January 3rd, 2011
11:45 AM ET

Navy opens investigation into raunchy videos

Barbara Starr
CNN Pentagon Correspondent

Washington (CNN) - The Navy has opened an investigation into how a series of raunchy videos, full of sexual innuendo and anti-gay remarks, were produced and shown to the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise while on deployment supporting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Navy spokesman Cmdr. Chris Sims said the videos, which were shown to the crew in 2006 and 2007, are "inappropriate."

Excerpts from the videos and descriptions of their content were first published Saturday by The Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Norfolk, Virginia.

The videos on the paper's website, reviewed by CNN, feature a man identified by two Navy officials and The Virginian-Pilot as Capt. Owen Honors, who at the time was the executive officer, or second-in-command, of the Enterprise. He recently took command of the carrier, winning one of the most coveted assignments in the U.S. Navy, which has only 11 aircraft carriers.

Navy investigating lewd videos

Honors is shown cursing along with other members of his staff in an attempt to demonstrate humor, according to videos. There are also anti-gay slurs, simulated sex acts, and what appear to be two female sailors in a shower together.

The investigation was ordered Friday by Adm. John Harvey, the four-star head of the Navy's Fleet Forces Command, after the videos were detailed in The Virginian-Pilot. The paper also posted a link to some of the material, but edited it so that expletives were censored and some identities of junior Navy crew were disguised.

CNN left a message for Honors on Saturday. The Virginian-Pilot said he did not respond to requests for comment.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Barbara Starr
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Jeremy H.

    It was a long deployment, hard working hours with a fatigued crew. This video has been taken WAAAYY to seriously! Its an honest joke, not to be taken seriously! Words were probably being passed around the ship the past few months the XO needed to address. So he decided to make a sarcastic, funny video of it. When I saw the clip of the guy in bed with the XO, the look on the XO's face told me that it was all a JOKE! Its all a joke! Shipboard humor is quite different than work-place, land-based humor. If you can't take a funny joke, then don't listen-go somewhere else. And for someone to cry about this 4yrs later, come on! I support this Captain.

    January 4, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  2. Craig

    The gutless wonders of the PC police destroy anohter dedicated military career.

    I have been on an aircraft carrier – during combat – with more than 300 "traps" under my belt. There are few, if any, more stressful enviornments than an aircraft carrier at sea.

    Lighten up... Tastless and sophomoric? Of course. But who cares? We have bigger fish to fry in this country and people with the dedication of Capt. Honors are the solution, not the problem.

    January 4, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Haven't heard a peep from Sen. John McCain who is a retired Naval man but I suppose this is one time he will go "cherry picking" when it comes to the military.

    January 4, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  4. Ed

    Point 1: There seems to be something about being "in command" that brings out the best and worst in sailors, soldiers, airmen and marines. The good news is that there are 99 Adm. Mike Mullens for every one Capt. Honor. In a thirty year career with the US Navy, the vast majority of senior and flag officers I have worked for or with have been honorable, intelligent, highly competent leaders in the best sense of the word 'leader.' The US Navy as an organization is in good shape.
    Point 2: As any regular reader of The Navy Times knows, the US Navy is not shy about sacking incompetent and dishonorable commanders. I predict that, after due process, Capt. Honor will be relieved of command and retired to turn up in a year or two as a consultant for one of the big defense contractors. (He put it on video for Pete's sake!)

    January 4, 2011 at 8:10 am |
  5. Chris

    Wow! Where do I begin. I really don’t think you can truly understand the video unless you been on board a ship at in the middle of a war. He was trying to keep moral as high as you can. The biggest problem I see is why do we always got to be so politically correct all the time. This is America. We need to stop having all these civilians making all these decision about how the military should go (DADT), who has never put on a military uniform wasting all these tax dollars and the military get the lowest pay raise in a long time. As for Katie comments, I go more months in the Navy then she does days, so her opinion don't count.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:40 am |
  6. Carl

    There are certainly other more competent, emotionally centered individuals that are willing and able to assume this mans position.
    End Honors' career. i do not want him running one of my ships or on this taxpayers payroll.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:16 am |
  7. Petty Officer Garcia

    I agree Capt. Honors showed a lapse in judgement but his intentions to boost morale are admirable. Why is it that when some people complain about nudity and vulgarity, there is another group of people who will scream 'artistic expression' and 'freedom speech'. It is easy for those of you on the outside to skew the facts and take a video message out of context to sell your 'freedom of speech NEWS'. There are many things in society that need to change and honest journalism would be a good start!

