, and nuanced concepts like utopia.

RD, where did you teach?

2/07/2011 9:39 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He made the videos. He was XO of a CVN and a (relatively) high ranking naval officer. Anyone is such a position should be aware that they need to be above even the WHIFF of anything like this.

Deserved what he got. He's a whiner with an ego. Next case...

2/07/2011 10:20 AM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Tenvol: "The info was obtained through a FOI request."
Not clear this is so. Honors' lawyer said he wasn't the source but showed no surprise or anger that the release was made. And no FOIA request will produce the fitness reports released at the same time. No, this smacks of a decision to put out both statement and the fit reps from inside the defense team.

vigilis: The National War College. As to the role of public opinion in the affairs of the Navy, take a look at the CNO's interview yesterday on the plight of the Navy from having to live under a CR and no military appropriation bill this year. Honors' buffoonery could not have surfaced at a worse time ... and the fact that he lit the fuze four years go does not mitigate the huge damage he has done to Navy prospects right now.

2/07/2011 10:34 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please wait but don't hold your breath to see if Rear Admiral Ron Horton, former Big E CO before Honors, will get the call to the green table.

Horton's Bio:
http://www.navy.mil/navydata/bios/navybio.asp?bioID=567

2/07/2011 1:05 PM

 
Anonymous gunnutmegger said...

Rubber Ducky: "Cowboys don't cry."

I am told they don't bend over and grab their ankles, either.

It seems to me that Capt. Honors situation more closely resembles my analogy than yours.

2/07/2011 2:11 PM

 
Anonymous OldCOB said...

RD - "the Navy stands for the American people and should reflect the values held there"

Depends on your definition of values. Personally I find much of what passes for "values" these days to be hollow and devoid of any positive attributes. Lack of personal responsibility. Abortion on demand. Turning our backs on long time allies. Foul languaged "music" that denigrates women and spotlights gangsta culture. The list could go on ad nauseum. I think I'll hang on to the Navy values I was taught.

2/07/2011 2:12 PM

 
Anonymous gunnutmegger said...

Rubber Ducky: "What folks who don't get out much call PC is in general the sum of public opinion, the American zeitgeist as reflected in current media, scholarship, politics, and law. This is the sea the Navy has to swim in, for two reasons: the Navy stands for the American people and should reflect the values held there; the Navy answers to a wide range of stakeholders who take their signals from the same source. So unless the Navy wishes to hold values other than those of the nation it protects and unless it wants to go out of its way to offend and upset important supporters and champions, it really does have to pursue common principles. PC? No: CP."

RD, how many leftwing senators does it take to halt the promotion of a military officer?

(Hint: it's more than zero, but less than 2...)

If you think that PC in the military is purely drawn from public opinion, you are either terminally naive or intentionally deceptive.

2/07/2011 2:29 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Captain made those videos over a period of time which constitutes that he had tacit approval by those seniors in his chain of command who knew all about them. He stopped making them when told to do so. Throwing him under the bus after four years and two subsequent sea commands is ridiculous. If punishment was required it should have been meted out back then.

Nonetheless, if there is to be a trial after the lynching then those same seniors need to be held to the same standards and receive the same punishment. Basic fairness.

BTW, if I was screwed over like Captain Honors I would be naming names also. What exactly does he owe the Navy at this point? His career is ended over some pansy PC bullsh**t. Because someone got their feelings hurt? Four years later? Really?

Re: Kudos to Adm. Harvey for his “investigation”. He would be a lot more credible if he had waited to can the Captain until he had completed it. If he now finds himself in a “difficult” position, it is of his own doing. Being a leader is tough. Being a courageous leader is even tougher. The ADM might have a great reputation but it sure looks liked he bowed down to PC pressure and now is stuck with the fallout. If the admirals involved get the same punishment as Capt. Honors then maybe some fairness will be achieved. Of course all of those ended careers will amply illustrate the waste that happens when you try not to offend some PC assclown.

2/07/2011 3:16 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ADM Harvey is a p*$$y. He will spare the senior officers still on active duty. VADM Dan Holloway was the strike group commander for Honors' last deployment (when half of the videos were made) and he personally awarded a Legion of Merit to Honors when he was relieved as XO. Holloway is currently in command of Second Fleet. Harvey won't do a thing to Holloway even though it is obvious that he was fully aware of the videos. The flags will protect the flags, they have their scape goat.

