Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Surprised? I'm not

The story about the Navy captain and his so-called humorous videos on the USS Enterprise doesn't surprise me. Maybe it should. U.S. Armed forces officers are supposed to be aware of plain common sense and decency.

I don't understand fully why it took this long for the videos aired while the ship was deployed in 2006 and 2007 for war operations in Iraq and Afghanistan just made it into the public arena. With thousands of men and women on the ship, the delayed release of the videos offers my only surprise.

The videos are profanity laden. Everyone can use their own judgment on that. I can give language a pass. I don't care about that, but the other stuff — anti-gay slurs, simulated sex acts and a shot of two female sailors in the shower together — that doesn't get a pass. This behavior has no place on a naval ship, in a war zone or in a workplace. A naval ship is a workplace with very tight quarters and no place to escape such actions, especially one promoted by a leader and a boss.

I'm glad Capt. Owen Honors was relieved of his command of the USS Enterprise. I think the statement from Adm. John Harvey, commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command said it all.

"While Capt. Honors' performance as commanding officer of USS Enterprise has been without incident, his profound lack of good judgment and professionalism while previously serving as executive officer on Enterprise calls into question his character and completely undermines his credibility to continue to serve effectively in command," Harvey said, reading from a prepared statement today, Jan. 4.
Difficult decisions need to be made to make the armed services a reasonable place to work for all people — no matter what you sex or sexual orientation.

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