I think the main takeaway from this entire sordid affair is how barely sordid it is. If this qualifies as a major incident and breach of good order and discipline, then I guess we can quit paying attention. This looks a little like a home video from the Lido deck on a gay cruise, but c’mon. There is no question that the XO is guilty as sin of the crime of acting like a fighter pilot in public and on the airwaves. Anyone ever met a damn fighter pilot? And yeah I know it’s rich for the likes of me to be lecturing on decorum. But that’s my point, he’s supposed to be that guy. If the Russians and Chinese decide to roll the dice and and tanks and planes, WTF do you think the first guy off the catapult will be? That’s right your decidedly un-humble XO.
A bit of understanding about the XO’s job is in order as well. This is the enforcer slot on the staff. The Commander/Captain runs the boat, but the XO kicks all the asses and kisses all the boo boos to make sure things actually fly, literally. Heck BLACKIVE is an XO call sign from our fearless leader Matty O’s last role as an operative for the League of Disgruntled Majors. Ask him about all the crazy stuff he has to do to wrangle and pacify a crew that includes me, a couple of wolves and the rest of the flotsam and jetsam that makes up our distinguished editorial staff. The XO is almost certainly full of himself beyond bursting, but he wasn’t simply running his own version of Robot Chicken Theater (that would have been a good idea), he was trying to break up the monotony, air some grievances and yes to just make fun of some people.
That is what bit him in the ass, although the very length of the Spank segment should have been a red flag. You see, you just can’t make fun of anyone but straight white males any more and he called his SWOs fags. Absent that, this might have blown over (heh). Well, and while you can compare an aircraft carrier to a frat house, it isn’t. But the further away from that alpha male and females mentality, the more pussified and Dutch-like our military will become. They have a union for their troops FFS. If we don’t have guys like the XO flapping his gums, buzzing the tower and deriding Surface Officers and other lower life forms, then we won’t have the mentality that flies toward an incoming swarm of 200 enemy planes, that charges a machine gun, or that leaps on to a grenade to save comrades.
I have given my fair share of shite to any number of fighter pilot types, heck quite a few of them bought me and my friends drinks in O-clubs like Osan and Cubi Point as we told stories using our hands to show how we got on the guy’s six. But I sure as hell respect the stones, ability and discipline it takes to ride a rocket into the sky and then land it on a boat in the ocean. So unfortunately a good officer loses his chance to command the Enterprise over something this lame, but worse yet we lose a bit of our warrior spirit.