2/07/2011 3:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This new found PC way of thinking will be the death of us all. It will take a profound disaster at sea with lives lost and a sunken ship or two before we wake up to reality. Why can't we get back to task and forget all this diversity and PC horseshit which belongs in CIVLANT/PAC and not in the Navy?

Honors is a scape goat for the firing squad and nothing more. It's too bad he's going to be fucked and shot. He doesn't deserve it.

2/07/2011 4:43 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He made the videos. He was XO of a CVN and a (relatively) high ranking naval officer. Anyone is such a position should be aware that they need to be above even the WHIFF of anything like this.

Deserved what he got. He's a whiner with an ego. Next case...


Sounds like a sub designated chick posting here.

2/07/2011 5:52 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone had to be the first casualty of the DADT repeal and Captain Honors was it. In less than a week he was roasted fired and set aside.

And yet, Nidal Hasan, the terrorist who commited the Fort Hood killings still hasn't had a fair trial, found guilty and shot?

How ironic, muslims and fags controlling the PC agenda in America!

2/07/2011 7:49 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I want to be an asshole! If you won't let me, than you must be PC!"

You're still an asshole.

2/07/2011 9:43 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think two things are obvious:

1) CAPT Honors deserves what he's getting. I'm personally not offended by the content of his videos, but I am offended (though not surprised) that someone so monumentally stupid could be given command of an aircraft carrier. I could've told you as an ENS that this was a "bad idea, career-wise". I also agree that it's probably for the worse that the Navy is the way it is, but remember, a lot of you who are now denigrating the PC Navy for firing Honors are the same guys that will sit her and tell everybody to Grow Up about Women on submarines and how it's "No Big Deal". Well... welcome to the future of submarines.

2) His old CO, old Commodore, etc, deserve to go down with him. Period. They won't because that's how fucked up the military is, but they absolutely deserve it. The military is, unfortunately, a corrupt, political system whose primary mission is to... well, I'm not really sure anymore, but it's not winning wars.

2/07/2011 9:58 PM

 
Blogger SUBVET808 said...

Anoymous said: The military is, unfortunately, a corrupt, political system whose primary mission is to... well, I'm not really sure anymore, but it's not winning wars.

First of all you spinless twit, its because of the military you can say these things in the privacy and freedom of your home without worrying someone is going to bust in and carry you off to some internment camp. So before you bash the entire military, remember there are still plenty of men and women faithfully and honorably volunteering to serve this great country. Its because of liberal nuts like you, with your constant whining about fairness and political correctness that continues to drain our unique heritage. To quote Col Jessup, "I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that we provide,"

So although what happened to Capt Honors is a travesty of justice, it doesn't reflect the whole military. As for the CO of SFO, he was the CO and ultimately responsible, we can all be backseat QBs and second guess things that were done, but plain and simple it was a terrible accident.

2/07/2011 10:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing that bugs me about this case and all the CO firings of late, is the incredible amount of talent and experience that is being lost.

2/07/2011 11:07 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

"...incredible talent lost"...

For which the primary blame goes to the COs themselves. "Don't run aground, don't hit nobody, keep the ocean out of the people tank; don't sleep with the help, don't piss on the crew, don't show your ass in public." That's a fairly simple set of rules for COs to understand ... and expect to get fired for violating. Honors disregarded the last two. PC my ass: unless driving a CVN is a lot easier than most think it is, that clown is too stupid for command.

2/08/2011 4:43 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CAPT Honors is typical of many F-14 pilots that never made the transition from being a Junior Officer when a certain amount of this kind of behavior is OK (and almost required) to a sseniro officer who should be putting the checks on this type of behavior. Yes, the CO should be held accountable, but how would you like to be a CO where you have to control an XO such as this.

Another case of loyalty in the wrong directiton. Honors should no respect for his senior to put him in postion of having to control the asine behavior of hsi XO.

Related, I noticed in the Navy Times that we just gave another 4 deep draft commands to the aviators. We pay aviators to be good pilots, why do we all of a sudden think they are professional mariners to be surface ship COs. If I were a SWO I would be pissed!

That being said, the timing of this whole thing makes my spidey sense tingle. Some one was up to something. I don't condone this behavior either.

