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While the term "cuss like a sailor" seems like a cultural norm, what happens when a commanding officer acts inappropriately in a series of video clips that feature gay slurs, simulated masturbation, and women appearing to bathe together?
It leads to an investigation by the Navy. CBS News reports that Capt. Owen Honors is being investigated for a series of videos made in 2006 and 2007 while he was Executive Officer of the USS Enterprise. This means he was second in command when the USS Enterprise video collection was made.
He was made the ship's commander in May.
One look at a USS Enterprise Video and viewers can see a variety of "clearly inappropriate" material. According to the Huffington Post, the videos were shown on the ship's closed-circuit television. Based on one USS Enterprise video, it is clear that Capt. Owen Honors was aware that his videos were offensive. He starts off a video by stating, "Over the years I've gotten several complaints about inappropriate material during these videos, never to me personally but, gutlessly, through other channels."
While there were complaints in the past, it seems that the Navy is taking its investigation seriously now that the videos have been widely reported by The Virginian-Pilot over the weekend. While there is always room for bosses to joke around with employees, Forbes writer Emily Jasper writes that the production and proliferation of such offensive video clips by a commanding officer shows a "boss taking it upon himself to lead the charge in creating a hostile atmosphere." This seems to run counter to the impression that the Navy wants to project to the general public.
Navy spokesman Cmdr. Chris Sims said in a statement sent to The Associated Press that the clips "were not acceptable then and are not acceptable in today's Navy." While the clips remained accessible to crewmembers, the Navy stated that it stopped the videos years ago. The Navy stated: "It is unfortunate that copies of these videos remained accessible to crewmembers, especially after leadership took action approximately four years ago to ensure any future videos reflected the proper tone."
So while the Navy did act on the videos years ago, it looks like they still need to clean ship.