Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Flags at Horse Latitudes

As Captain Honors finds himself looking at the Executive TAP schedule for FY11, there is something that keeps coming to mind. It was there in the beginning, expanded a bit more the next day - and set yesterday with the help of Senator Webb.

Following the path from almost half a decade ago to him being relieved of Command there are some simple truths out there that are much more important than Captain Honors.

1. There are no other positions of more importance to our Republic's Navy at the rank of Captain than that of Commanding Officer of an aircraft carrier and a ballistic missile submarine. These people are the select of the select. They are exceptionally well known in their communities.

2. Few positions outside Command are more visible to your community than that of the "Big XO" of a carrier. You are an XO of a ship full of other Commanding Officers, former Commanding Officers, and Commanding Officer-Selects. You and everything you do is well known and discussed.

3. As we have been reminded repeatedly through the rash of firings of Commanding Officers (CO) this year - a Commanding Officer is responsible for everything that goes on within the lifelines of his ship. Everything.

4. There is a very real thing called a Senior Officer Present Afloat (SOPA). Like that of a CO, if you are SOPA - it is your ball of goo; especially if you have knowledge of it.

5. We have a tradition in the Navy that when you do something out of line, discipline is at the discretion of the CO. As long as everything is legal and above board - you take your punishment and go forward. We do not practice double jeopardy.

6. We also have a tradition, perhaps an ethos - at least I thought - of standing up for your crew and defending your decisions - or at a minimum accepting responsibility for them.

With 1-6 above, this is what continues to bother me. Since last Friday, we have seen none of CAPT Honors former Commanding Officers - the ones who "owned paper" on him, the ones who signed his FITREPS and recommended him - speak up. Where are they?

We have only heard from Admiral Harvey - the poor guy who as CFFC was left to pick the best option from a slew of sub-optimal options. He did what he had to do given where the larger situation was by the time it got to his desk. He made the call he felt he had to.

I'm not worried or concerned about CFFC. Where are Rear Admirals Spicer and Rice? Where is VADM Holloway? This is/was their ball of goo. Those are the men who knew Honors when he was Big XO - who saw those videos - those who did or did not give him a nod, wink, thumbs up, thumbs down, or shrug.

As we demonstrate by our actions what we do to the select of the select - the message that is screaming out to our young leaders is this;
You are on your own. When the going gets tough, don't expect us to do anything for you - especially if we might get some of the blame our selves. Forget what we told you. Forget what we promised you. The truth will change as I need it to change in order to fit my needs.

The Blue Falcon may be from the USAF - but we like her too. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important than political self-preservation. Ignore what you were taught, ignore what you read, ignore all the examples we like to tell you of combat leadership. They are all fairy tails.

I may help carry you out of a burning space or put my life on the line to defend you from an enemy in combat - but when the shooting stops I am no better than the junior partner at a large law firm. I will step on and over you to protect my own professional viability - even if I were the one who knocked you down.

Watch your back - I don't have it. I don't want it. You are dead to me - I have me to think about.

I guess we really didn't learn anything from Tailhook. I guess all those things we told each other in the bars in Souda Bay, Rota, Caan, Norfolk, San Diego, and that part of Thailand we dare not speak; over dinner at each others houses - I guess all that "We would never do that to each other .... " was just a bunch of talk.

OK, bad on me. Bad on me for having hope.

My advice to the young naval officer; love your Nation, love your Navy, love your Sailors, but under no circumstances trust your leadership until they prove worthy of your trust - even then, really don't. Follow orders, but watch your back. You don't have friends, you have co-workers. Minimize social contact that may lead you to believe that you have any type of bond with them. You don't. You are expendable if needed. You only matter to most if you help their careers. Do not expect help from anyone but yourself.

What a pathetic bit of advice for leaders - but if memory serves me right - that is what my generation learned from Tailhook - and tried to forget.

Don't like it? - well ask those senior officers who went to sea with Honors over four years ago why it should be any different. Their limp, flaccid silence screams.

As another put it:
When the still sea conspires an armor
And her sullen and aborted
Currents breed tiny monsters
True sailing is dead
Awkward instant
And the first animal is jettisoned
Legs furiously pumping
Their stiff green gallop
And heads bob up
In mute nostril agony
Carefully refined
And sealed over
When needed, you're next.


  1. Sal -- ummmmmmmm...just what do you expect right now?  ADM Harvey made a decision -- and said an investigation is happening -- and I imagine that it is imprudent for anyone to be speaking right now. 

    While that is not enough fodder for the blog set -- because all you can do is guess for a while, that's good enough until ADM Harvey has more to say.  The folks who can (and want to) speak out, are doing so via FB & other venues. 

  2. eric07:31

    Good points and unfortunately too true. Loyalty is a two way street if you show none you can expect none. We'll see if the investigation proves to be more that a witch hunt.

  3. eric07:32

    Good points and unfortunately too true. Loyalty is a two way street if you show none you can expect none. We'll see if the investigation proves to be more that a witch hunt.

  4. eric07:32

    Good points and unfortunately too true. Loyalty is a two way street if you show none you can expect none. We'll see if the investigation proves to be more that a witch hunt.