2/08/2011 5:06 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

{First of all you spinless twit, its because of the military you can say these things in the privacy and freedom of your home without worrying someone is going to bust in and carry you off to some internment camp. So before you bash the entire military, remember there are still plenty of men and women faithfully and honorably volunteering to serve this great country. Its because of liberal nuts like you, with your constant whining about fairness and political correctness that continues to drain our unique heritage}

Deep breath, Popeye. I'm pretty sure he was referring to "Big Navy" - the FOGO braintrust that has forgotten that the job is to win wars, as opposed to spending money. Everyone posting here is someone who has worn the uniform. We all care about this country and the military, but many of us fear that the mission has been forgotten in favor of dumb stuff like LCS and social engineering.

If you honestly believe that our freedom is defended by the politicians in the e-ring, as opposed to the lance corporal in Afghanistan, or the third class in engine room lower level, then you are probably a former Admiral and there is no hope for you. CAPT Honors screwed up. However, he is getting boned for reasoned of political expediency.

To those who feel the problem is the aviation community - agreed. There needs to be a much brighter line between leaders and flyers. This has been tried a couple times (flying WO program), but needs to be addressed with renewed vigor.

2/08/2011 7:49 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Don't run aground, don't hit nobody, keep the ocean out of the people tank; don't sleep with the help, don't piss on the crew, don't show your ass in public." That's a fairly simple set of rules for COs to understand ... and expect to get fired for violating."

@RD. For the nukular Navy I would add to your list "skillfully boil water". No requirement exists to successfully fight the ship.

2/08/2011 11:57 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@RD

"that clown is too stupid for command".

His fitness reports certainly don't reflect that.

2/08/2011 2:35 PM

 
Anonymous Kolohe said...

Chester Nimitz ran aground one of his commands.
Just saying.

2/08/2011 3:04 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

"His fitness reports certainly don't reflect that."

A comment on front-runner fitreps, eh. You either keep a fast-tracker on track or you kill him for cause. But note that the reporting seniors are precisely the ones now under a microscope for lending acceptance to Honors' unacceptable antics.

Many a naval officer has come to grief believing his own fitreps.

2/08/2011 4:52 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

'Chester Nimitz ran aground one of his commands.'

So did Dick O'Kane in TANG - and fired a torpedo at an enemy target while aground. He retired as a rear admiral.

More recently, so did a couple CV skippers, who also went on to flag rank.

All suggesting that the system saw more in them than in this putz.

2/08/2011 5:12 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's be honest here, Honor's crime was offending the homo cadre at Big Navy.

2/08/2011 6:35 PM

 
Blogger b777jetsetter said...

7-11's CO was my XO on the peach of a boomer years ago, top notch Duke guy I have to say. I'd wager that he had a PIM that required said parameters of the boat during collision and ironically didn't support a surfaced transit as someone noted above (who would surface transit in open ocean anyways?).

2/08/2011 7:14 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have conducted a surface transit in parts of the Caroline Islands while on the Chicago in the early 90's. Reason? Uncertain navigation hazards did not warrant submerged transit.

As the Ops Chief at CSG-7 in the mid 90's we gave boats large chunks of water in these areas and slow SOA's due to these uncertain waters. And yes, surface transit is almost always authorized.

I place the blame on both the ship (ANAV most specifically) and the SUBOPAUTH (Op Chief specifically).

Was this preventable, probably. A lot of history and local knowledge exists but the methods store and disseminate the information is lacking. Also, a lot of boats have made it safely through this dangerous part of the ocean. Could it of happened to me? Yep!Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.

I believe the CO of SF did the right thing by just going away quietly.

Captain Honors? Funny stuff that doesn't offend me. As someone said above, he was the first casualty from a DADT repeal "shot across the bow". There will be more.

Jim C.
Retired ANAV

2/08/2011 8:00 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

"Captain Honors? Funny stuff that doesn't offend me. As someone said above, he was the first casualty from a DADT repeal "shot across the bow".'

Oh ... bullshit. A CVN is a chunk of American sovereignty navigating the earth's ocean, an armed emissary of the United States. It's not a fucking frat house; it's not the after battery; it's not the corner saloon. And what goes on on board is not removed from the concerns and values of the American people - who own the boat and by whom the entire crew is employed - nor of the people's free press. What happens in Vegas may stay there, but what happens in an American man-of-war is the people's business.

