04 January 2011

X.O. Movie Night & Military Misbehavior

Capt. Owen Honors - I have a series for you, sir.

Trad Dad - Dressed as Red Cross Nurse in South Korea

The Trad going for tongue

Not much for sharing my opinion on breaking news stories. In large part because so few of these stories interest me but also because my opinion is just that. An opinion with zero facts. Like Fox News.

I suspect the navy, without knowing too much about the navy, other than frequenting her BXs and spending a year in her ROTC program (very Trad uniforms), is about to keelhaul Owen Honors who, after seeing his 12 minute video here, has, if no longer a naval career, is a Corfam shoe in as producer for a new cable comedy show. I'd love to see an uncensored series of life aboard an aircraft carrier. A zany Phil Silvers - McHale's Navy but...earthy. Hell, Capt. Honors even looks like Cpl Henshaw.

If not a comedy series then at least a navy, "In Living Color" concept with the amazingly talented dancers 8:22 in. I'm serious as a heart attack. If you've never been in the military (and most of you haven't although you seem to be fond of the attire and sunglasses) I would respectively ask that you keep your judgement to yourself.

I should too but I've seen far worse (and less funny) in the Army. Dry humping your buddy when he bends over in front of you. Fake French kissing your buddy on a drop zone in front of civilians during a capabilities demonstration. Exhibiting hard core porn magazines during a locker inspection so the LT doesn't open my your sock drawer. I told you they weren't funny and no it wasn't always the same buddy.

Owen may be at the end of his career but he goes out as a respected leader among the men and women who served with him and he should take great pride in that he never bent over in front of me. Please, check out the video. If for no other reason than to confirm that's (10:25) Glenn Close.


Belle de Ville said...

I saw the video and found it to be unprofessional and not particularly funny. It takes truly bad judgement for an XO to involve himself in something like this.

The Navy music videos, such as Numa Numa, are clever. Capt. Honors should have produced music videos and not attempted comedy.

If my brother's XO had produced this, it would have reflected poorly on the Navy and on my brother's command.

Oyster Guy said...

It's only "news" because someone so senior was involved and it became public. Had it been a junior officer or lower, I expect it would have been nothing and treated as such.

Compared to the recreational activities of your old friends in 2 Cdo CAR after they started fraternizing with the French Foreign Legion, this vid is pretty lame stuff.

It's a shame this squak all worked out this way, but the lesson is appearances sometimes do matter to some.

The Sardonicist said...

i just completed a rather lengthy online survey regarding the possibility of discrimination within my army reserve unit. essentially , do we all get along, and does anyone feel threatened/intimidated. usually we are just briefed on this by the EO officer, but this was rather involved. coincidence....?

(as an aside, i'm happy to say that i am of the opinion we all get along, despite our diverse ethnicity, ages, and religion - i believe we have two practicing muslims in my unit - and have seen nothing to contradict said belief.)

James said...

My first reaction was "They're sailors for Christ's sake!,what did you expect. " Then I realized it isn't our father's military any more. As an Army brat during the 50s and 60s I saw many examples of behavior that was like you described.Try standing in line to take a physical with about 100 airborne. That was an education for a 16 year old. Talk about playing "grab ass". Sadly today men are judged by piss-ant mistakes they make instead of by their actions when it really counts. Sorry, but I rooted for Nicholson in "A Few Good Men".

Main Line Sportsman said...

All I can offer on the topic of Capt. Honor is: What the F@#K was he thinking??
Now, you guys really wore your berets in the shower to modify their fit?
Curious...what was the venue for the wedding that took place in "my nape of the neck"...my "neck of the woods?"
(Get the movie reference and I'll send you some more Bitter Lemon)

Brummagem Joe said...

My immediate reaction too until I saw the video. Your equivalence and that of others is totally off the mark Tintin. This was not a couple of grunts playing childish games, he was the EO for godsake. Senior officers don't do this. Period. I'm amazed it has to be said.

Jeff P. said...

Former Army Officer here, this video is without question grounds for dismissal from command regardless of rank, position, or prior achievements. RIP Cpt. Owens career.

tintin said...

Belle- I can't stand Numa Numa so we're even. As a soldier, I did see senior officers do some pretty bizarre stuff. Check out, The Great Santini for some antics involving senior officers.

Oyster Guy- I met a guy who was with 2nd Rep in the mid 80s. Amazing.

Civilians don't know how much ass kissing, back stabbing and politics goes on.

This vid is 4 years old which means someone decided to take a crap on Ownen's career. But it amazes me how folks who never served will pass judgement while they make conclusions based on a life they know nothing about.

Skorpeo- I can't say we all got along but there was always respect. And usually good natured ribbing in our diversity. It wouldn't be called elegant humor and most women would find it vulgar (eating peanut butter out of a toilet during an inspection) but I'll remember it fondly.