  5. LT B07:33

    Negative Jay.  The investigation was a farce.  Investigating?  Investigating what?  He made videos that EVERYBODY saw and knew about.  Senior leadership allegedly even saw them.  Is the investigation to see if we need to remove FOGOs from their offices?  Eff no.  This has shown the leadership for what they are.  This has crapped on the morale of the JOs IMHO.  Sal has it right, the message has been sent and received.  Trust and confidence my pink Scottish a$$. 

    This is a bit personal for me.  I have seen the crap in action.  I have seen senior leadership LIE about stuff and then scatter when the truth came out.  Moral cowardice.  The Navy's first response was spot on.  We knew, we talked to him, he stopped, and he has been a fantastic officer since, and even during.  We value his warfighting skills and like how he takes care of his troops while accomplishing the mission.  I assume his FITREPs all basically said that.  This should have been a done deal last week with a statement like that and nothing more.  Wait for the news cycle to speed up and don't feed the newsy trolls.  If you as a senior leader can not be honest and follow the Core Values at that level, show the leadership by example, then do not be surprised when the Fleet follows your lead and there is a decline in morale and honesty.  Stab stab twist stab at the highest levels of the Navy.  No, I am not pleased and have received the message.  It is a good thing I am not cynical.

  6. cdrsalamander07:36

    1.  Actually read what I posted.
    2.  I have no issue with what ADM Harvey is doing.  It is his call.
    3.  Not everything an officer must do must be screened by the JAG before he speaks.
    4.  This issue was already investigated by the the CO of the ENT and BG Commander in '07.  BTW, a CO or COMCSG can investigate with a look, observation, and verbal warning.

    Nothing, nothing, stopped anyone from speaking up from FRI to yesterday when Harvey made his call.

  7. Anonymous08:27

    Right on Phib - Brings me back to a weapons onload at sea in '85, highlining over harpoons to a knox FF in the MED.  Of course at night in bad weather.  Receipt inpection of the first 2 birds, in the ASROC magazine revealed pitted and chipped radomes - no way was I signing off on that receipt. Weps went crazy, told us to accept them anyway, 2 more were sitting on deck and one was on the line over. Capt came into the mag furious with the situation, furious with the handling team UNTIL he apprised himself of WEPs lack of spine to do the right thing.  We sent them all back, Capt made a Bridge to bridge call to the AOE and chewed the daylights out of the weps on the AOE, and we did it all over again the next day.  Point here was the Capt exercised extreme good judgement rather than take the easy route and offload the crap weapons on someone else.  Tough call, but I'll never forget the look in his eyes when he realized we were telling him not what he wanted to hear, but the truth, exactly what he was paying us to do.  That's leadership's job - do the right thing and make the tough calls.  No one in leadership has done this, not CFFC, not the CNO, and definitiely not the former SOPA when the videos were played.  I would have pulled chocks after my first and subsequent tours if not for brave and strong leaders (thanks Capt RL, XO DS, and Capt EU). I don't see how the JOs and Chiefs are doing it today.  A waste of so much talent because we have lost our way.

  8. Mark T08:28

    That was me

  9. UltimaRatioRegis08:54


    I cannot absolve Admiral Harvey one iota.  He is a smart man, and surely knows those things you mention in the post.  He was either told directly or indirectly to relieve Capt Honor, or made the decision on his own. 

    In the first instance, he had to choose between doing something he knew to be wrong and unfair to save his own career, or telling his bosses he wouldn't do it. 

    In the second instance, if this is indeed his decision, and his idea of appropriate justice, then his judgment will be in serious question for all the reasons the commentors state. 

    Either way, this was Harvey's moment.  He could have done what was right, and risk the ire of his seniors.  He could have said, “Dumb-a** stunt, counseled for it already four years ago, didn’t do it again, high achiever since. He stays.”  Or he could have been a party to this disgraceful show of spineless political servitude and betrayed the trust of his juniors for all the reasons you state.  

    He chose the latter.  His hands smell of the nervous sweat of the horse he pushed overboard.  He is forever stained by what he did.  He should be ashamed.  Problem being, that the US Navy's senior officers have become expert at rationalizing their invertebrate toadying.  And it is indistinguishable from that of Holloway, or Rice, or Spicer.  Or Roughead, or Mullen.

  10. Navig8r08:54

    Big Navy was embarassed by the news stories, so they dud-jetted CAPT Honors. No suprise. What I wonder is, after all the embarassing stories about LCS, why don't they do the same? Inquiring minds want to know.

  11. ewok40k09:17

    this is LACK of leadership, at its worst...
    it looks more and more to me like capable officers sacrificed to political line in the Hitlers and Stalins armies...

  12. LifeoftheMind09:29

    When wolves prowl who will defend the flock?
    Have no fear, the Department of Human Resources is on the job.
    Even better, America is so rich that we can now afford to have two State Departments.

  13. UltimaRatioRegis09:29

    When the sheepdogs act like sheep, the wolves always win.

  14. Anonymous09:36

    And maybe, just maybe, whoever did speak up would have said that he saw it and handled it / stopped it on the spot. Then, it could have been Navy's position that the issue is closed, CAPT Honors has served without incident since then and, therefore, he will remain CO of ENTERPRISE. My only fear would be that someone would then ask for the documentation to prove the counseling. I can see it happening.

  15. I'm not sure why Harvey keeps getting a pass in all of these issues. 

  16. Former Navy Officer10:10

    Nicely said,

      I have never been so disgusted with the Senior Navy Leadership.  I saw it when I was in from 1980-1993, to many officers concerned with career preservation and covering their ass instead of readiness to fight a war.  ADM Harvey is a spineless bureacrat, caving to the influence of the liberal press and ignorant civilians who don't understand why the videos were made.