And aside the dipshit humor, Honors went out of his way to denigrate and put down parts of his own crew, his own wardroom. That's the part that's unforgivable to sailors of all paygrades.

2/09/2011 4:40 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This type of question can only be answered on a case basis. As a JO I was took a fall for the Bull Nuc who was doing a proficiency RO watch during a drill. We had a small non-damaging problem, which resulted in green table board. I accepted responsibility as EOOW, did a requal, and that was the end of it.

For the 711, life is just tough for CO and NAV. There were addidtional measures which could have been taken.

As for CAPT Honors? Hey guys, he was on flag track,and politics is fair game for those guys. He can also have a nice life after the incident. Big game; gig chips.


Best Regards,
CAPT Mike
(Ret. 1125)

2/09/2011 4:44 AM

 
Anonymous Subguy said...

RD - your last entry was well said and I agree with you. However, there are still two questions that bug me and that this blog, Harvey's blog, and most others should demand answers/accountability from our former/current employer: 1) what about the COC? 2) what about the time delay? (I find this time delay suspicious and agree with Honors that it was probably a personal grievance.)

2/09/2011 6:10 AM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

"1) What about the COC?" John Harvey's investigation is completed and its results and subsequent actions will be due at week's end or shortly thereafter. This is Harvey on 4 February: "I will now spend the next week reviewing the investigation in its entirety – the findings of fact, the opinions, and the recommendations – before making my decisions and informing my chain-of-command of them."

"2) what about the time delay? (I find this time delay suspicious and agree with Honors that it was probably a personal grievance.)" I'd say that how and why this got out when it did is entirely separate from the rest of the case. Honors and a whole bunch of other people have had their tattered asses hanging out on this for years and there is no statute of limitations on stupid nor on administrative actions based on stupid. The issue is the evidence, not who provided it or why it was provided.

And one senses a whiff of potential retribution in both Honors himself and in his last video: a lot of folks who otherwise wanted this aired may have been intimidated from going public by fear alone. Ditto on using the ship's chain of command, the same chain that blessed the videos.

2/09/2011 6:26 AM

 
Anonymous subguy said...

RD - now to disagree. I am looking at it from a different aspect. By lack of action (or significant action), Honors' actions were considered "taken care of" by Flag Officers in the COC 4 years ago - the actions weren't condoned, sanctioned, endorsed, or swept under the carpet and I don't believe that the correct response occurred, but it was DONE. His current performance was SAT and he should have continued his deployment with maybe an early relief afterwards and a whisper that he wasn't Flag material. This whole thing was handled extremely poorly by CNO and by Harvey...period.

I had to fire about half a dozen Officers in significant billets during my career and the only one I feel bad about is the one that was removed 2 months after the incident...which is part of the reason I feel this way about Honors' treatment.

2/09/2011 8:30 AM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Subguy: Those cats in Honors' chain of command found his antics acceptable. At the later date the matter found its way into the public domain, where some cold eyes and the general public looked at what he'd done and found it unacceptable. Unacceptable is unacceptable. John Harvey had two choices, either stonewall the issue or fix blame where it belonged, with appropriate action. FWIW, I think John really did lose confidence in the guy. And IMHO he will have no choice but to roast some flags on the spit also; stay tuned.

DFCs often happen well after the fact. It may make you uncomfortable and probably it should, but the alternative - giving this guy a bye - won't float.

2/09/2011 10:03 AM

 
Anonymous subguy said...

RD - spent over 30 years in and NEVER heard of a firing happen four years after an event when the issues were known at the time of occurrence. This was known about clear to the CNO level and then, 4 years later, someone said "Hey, that was really really bad" B.S.! Nothing changed in those for years other than a few regs, but what he was removed for was just as PC then. Remember - I am attacking the system, including Mullen (I despise) and Harvey (don't really know) and NOT defending Honors. BTW, DFC is poor choice to use here since he probably hasn't been DFC'd yet - DFC is a formal process that may be finalized well after the removal from position.

2/09/2011 10:32 AM

 
Anonymous ex SSN Eng said...

On the whole, I'd rather be discussing the finer aspects of Natalie Portman, but...

I did 'the Google' thing on Harvey, and my very first thought was "submariner." Second thought after seeing the crossed swords on his chest was..."but I know him."