James - The admirals will tut - tut and cover their ass with how shocked they are. What you and I know is this stuff happens. A lot. I never have liked Tom Cruise.

Main Line- He was thinking, we're all on this can in the middle of the Med for months. Everyone needs a laugh. I'll check with the C.O. "No prob." says C.O. adding, "I just don't know anything about it." AKA- "I'm shocked, shocked to that gambling is going on in here." And yes, I wore a beret in the shower. I still do when the mood strikes. Caddyshack.

Joe- "Senior officers don't do this." He just did. You think he was the 1st? Joe, don't look up. The sky is falling.

Brummagem Joe said...

"You think he was the 1st? Joe, don't look up."

That's the rationale is it Tintin? Idiotic precedent? I was in uniform in my early twenties and I did some stupid things as no doubt you did. That however, is not a justification for this literally unbelieveable lapse of judgement by a very senior officer in a sensitive posting. As someone above said "What the *%$# was he thinking." Nor btw do I think it is particularly out of order for civilians to comment on the more asinine behavior of the military. This is not Wilhelmine Germany.

tintin said...

Maybe my service differed from yours. I don't know. But I know this with every fibre in my body-- The military has few individuals who are leaders. They are bold, confident and full of ego. They also love their men and they will do anything it takes to support them.

The officer corps has been in short supply of these men for years. Why? Because most officers wouldn't pee on their men if they were on fire. They have one goal. They're career and no E-4 is gonna screw it up for them.

In contrast, real leaders don't give a rat's ass about getting in trouble. They have a job to do and if they do it in a unique way--screw anyone who tries to second guess them.

Capt Honors is a jet pilot, Top Gun school grad and maybe instructor (need to confirm that). That's how he rolls. I don't know what you did in the military but men like Honors are gold. They'll be long remembered after the political perfumed princes in the Pentagon are long forgotten or only remembered for lying about weapons of mass destruction to the UN.

Main Line Sportsman said...

A.P. just reported that Capt. Honor has been re-assigned to an Admin. position...effectively he has been sacked....damn shame to tank a good Navy career over a bunch of marginally amusing and borderline smutty videos.
Brum-Joe...I posed the "what the F*#k query...and I pose it again in light of his being relieved of command.
Tin-Man: Good call on Caddyshack...Should have known that would eb a lay-up for you.

Brummagem Joe said...

Tintin: I don't want to get into one of those arm wrestles but maybe being a draftee (I did ultimately have a commission) has made me sceptical when it comes to mythologising about the military. This guy may have been the greatest pilot in the world but that wasn't his job when he
f%$#@ up, was it? Peter Principle? As my concurrent comments about the latest faux outrage over Bloomberg indicates I'm not particularly attracted by witch hunts but there's a line and this guy went way...way, over it. He's going to be counting anchors from now on and it's justified. Once this became public, and it's not political, the Pentagon had to relieve him since his conduct was clearly prejudicial.

And I'd also say the officer corps is not short of junior leaders. There are hundreds of them running around the hills of Afghanistan as we speak. Some of them can make crazy videos as far as I'm concerned but I don't expect their Div or Brg commanders to do so. That's how I see it.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Perhaps we can we agree on this: Major Winters would never have engaged in such nonsense. He may have lied about a patrol having taken place...to benefit his soldiers...but something along the lines of this video frivolity...not a chance.
Maj. Winters was an exemplary officer and one of the finest ever to serve according to many.

Paul in NoVA said...

A former Navy officer here, and I disagree with you on this one Tin Tin. I don't know if he should be relieved but his career should definitely be over.

I agree the way FITREPS (fitness reports - which basically determine a Navy officer's promotion) and promotion boards are done now has made for way too many guys concerned exclusively about their careers, but this is simply too much.

To quote your boy Otter, "You f@#ked up, you trusted us." Well CAPT Honors, we trusted you and you f@*ked up, and he needs to pay the price. This is not because of the content of his videos, but the judgement that allowed him to make them that way. Plus, what else did he blow off to spend the considerable amount of time it took to make the videos. A scene with him playing three characters? Are you f'in kidding me? Plus, calling out the non-aviators on the ship like he did could not have been good for morale - not that jet jockeys care about non-aviators. In fact, Honors seems like the kind of guy who would probably not piss on a Machinists Mate if he was on fire. Again, bad judgement.

Maybe I have been out too long, but I rooted for Colonel Jessup when A Few Good Men came out, but now I just think he was an a-hole who let a kid die in his command that shouldn't have. Plus, I spent a lot of time at GITMO not long after the event upon which the movie was based happened. Frankly, it was not much more than a hotter, rockier, crappier version of Norfolk with no women from Va Beach, so the idea of needing to do a Code Red there seems kind of weak.

