what people will post on You Tube.
We all have heard stories of those less than brilliant people who have recorded themselves doing extremely stupid things while driving and then posted same on the Internet. This is almost always followed, no surprise, with a visit from the local law.
Then there are those videos which are internal to an organization and get loose.
I can give you three examples from the military-
let’s start with the most recent courtesy of the US Navy. I was made aware of this by my friend Barbara followed by a front page article in the Stars and Stripes. The controversy is over video made and shown in 2007 aboard a Navy Ship.
– This whole controversy generated some stirring discussion around the office. Much of it was related to “was it offensive or not.” Just about everyone wanted to see the videos to decide. My point was simple – the Navy is the service that brought us Tail Hook. Senior leaders have been trying hard for a cultural change. The fact that 16 years later some rather senior officer on an aircraft carrier chooses to make/have made videos with sexual references/overtones of any kind to me shows a lack of judgment. Commanders and their staff are not Saturday Night Live. They set the mood and the tone for what is acceptable behavior. Yes, those clips might have been funny, but if people were offended, they had little to no options for recourse. Captain underway is Captain underway.
-Second. While assigned in Baghdad in the 2003-2004 time frame, a particular Military Intelligence Unit put a number of homemade videos on their internal server. Obviously, because I know about them, they did not stay secure all that long. These particular videos caused a lot of problems and resulted in significant number of disciplinary actions. My thought is that if you are stupid enough to video yourselves having sex, you deserve what you get when you post it for others to see. (there is also this small fact that the military actually cares about adultery but is rarely able to prosecute due to evidentiary lack). And no, it is not hard to make an ID given the uniqueness of some tattoos.
Finally, there were those Evangelical Air Force Generals who make tapes/announcements/religious propaganda for the far right. They did it in uniform with their offices in the Pentagon in the background. Surprised they were when accused of misusing their positions. I hope they are enjoying their retirement.
Anyway, we have had some interesting discussions here today, making a nice break from complaining about the cold.
They sound like nominees for this year’s Darwin Awards!
This is a hot button issue for me. Political correctness gone too far. He is taking a ship to war to kill people on an industrial scale. I would bet he was/is very popular with the entire crew, including the females.
The Captain’s bosses clearly knew what was happening back then. They are only doing something about it now because the bright light of the media has whipped up everyone’s emotions.
To wreck a career, and loose his skills and knowledge base did not make America stronger.
The command climate that lead to those videos is an issue. What of the prior ship commander when he was the XO? What of the Admiral or two who were on that ship at the same time? What of the 5 or 6 Chaplains on that ship who had to see those videos? Lack of comment on their part is complicity in the act. One goes down that long after the fact then they all go down for failing to take corrective action.
I dealt with this none sense in an FST. Our solution was… “if it offends you then express yourself or move on.” Take it up with the Chaplain and we can have a civilized conversation.
Yesterday I met a recently retired Navy aircrewmen at the car wash. While waiting we discussed CPT Honors. The navy guy said it was no big deal and that it helped moral on board. He said this is what goes on aboard while at sea. The navy is a sea creature all to itself. Maybe they need a little more adult supervision.
Perhaps because of relative isolation, people think a ship is like Las Vegas. There is a commercial that has been running for the past couple of years with the tag line “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”
The fact that it took nearly a week for the top brass to relieve this joker of his command was also disheartening. But then, his boss at the time (I think he was then captain?) who is now an Admiral was well aware of the videos, and so, apparently was other upper management. So, I guess, admitting it is bad enough to relieve the one guy means there’s more to come and they are trying to figure out damage control.
If this happened in the business world, he would not now be pushing paper; he would be re-writing his résumé.
In the case of the officer relieved of his duties on the ship, although I do understand how humor is needed to maintain morale and I do think we sometimes are way overboard on the PC bit, this was certainly conduct unbecoming an officer and a leader of men.
Mainly it is a sad loss. Obviously, this man had skills and talent which qualified him to lead a battleship. Years of training by the Navy, wasted. A career forever tainted. All due to an adolescent lack of judgment.
I am constantly amazed at the stupidity of people, in the military and elsewhere, who make compromising videos and then have any expectation of privacy. Sexting has got to be the dumbest idea ever. Never mind this trend of baring one’s soul on social media, available to total strangers, possible and actual employers, electorates, the law, family, etc. Just leaves me scratching my head in bewilderment.
I wonder how many of the young’uns know about Tailhook. I’m so glad that
guy got busted–he knew what he was doing and he did it anyway.
Tweeted this one, too. 🙂 This will get some attention, I bet. You
were very diplomatic.
I am constantly surprised at the extent to which people (of all ages and walks of life) do not seem to understand the importance of context in relation to what and where they say and do things. That’s what it really gets down to: that ability to self-censor according to context.
Adolescents and young adults seem to understand it, but just reject it – they don’t believe that they should make compromises for ‘society’, and that doing so constitutes superficiality and ‘fakeness’ in a Holden Caulfield sort of way. These are the children who don’t believe in sending thank-you notes for gifts (regardless of whether they liked them) just because it’s ‘polite’ and the recipients might appreciated it.
Adults, however, have no excuse. When it occurs, this sort of behaviour seems to be due to either (a) a genuine lack of awareness that the rest of the group/audience doesn’t share the particular view/joke/language/whatever, or (b) a ‘I don’t give a sh!t – I think it’s funny!’ attitude. As your discussion would have no doubt noted, what is appropriate for locker rooms or fraternity parties is not necessarily appropriate for US Navy ships, etc.
As usual — thank you for writing.