Looked at his service background, and ka-bam...there it is: we served on USS Bainbridge (CGN-25) together when he was a LT and I was a mere middie. Small world. I recall him as being very driven and a bit too tightly wound, perhaps...a perfectionist, if you will. Not the most likable guy, but as with Rickover this doesn't seem to have hurt his career path.

As some have noted, this whole kerfuffle really isn't about the videos...it's about the collision between the excessive (?) chasm that has grown between the Navy/military and civilian cultures.

FWIW, our SECDEF has previously aired his concerns that if the delta gets too great, the military will be in the position of defending a civilian populace it shares (increasingly) little in common with. Probably a reasonable concern, regardless of your feelings for or against our cultural snapshot du jour (all together now: "God help us all.").

SECDEF and John Harvey don't have a lot of say-so when it comes to the current "U.S. culture," but they have their hands on the throttle when it comes to the US Navy. So it's pretty clear which way they'll be pushing the stick on this issue.

Bottom line is if you're in a position of senior Navy leadership and manage to hit the news in a bad way, expect a big club to loom into your field of view sooner or later. In this case, it was later.

Notwithstanding the recent surfacing of then-LT Harvey's shellback ceremony pics on Bainbridge (and for the record, no, it was not me...our time together was limited to REFTRA in SDGO op areas, and my first sighting of a U.S. submarine, BTW), I'd give the Admiral a better than 50-50 chance of dropping the hammer on the flags that knew what they knew when they knew it regarding Honors.

No judgement from me regarding this all being pussilanimous PC, blah, blah, blah, yadda-yadda. The Navy can always survive a little housecleaning, regardless of the too-little, too-late...and yes, PC...nature of the cleansing.

Don't like what the U.S. has become culturally? Take a hard look in the mirror and then join SubGuy and myself at the local pub/movie house combo. We're buying. Oh...and Natalie Portman is in the third reel.

2/09/2011 12:20 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Subguy: Not clear that the issues were known at the time, at least outside the naval-air bubble. Have seen nothing to say that this got to the CNO level until the recent airing; if it did, that's new news in the case and more details please.

Cannot recall a firing this long after the events either, but do recall that matters of fraternization and 'inappropriate conduct' (including at least one submarine flag firing for sexual harassment and a second fraternization case of a flag-bound submarine O-6) happened months earlier. Ditto the minesweep CO fired recently along with his female XO. The Walker case and others like it reached back years.

You comments on the DFC aspects are accurate, but I think that either the DFC recommendation is approved or he rates getting put back up on the horse, something I doubt we'll ever see.

Worked about 3 desks down from Lt John Harvey in Pers-42 when he was the surface nuke JO detailer. Recall that's he's about as straight-laced, earnest, and honest an officer as I've met - nothing bad to say about him. Also have good memory of Gary Roughhouse from Naval Institute contacts. Do not know Mullen but suspect he may be an acquired taste.

Sounds like we're in violent agreement, aside the timing. Can see no path for Harvey except to hammer some flag peepees flat.

2/09/2011 12:43 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please tell me that you didn't just compare the Captain Honors videos to the Walker family spy ring.

2/09/2011 1:44 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

"Please tell me that you didn't just compare the Captain Honors videos to the Walker family spy ring." of course not. Question was action taken years after the event(s). Walker is an example.

No, I'd compare this to the toga party in Animal House.

2/09/2011 1:59 PM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

RD,
"Can see no path for Harvey except to hammer some flag peepees flat."

Might Harvey's failure to "hammer some flag peepees flat" indicate not only personal weakness on his part, but endemic hubris at levels above his?

Readers like myself doubt strongly any admirals are going down with this ship. If the admirals had not wished an outpouring of bad PR, the issues commanding their overdue decision to proceed against Honors after years of evident neglect had to be very compelling (politically charged).

In my opinion, our admirals are probably as good as they come in a peacetime navy (i.e. one in which the service chooses to experiment with social engineering, rather than goals that improve readiness).

Honors is a stand up guy. He calls things like he sees them. While he is expendable, so are all of those admirals. By the way, they are NOT standing up against each other publicly, are they?

How then can we maintain adequate confidence in such shrinking flags, RD?

2/09/2011 2:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Four years after the fact, why are we addressing this issue now?

He commanded two ships thereafter as well. How'd he do that? WHY ARE WE ADDRESSING THIS ISSUE NOW???????

2/09/2011 2:15 PM

 
Anonymous ex SSN Eng said...