I agree with you in general but this guy had to go.

tintin said...

Joe- "I did ultimately have a commission." Of course you did.

"As my concurrent comments about the latest faux outrage over Bloomberg..." You forgot to use, "whilst."

"...and it's not political" You really don't get this do you? Were you AG?

"I'd also say the officer corps is not short of junior leaders. There are hundreds of them running around the hills of Afghanistan as we speak." Who can argue with you there, which I'm sure is your point.

Of course, the senior officers are not doing a very good job are they? If you haven't already, I suggest a viewing of O.P. Restrepo. Afghanistan, for lack of a better description, is FUBAR.

"That's how I see it." And I respect that. Your lack of understanding relative to leadership is understandable but the pretense is not.

Main Line- I was most impressed when he pillaged Goring's wine cellar.

tintin said...

NDDC- What about his C.O. and the fleet admiral? Have they been shit canned? They all knew about this...Four years ago.

C'mon. You know what this is really about. Someone got a hair up their ass about this guy and torched his career. I'd like to know who that guy is along with his agenda.

Now it looks like the navy is kicking a dog for shitting on the floor four years ago.

Actually, what the Navy is doing is cowardly, dishonorable and just plain poor leadership.

Brummagem Joe said...

"Were you AG?"

Intel. Don't laugh. A pity you can't have sensible conversation about this Tintin. Finis.

tintin said...

Joe- "Intel" Whose country?

Jeff P. said...

Excellent reference - watching the documentary "O.P. Restrepo" gives me a cold sweat and yet makes me proud of our Greatest Generation.

Paul in NoVA said...

Oh, I am sure the Navy will screw it up somehow, because he should "be retired" too. Whatever one-star office in the Pentagon he is occupying can be filled. Now that the then-CO is a flag officer the chances of him getting relieved are slim, but I doubt he will get another star, nor should he.

Not that you or I really know anything about this guy and his performance as CO (Friends on Facebook don't count in my book nor does Sean Hannity's endorsement) but are you suggesting that since "sailors were being sailors" nothing should happen to him? When you get Command, this is the kind of stuff you just can't do, even if you did it as XO.

As far your point about someone frying him now, well that kind of makes my point I think. Don't do something stupid like this to give some malcontent sailor ammunition. YouTube was alive and kicking in 2007. He deserves to be fired for being so reckless. I don't care how good of a fighter pilot he is.

Do you think General McChrystal should not have been shitcanned either? Hell, I think Cheney and Rumsfeld should have been tried for authorizing torture, not Liddie Englund, so I am with you on going up the chain too.

tintin said...

Jeff- Restrepo is a great piece on being a grunt. I loved it. It also shows what it's like to be some dirt poor Afghan farmer who's just trying to survive with the Taliban holding one end of the rope he's walking on and some fired up junior officer from the 173rd Airborne holding the other end of the rope.

Who does the Afghan side with? Well, in this case, if he sided with the Americans, then he and possibly his family are dead. Seeing we pulled out and left him...with the Taliban.

NDDC- I'm with you on going up the chain but funny how it never happens in the military. So much is learned by the old gray haired men how to CYA.

I agree he has the ultimate responsibilty for his actions and yes, when I was in the miltary you made an effort to never put anything in writing. Always have deniabilty or some kind of back door to 'honorably' save your skin.

I didn't know Sean Hannity endorsed him. That's troubling. Geez, I may have to rethink this.

Anonymous said...

Considering that one out of female soldiers in the US military are sexually assaulted, I'd say the Navy has bigger fish to fry

Unknown said...

Ok Ok .....I have never been in the military so my comments are totally useless and not valid....but really I kinda was expecting well....more of a badass....this guy reminds of the class clown and a not really funny one at that.

Oyster Guy said...

Ok back to fashion... Yes MLS, I have no doubt whatsoever Tintin wore his green beanie in the shower...sort of a shrink to fit type situation. And thank heavens too that he had at least that figured out.

As for ripping out the liner to improve the drape, I can not condone let alone endorse the destruction of Govt property. I had always thought that was what the "don't ask don't tell" policy was really for. Sometime a man's gotta do what he's gotta do...

When the Army Rangers started (early 80s, I think) wearing black berets in a severe case of SF envy, they looked absolutely ridiculous. The Rangers were walking around with massive bags of black wool on their heads, flopping around like some old school Italian chef's hat. I presume no one instructed them on the finer points of wearing berets with style which only proved they had no business wearing them.