      CAPT Honor was doing his job, and by all appearances he was doing it well. Sounds like morale on the Big E was great, and the ship performed well.  I would be interested in seeing the reenlistment rates on the Eisenhower after that deployment --I bet they exceed the fleet average. It is kind of refreshing to see a senior officer with a sense of humor, albeit a little warped, and not walking around with a stick up his a!!.

    Was CAPT Honors a little over the edge --yes, but he's a fighter pilot.  The question is whether he was and is an effective leader. He wouldn't have been given command of a Fighter Squadron, MT Whitney and Enterprise if he wasn't.  (As an aside, it's actually funny to see the ignorant press and liberals comment about how he was gay bashing....but the gay slurs were really aimed a the blackshoe alter ego;  are we going to abolish the good natured rivalry between airwing and blackshoes that has been around forever?)

     It is a shame when the Senior Leadership ducks behind cover and covers their ass. ADM Harvey had one correct response -- Yes it occurred; CAPT Honor was performing his duties and doing a good job; If you don't like it, don't join the Navy. End of Story.

     The mission of the Navy, and the other services, is not social change. The mission is to put weapons on target, not the appease the press.  If I had to go to war, I would want CAPT Honors on my side, not a candy ass like ADM Harvey.

    PS --If I have offended anyone with my comments, go home and cry to your mom.  I am sick of political correctness run amuck.

  17. xformed10:53

    No one makes money off CAPT Honors, except maybe if he writes a book.  I suspect he is the knid of guy who will not, as it would look like the moral cowards who attacked him, launching a tit-for-tat thing.  He'll be the better man, if he is what the many people who know him say.

    The LCS:  It shal not be dissed, nor anyone fired, so long as the money is folwin to the right people, civilian business people and formely uniformed people.  It's the money.

  18. xformed10:59

    Worse yet, seems no one closed the dors and said:  "OK, if we fire him, what will the follow on circumstances be?"

    The spineless response will be used again, because the spineless responders let it happen, without considering there has been a long term, in place campaign to make the US Miliray look bad.  Seemingly not connected:  The first WikiLeaks.  Look at the daily assualt on the WF&A "everyone knows" happens in our military, and how they are just killing our young for practice...

    Kinda like the ongoing cyberwarfare.  It's war, even if it doesn't come painted in desert camo or haze gray.  We're so focused on the big military approach (while some aspects have improved with community rebuilding in Iraq and AFG), that we miss the many other theaters we're now facing.

    And once we took an Armor heavy Army and midset into the jungles, only to be defeated in our own Media, Congress and College Campuses.  Just what have we really learned?  Worse when you have to consider domestic "non-friends" who are out to hurt you, too.

  19. John11:43

    Phib speaks the truth.

    What is missing, is pursuit of the weasel who fabricated the faux outrage over a several year old "incident", necessary to see this whole non-scandal in proper perspective.

    We have sacrificed a fine officer on the pyre of political correctness in great haste to mollify the hostile media and ignoramus public.  All on the basis of skillfully timed allegations and "evidence" taken grossly out of context and then carefully chopped into sound bites to make them look even worse.

    Whatever flaws CAPT Honors exhibited, they pale in comparison to the gutless inactions of his numerous superiors and the disgruntled individual who targeted him for retribution. 

    Our Navy and our Nation is made less safe by the actions of the others, far more than the actions of CAPT Honors.

    The adverse legacy, and unintended consequences from these videos will not be from CAPT Honors, but from the others who instigated, aggrevated, and reacted (or failed to act) after the allegations.

  20. Grandpa Bluewater12:17


    Frightened some perfumed prince or princess of the 5 sided wind tunnel will pull that cheap trick? 

     Tell them " you have my word as an officer and a gentleman/lady" and " my baggage allowance doesn't include weight and space for the footlocker to hold the original copy of all the counseling sheets to document every time I told a subordinate to knock something off, and he did".  If he is senior to you say.. With all due respect sir (or ma'am), first. If he/she chews your butt... ask for a copy of the formal counseling sheet. And smile.

    If the big scary sea lawyer make you freeze, what is the enemy trying to kill you going to do?

    As for the average fo/go, keep expectations low.  If you want loyalty, marry a smart, sweet, nice Methodist girl from the midwest, and be loyal to her. If you can find a tightfisted one, you will be happy - and prosperous - way past when you hang up the double brested blue suit in the back of the closet, and put your most expensive costume jewelry in a frame, and hang it on the wall (it worked for me).

    You join the Navy to defend the Republic, not to get ever higher rank. If you are worth a ......

  21. The Usual Suspect12:19

    The "investigation" will be cursory at best.  The verdict is a forgone conclusion - Capt Honors has been convicted and removed already.  He will twist in the wind until a JAG comes up with the final version of the forgone conclusion and issues a statement through another staff weenie PAO.  It is disheartening to see that loyalty has, once again, become a one way street.  These people are not fit to polish his shoes.  He should be judged by peers - real peers.

  22. UltimaRatioRegis12:22

    You join the Navy to battle sexism, racism, and homophobia!  Oh yeah, and if you have time and budget left over, perhaps some of America's enemies....