    January 4, 2011 at 1:28 am |
  8. John

    These videos were clearly an attempt at "light" contemporary humor on items familiar to all the members of the crew. They were "spoofs" on day to day life. If we as a nation do not condone that type of humor then we should not glorify the "humor" exhibited on shows like Saturday Night Live.

    This man has put our country brfore his life, and proven himself to be an outstanding military commander. His judgement is 100 times better than a former Commander in Chief, who disgraced the office of President, yet is still honored as a great leader.

    Where is the "balance" in this country? I think he's too good for us. He should accept a position on SNL, make the money and recognition he deserves, and never give the narrow minded, hypocratic people in our media, military, and society another thought.

    January 4, 2011 at 1:22 am |
  9. William

    Wait, so let me get this straight, we want to discharge Capt. Honors 5 years after the fact for making videos that kept moral high because the humor wasn't politcally correct? Why don't we compare some the videos (the ones that haven't been edited so only the suggestive parts are shown) and compare it with anything on MTV or Comedy Central. Those sailors are grown men who don't need told what can and can not be said.

    January 4, 2011 at 12:05 am |
  10. Vi

    Really? People! Have you ever spent 8 months on a ship? Humor, it was harmless. Over reaction. I agree with Gouldman, the XO didn't think of his maybe 1% of his ship. If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.

    "Suck it up Buttercup"

    January 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
  11. Sylvie

    I believe that, Katy, a dismissed cadet is the wrong person to interview for this story about what goes on in the US Navy. She wouldn't have graduated yet to even move on to a military branch to tell us anything of true relevance. The academy is not the same as the military. A female in the Navy (or who had recently served) who had been similarly affected would have been a much better choice.

    January 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
  12. Jeremy Jones

    Seriously, don't we have more important things to worry about? I saw an honest attempt at humor, nothing malicious. Over reacting to these types of situations makes it more difficult to deal with people that really are part of the problem!

    January 3, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  13. jonas

    I'm not an advocate of DADT,same sex marriage, nor civil union. However, as a former military officer I find the Captains behavior deplorable, and not in good standing with good order and discipline. There are a myraid of topics from which a leader can choose to boost the morale of his subordinates that are not controversial in nature nor politically charged. No doubt he exercised Poor Judgement.

    January 3, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  14. Carl Crismon

    Just finished watching the segment. Katie Miller seemed to be rather intelligent, but having 'washed out' of West Point, on her own accord, does not give her the experience and position to talk about military leadership. Has she ever served under a command, in an actual military environment?

    With regards to CAPT Honors, I would have loved to have an XO or CO with the balls to express himself in a fashion that raises morale, while putting himself in a self depricating situation as he has.

    Love Anderson's show, but I honestly don't think that Katie was the best pick for the opposing voice.

    January 3, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
  15. Harry Hall

    The lives of our servicemen and women are in the hands of idiots. Its not a question of being routh or tough it is a question of being a decent honerable person. The officers involved in making this video should find another job.

    January 3, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  16. Jerry

    It's plain and simple – this behavior is not acceptable and should not be tolerated. Honors should be discharged for dishonorable behavior, period. This behavior would not be tolerated by any private company, and likewise should not be tolerated in the Navy or any public position. Aside from the fact that the taxpayers are still paying this man's salary, where's the outrage that this took 3 years to surface?

    January 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  17. stephanie

    coming from a navy wife, im soo glad that not only do i have to worry about my husband having temptations on ports they visit, but now i have to worry about sleezy women on the ship? and yet congress is so worried about gays. why dont they rethink having male and females together.

    January 3, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  18. J.R. Gouldman LCDR (Ret)

    "Lighten up Francis" (SGT HULKA)

    No doubt this trident wearing commander made an error in judgement. He wasn't thinking of 1% of his crew. He will face those consequences. Changing don't ask don't tell? Change takes time. The Navy has come along way already, I've witnessed it and have been impressed with how the Navy has changed in the past 25 years.

    Go Navy, full steam ahead!

    Proud to be a sailor.

    January 3, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  19. Chuck Buchanan

    "We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." – Winston Churchill

    Maybe they feel a kindler, gentler military would serve our country better.

    January 3, 2011 at 8:11 pm |