(1) The SecDef is looking for ways to fix the "brass creep" (no pun intended) in today's ranks (see link).

(2) The airdales just handed him a golden excuse (again; see TailHook '91...which affected 14 admirals).

And you really don't think this is going to affect today's flags, how, Vigilis...?

No axe to grind here...but IMHO the tea leaves don't get a whole lot clearer than this.

2/09/2011 2:18 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cannot recall a firing this long after the events either

Stufflebeem?

2/09/2011 2:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stufflebeem was NOT removed because of the affair 10 years before - though he probably would have been asked to go home when the investigation was complete. What he was fired for was a false official statement during the investigation, i.e. he lied.

2/09/2011 3:15 PM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

@ ex SSN eng,

"And you really don't think this is going to affect today's flags, how, Vigilis...?"

As an eng I am sure you are familiar with political as well as mechanical inertia. The 2010 article you linked mentions a 5% reduction in flags. That is a 1 in 20 reduction in a population as high as it was during Nam "though the number of active-duty troops has shrunk by almost half."

Not in too big of a hurry, are they eng? Could this be why?

Also, guess which of the traditional (excluding USCG) military services added the most JAG officers from 2008 to 2009? Navy. Hard to Justify a JAG Admiral when you are cutting officers of the line, isn't it?

2/09/2011 4:04 PM

 
Anonymous ex SSN Eng said...

Wow...wildly off-topic segue to JAGs, Vigilis. Hand salute.

But back on the OK corral -- i.e., the subject of aviation admirals being lined up to see how many can be taken out with one Honors bullet -- I remain unpersuaded that we won't see any of them affected.

Let's tune in next week, per Admiral Harvey's time-line, and see what the number is. In advance of that, I'll start the pool with a guess of 'three'...it's a nice round number.

2/09/2011 4:32 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

Vigilis: Let's have a little trial by combat. If (flag) heads don't roll, you win. If they do, you owe me a beer.

Harvey, Roughhead, and Mullen are all 1110s. SWOs. Skimmers. The ENT events seem to involve only 1310s (or other breeds of airedale). I think the naval air flags are up against a tough crowd - let's see how they fare.

As to this Grassy Knoll shit about using this to cut flag billets, that's pretty silly. It's easy to cut flag billets. What you do is cut flag billets. You'll have to deal with local boosters, congressmen, etc., but in the end you just eliminate the jobs. Don't need to conjure up a scandal to do it.

2/09/2011 5:09 PM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

RD, your gentlemen's wager is accepted, but we both may have to buy one for the ex SSN Eng since the "Grassy Knoll shit about using this to cut flag billets" is all his theory, not mine.

2/09/2011 6:11 PM

 
Anonymous ex SSN Eng said...

You can save your beer money (and lame dead Kennedy metaphors) unless I hit the number of Honors-affected admirals on the dime.

Again, my guess: three.

As the Duck puts it, they'll likely be aviators one and all, but specific designators lie outside my call.

P.S. Vigilis: just think of the conspiracy possibilities if they're all non-USNA types; you'll be able to blog for a week on that one.

2/09/2011 7:28 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ex SSN ENG: Not possible, non USNA guys don't make flag ;-)

I left the Navy specifically because of how shitty senior leadership is. I really hope some senior heads roll.

2/09/2011 8:38 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honors got the DADT Repeal reach-around!

Oh well, someone had to go first and take the bullet!

2/09/2011 9:40 PM

 
Anonymous subguy said...

"P.S. Vigilis: just think of the conspiracy possibilities if they're all non-USNA types; you'll be able to blog for a week on that one."

Excellent one ex ssn eng! That is one up brewski for you!

2/10/2011 6:19 AM

 
Anonymous subguy said...

At least one of the Flags directly involved and mentioned previously is a SWO - Spicer - and he is retired. It would require a Courtsmartial intent to force a recall to active duty for him and that isn't going to happen nor is it warranted...he will probably get a letter signed by some scape goat 3 star. Again, this whole event was handled extremely poorly starting four years ago...if they had jumped in, slapped some hands, and carried on after the first movie or two, we would NEVER have heard about this!

2/10/2011 6:25 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was this guy dumb? sure.

Is there worse stuff out there? absolutely.

Is this witch hunt agenda driven after 4 years have lapsed? No doubt!

Doesn't the Navy have anything better to do? One would hope.