  23. Grandpa Bluewater12:24


    Punish, then investigate thoroughly, might not be the correct order of steps in a procedure.  If you care about secondary effects.

    Due diligence and due process. Used to happen, sometimes. These days....I dunno. Ask that ADM Harvey guy.

  24. MR T's Haircut13:07

    Breaks your heart.

    Yea I lost faith in our "Leadership" years ago... I will do all in my power to dissuade my son from joining the services... in any capacity.

  25. MR T's Haircut13:09

    idiots.. and the CO at the time needs to be called on the Carpet.. Come on then Captain Rice.. you were once my XO and I would have traded 20 of you for 1 Captain Honors.

  26. MR T's Haircut13:12

    CLAP CLAP CLAP Applause,....


  27. MR T's Haircut13:13

    A "Global Farce for Good"

  28. C-dore 1413:33

    Mark T, Those of us who have transferred missiles and ASROC using that forward kingpost know how easy it would have been to take the easy way out and just stick those Harpoon in the magazine.  Sounds like you had a professional for a CO.

  29. Anonymous13:37

    You can love the military, but the military won't love you back.  How is this a surprise?

  30. Anonymous13:39

    Anybody want to bet that Harvey was Placement when Honors was assigned?  He spent quite some time at BUPERS.  That has to be awkward.

  31. Anonymous13:41

    Shouldn't be hard to generate the documentation if someone was given a formal warning.  It would have stopped the entire event.  "We're aware, he was counseled for the behavior, and it was stopped."  That ends the story.  Leadership failure all around.

  32. LT B13:43

    Only possible way to alleviate airdale to SWO tension is force the SWOs to get 8 hours rest too. :)

  33. Southern Air Pirate13:56

    It is called "The Faith". The faith that you do right for the guys above you and they do right for you. It is one of those cardinal rules that is taught in leadership schools all over the place. The downside is the civilians have dropped that idea about forty years ago and the military is starting to learn this about the Faith.

  34. UltimaRatioRegis13:59

    Special Trust and Confidence is a two-way street.  Senior Navy may find out the hard way.

  35. C-dore 1414:05

    As I mentioned yesterday, the fact that not one of CAPT Honors' former superiors has come forward to state that they had previously taken action in this case bothers me.  It's hard to believe that the leadership was unaware of these videos or that complaints were filtering up the chain (on a ship as large as a CVN someone is always complaining about something).  Either they didn't know (unlikely), chose to remain "willfully ignorant", or took action in the form of a verbal warning and are afraid that this will be seen as inadequate.  I feel that the ship's CO at the time bears primary is only correct.

    I tend to be a bit more sympathetic with the position of the Group Commander, although I don't absolve them for their failure to come forward.  As an O-6 I worked for 5 different BG Cdrs (4 aviators and a SWO) and noted how reluctant all of them were to insert themselves directly into ship issues that did not directly involve the staff or group operations.  In most cases if the Flag saw something he didn't like he'd dispatch the COS to sort things out "unofficially" (BTW, you haven't lived until you've had a peak volume, finger jabbing "discussion" in the CO's In-port Cabin with a guy you know has been selected for Flag).  I assumed that this was because they all understood what a tough job a CVN CO has (3 of them were former CV/CVN COs).  I'm surprised that ADM Harvey as a former CVSG CDR doesn't remember this.

  36. C-dore 1414:10

    URR, Exactly.  They may think that the "storm" may pass them by but I think that they'll be mistaken.  Better to stand tall and go out with your honor intact.

  37. C-dore 1414:12

    LT B, You forget that most of the SWOs on a CVN are Nukes...they love being tired ;)

  38. C-dore 1414:16

    My question is why is ADM Harvey involved at all at this point?  I would have thought that a 3-star (either CNAF or C2F) would have had the lead.  Maybe one of you guys on active duty can tell me if the chain of command for CVN now goes directly to CFFC.

  39. Anonymous14:26

    Dunno about CNAF, but C2F is VADM Holloway -- he's probably under investigation himself.

  40. I used to love being relieved as OOD by a SWO who bragged to me how he had been up 20+ straight hours.  I always thought that they thought I was joking when I called them idiots for such. 

  41. C-dore 1414:36

    Guest, Yeah...I just remembered that after I posted.

  42. Anonymous14:52

    <span><span>"I guess we really didn't learn anything from Tailhook."</span></span>
    <span><span>Another point of view, Sal, if I may--I think the lesson to be learned here, which apparently some did not learn from Tailhook, is that the organization matters more than you do.  No matter how much you love the organization, it can never love you back.  The moment you become a liability, a distraction, it will cut you loose.  That's what happened then, and here.</span></span>
    <span><span>Whether we like it or not, the armed forces are ultimately creations of Congress, and as such they are responsive to the prevailing political winds, and the fickle creature that is public opinion.  Our leaders know that oversight is a certainty, and that if we do not self-police, or are perceived as inadequately self-policing, others are waiting in the wings to do it for us, and the result may be less to your liking than it was here.</span></span>
    <span><span>While it may offend your sense of personal loyalty to cut loose a man who has served so ably, the cold reality is that he made himself a liability to the organization, and was senior enough to know the score.  I'm not saying that's the way it should be, I'm just saying that's the way it is.  It has been that way for a very long time now.</span></span>

  43. UltimaRatioRegis14:54

    Wait'll I go back and demand the relief of everyone I heard tell a Polish joke.... 