The real question for Tintin's beret styling was whether he went over it with a razor to reduce the fuzz factor and what he did he do with the drawstrings in back? Did he knot them up and cut off the excess; did he just tuck them out of sight under the headband or did he tie them in a neat little bow and let the string ends dangle like an effeminate European squaddie.

Jeremiah said...

Quote Oyster Guy: <>

Something is wrong with you, dude. Rangers wore black berets, unofficially, way back in VN. The modern Rangers were re-banded in 1974 and were officially issued black berets as a unit distinction then. The only berets in the US military at that time were maroon, green and black. I wore a black beret when only ~1400 other men--and never a woman* (until some puke leg CIC pogue co-opted black berets for the entire army) wore them. Of course, since the puke leg did co-opt them, the Rangers switched to tan berets. No woman has ever worn a Ranger beret. Say that about SF or the maroon airborne units?

*Hell, there are probably more women in the 82d sporting maroon berets right now than there are currently serving Rangers. In fact, I'd bet on it.

tintin said...

Looks like that is Glenn Close. I'll be darned. I've had the hots for her ever since she dated Woody.

Anon 19:03 - I'd agree. But this is easier to sort out. They only have throw one guy under the bus as opposed to throwing the entire navy under a bus.

I know the navy guys will shit in their pants when I say this but, the day is well past when this country could save HUGE bucks by combining the armed services. It's been tried in the past and the only branch that kicks a bitch is the navy.

Brad- I thought the entire video played well. Keep in mind he's playing to the cheap seats. The real cheap seats. You know what an E-4 makes?

Oyster- Make no mistake about this. That's a maroon beret. Too many people who knew me in the army read this blog and they'll come down on me like a sack of bricks if I allow your comment to stand.

It's a long story but I didn't get my green beanine. 3 of 88 in my class berets. After my class, you had to be an E-5 or above because the army was wasting money on 1st term enlistees. I hear it has since changed and you can now contract for SF thanks to a fast track thnaks to the war(s).

I took the draw string out of the beret and never had a fuzzies issue due to Bernie Rogers who yanked berets sometime in, I dunno, '77 or '78. At the time, only rangers, SF and Abn had 'em but everyone was getting on the wagon and wearing unauthorized berets. The 101st had a blue beret. 1st Air Cav were wearing cowboy hats. It was getting crazy and Rogers put his foot down and yanked 'em all 'cept SF and Ranger. But I loved the C**T cap with the glider patch and didn't mind losing the beret. But I'm trad.

Oyster Guy said...

Ah right right!...my mistake! Tintin AB, Tintin's Dad SF...

Erik, The 5 Jump Chump said...

I couldn't help but jump in on this one. I was a recon scout during my time in the Army, with a year in Iraq (2006). I think what we're getting at here is that military leaders, whether officer, non-com, or enlisted, have to walk a fine line between establishing a positive relationship with their men and not getting too "buddy, buddy" (for lack of a better term). If we're using Band of Brothers, think of Sobel versus... don't remember the name, but the officer who gambled with his soldiers; Winters criticized them both, but realized that at least the second one was a good person. There has to be some separation, but not to the point of just being a stuck-up prick. It's not easy and God knows I made my share of mistakes. My squadron commander did an amazing job of it in my opinion, and sometimes had to break the rules and piss off the brigade commander with the weak constitution (like when he was handing out coins and cigars when people got in their first firefight) to best serve his soldiers. Most of what we do in the military doesn't play well on CNN or NY Times. That being said, I also saw instances where attitudes and command climates such as the ones displayed in the videos led to soldier suicides. It sounds extreme, but that's a potential risk when you alienate any members of your team. I do admit, however, that you cannot judge (from where we sit) the entirety of Honors's service and contributions by these few minutes. That job is best accomplished by those who led, served with, and served under him. In the end, however, yes, he broke rules, yes, he knew what he was doing, and yes there should be some form of punishment; his statements in the videos show that he was well aware of all of these points.

As for the beret, I'll bet my left nut that Tintin shaved his, as everyone should. I prefer the c**nt cap because it's easier to put on with one hand and it's harder for the large portion of the military that doesn't care about their appearance (coincidentally, many of the "leaf eaters") to look like an idiot.

Finally, Tintin, it's a Stetson, not a cowboy hat and it's still around. Unfortunately, too many people who don't qualify for it in my opinion get to wear it (most of 1st Cav Division... they can't all be scouts).

Apologies for the long post.

Anonymous said...

As a former Naval Aviator, who as a junior officer was been involved in my share (or more) of shenanigans, I offer this perspective: I don't much care whether one finds the jokes offensive or funny or not, the issue here is judgment. By the mid-90s these kinds of hijinks haven't been tolerated and certainly not by an 0-6. In my view for all of his apparent strengths (comedy writing not being among them), Capt Honors doesn't have the judgment to command a CV.