Admirals Fired, Officers Censured over Enterprise Investigation
Various news reports indicate the US Navy has punished or counseled upward of 40 personnel for their roles in the creation of the videos by US Navy Captain Owen Honors, formerly commander of the USS Enterprise. Those officers include Honors, as well as CAPT John Dixon, who replaced him as XO, and Admirals Ron Horton and Larry Rice, who were Honors’ superiors while he was XO.
[Admiral John] Harvey, who met with reporters…to announce the actions, also said that he recommended that Honors face a “show-cause” board that would decide whether to allow him to remain on active duty.
Thirty-two others were “cautioned:”
Harvey issued non-punitive letters of caution to 32 officers and sailors “who demonstrated deficiencies in personal behavior or professional judgment related to the production of these videos.”…[including] personnel who were in a position to provide feedback to command on the inappropriateness of the videos and did not, including staff officers, judge advocates, chaplains, officers-in-command, public affairs personnel, and senior enlisted sailors.
Harvey had an interesting summary of why the response was so stern:
“Any leader … you reach for the best in your people,” Harvey said. “Not for the lowest common denominator of what’s acceptable…Captain Honors…went low early, when he needed to stay high, all the time…Setting the standard. Not seeing how low you can go before you cross the line of acceptability. That was a fundamentally flawed approach for reaching our sailors, and one that has never … worked over the long haul in the past.
“A leader simply diminishes himself or herself when she goes in a race to the bottom, and not focusing our sailors on where we should be, and helping them to stay there, so they can be the leaders in turn.”