  44. DeltaBravo14:56

    you couldn't legally drive a truck for Mayflower if you'd been up 20+ straight hours. 

  45. FDNF'er15:33

    <span>  Great post.  I concur with everything that you wrote but I would differ on one note: I still trust my peers.  CAPT Honors' was sold out by seniors.<span>  </span>These Admirals knew what was going on but decided to put their heads in the sand and hope for the best as CAPT Honors went down with the ship.  CAPT Honors’ peers could do little to help him and did nothing to harm him.<span>  </span>Maybe my throat will be slit in the night by someone I work with, but I trust my peers.  I cannot function without trusting them implicitly.  What's a guy to do?</span>
    <span>  As for our Admirals, I do not trust them as far as I can throw them off the ship.  I will salute and carry on their plan of the day only because I have sworn an oath to do so.  They are not leaders, they are bureaucrats.  Where are the Halseys, Nimitzes, Farraguts, Jones of this generation?  That's right - they got out of the Navy years ago because they were disgusted with the environment around them and left room for the current mastodons in power.  Rant complete...</span>
    <span> </span>
    <span>  FDNF'er</span>

  46. C-dore 1415:56

    Stu, My longest stretch was 38 hours (and we weren't even in combat).  In later years I reflected on how stupid doing that was.  In <span>The Caine Mutiny</span> one of the officers testifies that Capt Devires (Queeg's predecessor and my favorite character in the book) told the officers to grab sleep whenever they could because he "...didn't want any foggy zombies conning his ship."  Those are words to live by.

  47. Master AssClown16:00

    Once someone is thrown under the bus it is a done deal as far as the self-preserving folks turning their backs on the "offenders" but it is most strange how they bend over backwards protecting a leadership failure and shrill like Capt Holly "Bligh" who is a disgrace to any tenet of leadership and the service in every respect. She abused at least two crews and yet it was kept fairly low key. Where are her ISICS and why were they not fired ASAP? Perhaps some will remember when the USS Pueblo was attacked and her crew held by the NKs? Memory seems to note that LCDR Butcher was blamed yet folks far up the food chain escaped blame and accountability. The self-preserving folks have been covering their sorry asses for a long time while blaming the most junior person that can be attached to many issues. Perhaps some new leadership courses should be drafted and "Leadership by Example" and REAL accountability be expected and demanded of ALL leaders?



  48. C-dore 1416:02

    Guest, In an earlier post someone commented that we are all "replaceable".  I think that word he was looking for was "expendable".  

  49. MR T's Haircut16:23

    CNAF should be the ISIC.  CNAF may have had said he wouldnt do it...

  50. xformed16:50


    Keep your freaking trap shut!  Next thing you know they will go after those who told wide motuh frog jokes, too!

    I'm guessing the end game is white hetro males will only be able to tell jokes about how stupid, ignorant an homophoic wite hetro males are...if fact, I'd not put it past the Diversity Bullies to direct a quota to be told, and the size of the diverse audience you have to tell it to to ensure the proper delivery of the message.

    Damn....I just gacve them an idea....

  51. UltimaRatioRegis17:07


    If the only jokes can be about the stupidity of hetero males, we might as well watch SITCOMs and TV commercials all day.

    I think I will call it the group NAAPP.  And the catchy slogan we can yell at every demonstration, is "We're here!  We use a lot of letters in our names!  Get used to it!"

  52. Mark T17:09

    Sure did, a fine Surface Nuc (if there is such a thing)on his disassociated tour - learned more about leadership from that man, and his whole wardroom.  Those guys are all gone now, I guess the Cheng on my first ship said it right: "every CHT system always allows the biggest turds to rise to the top"

    (I don't think there is anything offensive in that statement, but there may be a left-handed, tobacco chewing, cartoon watching, Guns and Ammo reading HT3 out there who takes umbrage - I beg forgiveness at the altar of all things snipe!)

  53. Anonymous17:14

    I suppose if C2F really is implicated, CFFC has to jump in at some level anyway. And once he does, maybe his office should just handle the entire investigation, rather than risk crossing wires with CNAF.

  54. Sort of a wise-ass comment but maybe not:

    New year was only a couple days ago, perhaps now would be a good time for a full investigation into the doings of all officers. If I was in the House Armed Services Committee, I would begin at the top. Let the legal beagles begin sniffing the past of all of our Admirals, just to see if they pass the smell test. 

    Sounds like a potential Stalinist purge is in the makings...

    The good thing is that the number of Admirals could be reduced to at least equalization to the number of Ships in Active Service.

    In my Navy, we never had to say Blue Falcon, we would just say the whole term loud and clearly.<img></img>

  55. Boat School Grad17:50

    The Navy DESPERATLY needs more Marc Mitschers and fewer Mike Mullens.

    Hell, 'ole Petey wouldn't get past the O-4 board today.

  56. Cupojoe17:53

    One point: O-6's rarely command ballistic missile subs anymore.  Although it might be the most important job you can have at the O-5 level. 

  57. Retired Now18:15

    Admiral Harvey's photo posted on Navy mil site today:

  58. BostonMaggie19:02

    “Dumb-a** stunt, counseled for it already four years ago, didn’t do it again, high achiever since. He stays.”

    Except we are not sure that any counseling happened.  

    Also, I have read one unsubstantiated statement that CAPT Honors continued to make videos until July of 2007 despite being told in early 2007 to stop. 