2/10/2011 6:36 AM

 
Anonymous SC USN Ret said...

Firing and/or retiring 1-4 flag officers does nothing to reduce the FOGO billets in the Navy as others will simply fill their place earlier than planned. Eliminating 2nd Fleet, DESRON X, SUBRON Y, and other similar decisions recently made by SECDEF permanently removes FOGO billets. Other moves such as making COMNAVEUR a 3-star instead of a 4-star billet will also accomplish the same thing in the long run.

2/10/2011 7:19 AM

 
Anonymous JPM said...

Eng - Only in RadCon math can 3 be a "round" number....

Although, I'm with you on enjoying the "round" portions of Natalie Portman. (Although a bit rounder lately as she moves on with her pregnancy.)

Semper Gumby.

2/10/2011 11:56 AM

 
Blogger Gforce said...

Gotta say RD, the admonition about officers believing their fitreps is a classic...will add to my repetoire - with attribution!

2/10/2011 1:42 PM

 
Anonymous ex SSN Eng said...

@jpm: just tilt yer head to the left and tell me again how 3 isn't a nice round number. It's truly a work of art...and all-natural.

2/10/2011 2:29 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take your medicine - thats what it took to get to that level.

Hope that they take care of you - seriously - what do you think this is the Air Force?

Come out swinging - never wrestle with a pig - it likes it too much.

Forget about all of it ... the band didnt play ... its time to move on ... the world is much bigger and better than what we churn about here.

2/10/2011 3:21 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Take your medicine - thats what it took to get to that level...."

Wow...you are on some strong medicine and you forgot to take your last dose!

2/10/2011 4:57 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@gforce

Did you also catch where RD called the Captain a putz. Agree or disagree re the videos, there is a lot in that career to admire. Perhaps even all the rest of it.

So who is the real putz here? I asked the question so I am out of the running.

BTW, RD, have you spoken directly with John about all of this? John is a great guy. I like John a lot. John knows a lot about a lot. They don’t get any better than John. I can’t wait to hear John’s report. John is a very fair guy. I hope that John does the right thing. Etc.

2/10/2011 6:19 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honors got the DADT Repeal reach-around!

Oh well, someone had to go first and take the bullet!


Actually, he didn't even get the courtesy of a reach-around.

2/10/2011 7:05 PM

 
Anonymous Served SSN CO said...

RD = PUTZ!

2/11/2011 5:53 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have to say that I don't generally agree with RD, but, if he called Honors a putz, then he is correct.

served SSN co - your comments are usually far better than your last one. You have lowered yourself to the same level as the moron who calls himself PC Assclown...

2/11/2011 8:08 AM

 
Anonymous 8:08 AM Anon said...

Prior anon: go pour yourself a cup of coffee, and feel free to add a heaping helping of STFU.

Served SSN CO always signs in via Blogger. What you're seeing is a spoof by someone (anyone can do it) who merely typed in the same name rather than logging in with it. Sample: my own name choice just now.

2/11/2011 9:50 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aaahhhhh....PC Assclown speaks...

2/11/2011 12:11 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well one week has come and gone...and RD's best friend John still hasn't punished any flags. Once again, the flags take care of the flags in the good old boy network.

2/12/2011 12:42 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It appears that the process is so transparent that it has become invisible.

2/17/2011 7:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still no action. Looks like the good ole' boys in the flag club have put this one to bed. No heads will roll, and everything is swept under the carpet.

Rubber Ducky, I think you owe some beer to a few folks....

2/25/2011 3:39 PM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

It ain't over till it's over...

The investigation is real, it's pointed in exactly the direction most on this thread think is proper, at the actions of higher authority, and the guy running it is a competent nuke of high integrity. So far there has been zero sign that this is swept under the rug and nowhere near enough time has passed to say that it's been abandoned. If anything, the time suggests that results are rattling around the head-shed on the E-Ring prior to final resolution.

Patience now, beer later (maybe).

2/25/2011 5:09 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@RD

On 2/4/11 John posted on his blog that the investigation was complete and that he would take a week to review it. That week passed two weeks ago.

What do suppose the real timeline is for a public announcement?

2/26/2011 11:23 AM

 
Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

http://hamptonroads.com/2011/03/navy-reveal-findings-enterprise-videos-investigation

Stay tuned...

3/03/2011 5:47 AM

 

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