OK, so the Executive officer of a nuclear aircraft carrier, who is also responsible for the morale of the 5,000 person crew, makes some really stupid, tasteless videos to lighten the mood or have some laughs.
Professional? Not necessarily.
Grounds for relieving this same officer from his duties three years later and after he assumed command of said ship? Preposterous.
Look, let me tell you where I am coming from with this: Have you any idea what the role of the carrier battle group really is? It certainly isn't making port calls and manning the rails in your dress whites. No, indeed. The mission of our aircraft carriers is to project power and to fight and win wars by bringing the pain to the enemy.
An aircraft carrier, as we know them here in the United States, boasts enough combat power to destroy almost any nation on the planet. Armed with the means to incinerate, yes incinerate, small, medium, and even large cities; to penetrate defended airspace and suppress said defenses; to conventionally bomb the living crap out of pretty much any target AND support Marines on the ground wherever the National Command Authority tells them to go; and to swat out of the air, pretty much any air force of any country with very few exceptions. This is what our aircraft carriers are for.
In short, the carriers and their crews are weapons of high order destruction. That is the job, folks... those sailors and officers are aboard that ship to KILL. That's right... they are there to kill. Please, before we got all weepy about this, get this right: If the sailor is a cook, he or she is providing the nourishment that the pilots and Marines or soldiers need to go and kill. If they work in the ship's laundry, they are there to provide services to facilitate the ease of life and the ability to provide maximum training time to those who do the killing. You get my point, right? The purpose of the armed forces is to kill the enemy.
As a matter of fact, the videos that were made, I am told were made while the ship was at sea during combat deployments. Seriously? The ship and crew were engaging real-live enemies and we are going to sack the commander for off-color humor?
That ain't right.
So, what is the point of this little rant? Simply this: The armed forces cannot spend too much of it's time afraid to step on anyone's toes. Which is not to say that we shouldn't try to avoid giving offense, because I believe that we should... but where does it stop? That is what I would like to know. Apparently, some sailors aboard the ship in question were offended. I get it... but should the Captain pay for it with his career? I'm not defending the guy here... reprimand him for sure, but scuttling an officer in which so much money had been invested? So much training? I can't help but feel that the leadership of the Navy threw this officer to the wolves so that they could keep their nice quiet lives without any disturbance. I notice that we haven't heard about the sacking of the officer who was the Captain of the ship at the time of the initial incidence.
I am brought to mind of a line from one of my favorite movies, Apocalypse Now, where mad Colonel Walter E. Kurtz says: "We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won't allow them to write f*** on their airplanes, because it's obscene"
Tell me the sense in all of this.