  59. ASWOJoe19:03

    If I recall by instruction SWO's are supposed to have four hours of rest in a given 24 hour period. 

    It's not required to be contiguous.

  60. ASWOJoe19:04

    If I recall by instruction SWO's are supposed to have four hours of rest in a given 24 hour period. 

    It's not required to be contiguous.

  61. ASWOJoe19:04

    If I recall by instruction SWO's are supposed to have four hours of rest in a given 24 hour period. 

    It's not required to be contiguous.

  62. Southern Air Pirate19:30

    More the likely it would be referred to the Admirals Gestapo, I mean NCIS. From there it would go to some DoN or DoD IG for further results. That way we can have an impartial investigation.

  63. Retired Now19:39

    Corrected Link to 6 January 2010

    Today's Photo of Admiral Harvey on the Navy Mil web site

  64. Quartermaster19:39

    The best advice to be given to a young man these days is to love your country, but stay teh hell away from the military.

    This is just the beginning. The rot has truly set in and it will run quite fast. I don't want to see one good young man caught in that web.

  65. Outlaw Mike19:40

    The time for mutiny has come.

    If you allow these roaring FOOLS to go any further, you will end up facing the Chinese with pink carriers of which the flight decks have been converted into theme parks.

  66. andrewdb21:12

    I have read one local report in San Diego from "an unnamed female naval officer" aboard the Enterprise at the time in which she says she dropped two separate complaints about the videos to the CO through the Direct Line box.  

  67. cdrsalamander21:45

    If true - she just did a huge disservice to female officers throughout the Navy - especially if she is TACAIR.

    That would be the greatest outrage.  If true, she set back females in squadrons back 10 years.

  68. Anathema22:06

    Don't follow Sal...I read this as she complained to the CO, not that she's the one who mailed the videos (which is what I think you read). Please correct me if I am wrong.

  69. cdrsalamander22:27

    Oh, if that is the case - that is fine and good.  Compain to the CO and let him deal with it.  That is, as I understand it, what happened.

    Complain to the CO and he deals with it, but you don't like what he did --- and then did this right prior to Big E's deployment almost half a decade later ..... that is different.

    Still too early to know  - but we will one day.

  70. Anonymous22:29

    When's the last time you heard a flag impugn a serving and subordinate officer's character (as in declaring a defect of character) in public like that?

  71. Grandpa Bluewater23:05

    Or most others...

  72. UltimaRatioRegis23:54

    So, on the one hand, you heard he was told to stop.  But on the other, you are fine with his relief 5 years hence, because you aren't sure he was counseled? 

    Did the unsubstantiated statement mention whether any subsequent videos had objectionable material that others complained about?  Or should we just relieve him and destroy a career just in case? 

    The Lavrentii Beria method of justice.  Interesting.    Good thing we took care of the BIG problem...

  73. UltimaRatioRegis23:55

    <span>So, Maggie, on the one hand you heard he was told to stop.  But on the other, you are fine with his relief 5 years hence, because you aren't sure he was counseled?   
    Did the unsubstantiated statement mention whether any subsequent videos had objectionable material that others complained about?  Or should we just relieve him and destroy a career just in case?   
    The Lavrentii Beria method of justice.  Interesting.    Good thing we took care of the BIG problem...</span>

  74. BostonMaggie00:59

    My point is that we don't know enough yet to say he was counseled already.

    Clearly at least one video was produced after complaints were made because CAPT Honors references those complaints himself in the last video.  It almost proves that there was no counseling.  Who would say "Listen, these vids are bad because X.Y, Z,  You must stop after the next one."?

    I am fine with his being relieved right now because he is, in my opinion as a civilian who has never served, a problem right now.  My opinion is not influenced by a need to kowtow to political correctness.

  75. four loko01:14

    Navy Times reports Adm Harvey is on the CNO short list.  When evaluating options for handling the CAPT Honors situation, do you think this went through his mind?  Lets see if I don't relieve him will I have to explain myself at the congressional hearings, will I have any chance of confirmation?

  76. C-dore 1403:06

    Boat School, King (a womanizer and sometimes heavy drinker), Halsey (same characteristics), and Turner (a well-known screamer who finished his days as an alcoholic) would be lucky to make LT these days.

  77. ewok40k04:08

    I bet this would spell bad things if USN is ever forced into Pacific War Redux...

  78. Guest04:10


     If they only read their own instructions....and had the courage to defend themselves...from the SECNAVINST...


    e. All reported incidents of sexual harassment shall be
    investigated and resolved at the lowest appropriate level. The
    nature of the investigation will depend upon the particular
    facts and circumstances and may consist of an informal inquiry
    where that action is sufficient to resolve factual issues. All
    incidents shall be resolved promptly and with sensitivity.

    b. The appropriate action to resolve a substantiated
    incident of sexual harassment will depend upon the circumstances
    surrounding that incident. Incidents of sexual harassment cover
    a wide range of behaviors, from verbal comments to physical
    acts, and can be subtle or overt. Likewise, the full range of
    administrative and disciplinary actions is available to address
    sexual harassment. In the case of military personnel, these
    include informal counseling, comments in fitness reports and
    evaluations, administrative separation, and punitive measures
    under the UCMJ. In the case of civilians, options include
    informal counseling, and disciplinary action including removal
    from the Federal Service.



  79. SCOTTtheBADGER05:03

    I know we're only domestic jurisdictionally, but there are a few of us Badgers still around.  But the young ones, the products of the current UW System, ( Degree required in WI to be a LEO ), worry me.  Lord, but some of them are not the brightest lighthouses in the 9th Coast Guard District.

  80. UltimaRatioRegis07:53

    "<span>I am fine with his being relieved right now because he is, in my opinion as a civilian who has never served, a problem right now"</span>

    So, if you do something bad for which you have to pay a fine or get community service, you will be fine with someone hiring you for a job knowing full well what you did, and then firing you five years later if someone complains about what you did five years ago?

  81. UltimaRatioRegis07:54

    <span>"<span>I am fine with his being relieved right now because he is, in my opinion as a civilian who has never served, a problem right now"</span>  
    So, if you do something bad for which you have to pay a fine or get community service, you will be fine with someone hiring you for a job knowing full well what you did, and then firing you five years later if someone complains about what you did five years ago?</span>

  82. USNA 8208:16

    Great blog CDR S.  After 28 years I thought I had seen just about evrything, but this is near the top of the WTF list.  Working back at the Boat School the past decade I always heard the mantra, protect your classmate.  This is a classic case of protect your classmate from themself.  Imagine if after the 1st video a fellow CAPT had said to CAPT Honors, "Don't you think this could come back to haunt you?" If someone did and he blew them off, then he was/is an idiot.  Secondly, to continue moving up the Navy Ladder he had some friends or a Sea Daddy that helped him along.

    I am glad this didn't come down as another example of why USNA should go away, just another Naval Aviator (which I was one) that thought they were above reproach.

  83. BostonMaggie09:20

    I do not find that a valid question until we know there was any fine or community service.  I do not see the double jeopardy arguement.

    But, if you insist, if my "bad" was say drunk driving and years later I was hired by MADD, then yes, I do see them firing me when my record comes to light. 

  84. Aubrey10:09

    Nimitz ran his ship aground.  OHP ran his mouth in France (see last month's Proceedings for that one).

    Both would have been driven out of today's navy immediately following those incidents, yet both turned out rather well, as I recall...

  85. UltimaRatioRegis10:13

    Even if MADD knew about your offense when they hired you?

    And you are adovcating relief first, and investigation second?  Huh.  Read Grandpa B below.

  86. Anonymous11:13

    We signed up to be expendable.  Of course we'd prefer to make the other bastard die for his country, but still.

  87. Anonymous11:14

    Investigation:  Were you knowingly involved in making these videos that you starred in?  

  88. C-dore 1414:12

    Guest, If the subsequent investigation goes the way I think it will, I predict that "informal counseling" will go the way of the flat hat and the blue combination cap cover.  Senior officers will find themselves in the position of having to "cover their a55 with paper" to prove that the counseling actually took place.  Ultimately we could devolve to the situation of the frontier Army where officers routinely filed court martial charges against one another.

  89. C-dore 1414:14

    QM (and MTH), I disagree.  This is precisely the time that we need to encourage honorable young men and women to join.  Eventually the pendulum will swing back.

  90. UltimaRatioRegis15:01


    "<span>Eventually the pendulum will swing back."</span>

    Doubtful.  There are things that, once done, cannot be undone.  Much to James Webb's point:

    "When leadership fails, sometimes a fundamental shift overtakes a unit, or a military service, or a nation, that is so profound that it can change an entire ethos."

    Armies lose wars and nations fall, taking much lifeblood of youth with them, because of such things.  Trust is not on a pendulum.  Once lost, it is generations before it can be re-established.

  91. UltimaRatioRegis15:02

    "<span>Eventually the pendulum will swing back."</span>  
    Doubtful.  There are things that, once done, cannot be undone.  Much to James Webb's point:
    "When leadership fails, sometimes a fundamental shift overtakes a unit, or a military service, or a nation, that is so profound that it can change an entire ethos."  
    Armies lose wars and nations fall, taking much lifeblood of youth with them, because of such things.  Trust is not on a pendulum.  Once lost, it is generations before it can be re-established.</span>

  92. cdrsalamander15:21

    Expendable to promote someone elses personal political rise?  Really?

  93. Anonymous15:40

    <p><span><span><span>I was told recently that the four converted Ohio boats (SSGN’s) are commanded by 0-6’s as a major command tour. So I guess theoretically you could command the same boat twice albeit with two different missions.</span></span></span></p>

  94. 610ET15:41

    <p><span><span><span>I was told recently that the four converted Ohio boats (SSGN’s) are commanded by 0-6’s as a major command tour. So I guess theoretically you could command the same boat twice albeit with two different missions.</span></span></span></p>

  95. C-dore 1416:19

    URR, I might agree with you more readily had my formative years in the Navy not been in the final years of the Vietnam War and the post-Vietnam period when trust in the leadership (both military and civilian) was low.  Not only did we face reduced budgets, smaller force levels, and long deployments at the time but, quite frankly, those we were protecting didn't like us very much.  There was concern at the time, as well, about the reluctance of junior naval officers to aspire to command (don't know who they were since they didn't associate with the JOs I knew).  Despite this a few who kept the faith remained and some who were willing to adopt that faith signed on.

    We've been through this before (not just after Vietnam but after the Civil War and between the World Wars as well).  However to discourage potential leaders from signing on will hasten that collapse from which we won't recover.

  96. Anonymous16:48

    We are surrounded by cowards and careerists.  There is no one without fault and those who would be the first to point fingers are often those with the greatest faults.  Naval aviation has always accepted faults and eccentricities if they did not effect the mission or safety (and it helped if they aided with morale and camraderie).  I have yet to find anyone who was specifically harmed by CAPT Honors.  I think a great many were helped by him.  These kinds of incidents take the soul out of Naval Service and make our people no different than your average 7-11 clerk.  I really can't think of a Flag Officer in the last twenty years that offers any real example of charisma, character, or panache--some of the intrinsic and intangible characteristics of leadership.  We lose good people and they are not replaced.

    I was looking at something else and came across this--

    A real gentelman and shipmate who cared not a wit what was or would have been politically correct.

  97. LT B22:41

    Unfortunately, the nation has lost or is losing its industrial base.  My concern the general culture of our country has changed to such an extent that we have lost the foundation from which the military can get back on firm footing.  It is not just the recruits, but the civilian leadership that will affect the military.

  98. UltimaRatioRegis06:51

    With due respect, C-dore, the changes we have had forced upon us are more fundamental than those of the late-70s and early 80s.  Under the guise of political correctness, we have seen the dilution and marginalizing of the very ethos that wins wars and battles. Some have called it the "feminization" of the American military, and some ways that is applicable. 

    Couple that with incidents like the GOFO response to Tailhook, the non-relief of Captain Graf until two command tours were near completion, and the hair-trigger relief of Capt Honor, Diversity uber alles, Optimal Manning nonsense, repeal od DADT (with the very active advocacy of Mullen), etc., and there is a massive issue of lack of trust from the mid-range officers to their seniors.  Well-earned, I might add. 

    We have faced some of this before.  But by no means all.  And not as deep into the fabric of our military culture as this.

    We have been

  99. ewok40k07:12

    It is deep crisis, but it isnt something unrecoverable... all USN needs is a real war with a peer naval power, and priorities will quickly change from diversity and goodwill to mission and warfighting, or the navy will cease to exist and with it all of its problems.
    Civilian background has been worse already, in the late years of Vietnam war. No ROTC bombings this time, at least...

  100. Its ironic you used a Morrison song...

    I remember dad saying that the elder Morrison paid for his son's antics in the mid 60's...Although he made Flag, he didn't get the jobs he could have otherwise.

  101. LT B09:59

    I remember his picture on the COMNAVMAR command p-way.  His son went to Farragut Academy in St. Pete, FL as I remember.

  102. clarkward10:28

    This is funny and sad...  go read the comments at Information Dissemination.  There seem to be a number of people saying he needed canned, and that I'm out of my mind for disagreeing.  This is a gross travesty of justice, and they seem to think that I'm being silly in tying this incident to Galrahn's posted question 'Why are we losing so many good officers?'.  Sometimes I like the discussions over there, but lately it seems like it's populated by civilians and jackwagons. 

  103. cdrsalamander11:59

    I picked it on purpose.  You, no shocker, get the gold-star happy face for catching the nuance.

    Here's a bit of irony - JM almost went to Annapolis.  He would have been in the class of '64/65.  His personality probably would have landed him in aviation which means he would have flown as a JO in Vietnam.  Tailhook would have had him at the 25 year mark - what - CAG/DCAG - maybe Big-XO or deep draft Command getting set up for CO of a CV perhaps? If not deployed, he would have been in Vegas.

    Don't laugh - it is easier for a artistically inclined hedonist with daddy & impulse control issues to get gather themselves in their mid-20s when needed and the right motivation, to pivot and make the military a career and do well.

    Ahem.  Just a theory I'm working on ......

    Alternative universe.

  104. ewok40k12:11

    He could even land in captivity and come back hero, and start a political career... maybe even ending up as president?
    As speculative as it is, it is no less probable than JFK lifepath. And countless alternative histories stem from what if he didnt survive PT-109 vs IJN DD collision...

  105. Byron12:38

    Damn, would have missed out on a great album! ;)

  106. UltimaRatioRegis12:53

    Call sign "Lizard King".

  107. C-dore 1414:06

    Almost went to USNA but attended UCLA instead.  There's a lesson here for all of us.

    As an aside to show how much the structure of the Navy changed in my of the elder Morrison's Pentagon assignments was as Director of one of the Surface Programs Divisions (and, yes, it was a Surface directorate when he was there).  His photo was still on the wall when I worked down the hall in OP-60.

  108. Guest09:12

    So, let me get this straight. The lesson to be learned from Tailhook wasn't "Start acting like mature adults instead of sex-obsessed giggly frat boys" (which would have helped CAPT Honors), but rather "Don't snitch and protect your colleagues at all cost."


  109. UltimaRatioRegis09:16

    No, no Guest/Troll. 

    The lesson from Tailhook was "ruthlessly destroy the careers of innocent as well as guilty without regard to facts or process, in order to placate Patsy Schroeder and any other shill for special interests."

    So don't worry.  The Admirals learned the lessons from Tailhook well.

  110. Redeye8009:31

    I am glad this didn't come down as another example of why USNA should go away, just another Naval Aviator (which I was one) that thought they were above reproach.

    The witch hunt is just starting.  I am sure after the good CAPT is keel hauled, they will say "and he was a boat school grad as well".

    Standby for heavy rolls.

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