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Dee Mewbourne to Captain Enterprise

One of my colleagues alerts me to this paragraph buried at the end of the report of the firing of USS Enterprise skipper Owen Honors:

The Navy moved swiftly to replace Honors with Capt. Dee Mewbourne, who previously commanded the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier and has a reputation as a hard-working and cerebral officer. Mewbourne has spent most of the past eight years at sea and will leave with the Enterprise for a seven-month deployment in a few weeks.

“He has been a superstar since we were all mids at the Naval Academy,” said Ward Carroll, editor of the Military.com Web site and a former Navy aviator. By contrast, Honors was always “one of the boys,” Carroll said.

I had the pleasure of meeting Captain Mewbourne a little over a year ago when I participated in a Distinguished Visitor cruise on the Ike.   A great choice.  And, certainly, one can’t imagine him making raunchy videos, let alone being stupid enough to air them for his crew.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Scott says:

    Stupid enough to color outside the lines of blind conformity, lines that define some standard of political correctness? Stupid enough to try to connect to a 20-something crew and provide a largely welcome relief from the stress of deployment? You’re right, he was stupid; stupid to think that an ossifying, risk-averse institution that continues to devalue creativity would do anything less kill his career. Consider what an anomaly General Jim Mattis is. He may offend on occasion, but he’ll go down as one of the Marine Corps’ great leaders who gave it color and depth of character. A brief DV tour of a carrier doesn’t give one adequate context to judge the quality of a leader. Military leadership is filled with men and women who were “one of the boys” or girls and they have the scars and bruises to show for it. It’s the “savants” who are the anomalies and are sometimes challenged in their efforts to relate to their own organizations. Our military needs a few more people who are audacious in their behavior, who may have to apologize on occasion to those they offend. Alas, the entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t get much nourishment in today’s DoD: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/01/why-our-best-officers-are-leaving/8346/

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  2. James Joyner says:

    Scott,

    I wasn’t implying that 24 hours aboard ship gave me any real insights into Mewbourne’s command fitness; it’s just the reason that I’m interested in his appointment.

    I also agree that “characters” are often great leaders. If Honors were some Ensign or even a young Lieutenant, I’d recommend a stern counseling session. But he’s a four striper in command of a carrier. He damned well should have known better. This isn’t an appropriate command climate in an age where women serve aboard ship.

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  3. MarkedMan says:

    “This isn’t an appropriate command climate in an age where women serve aboard ship.”

    I would add religious conservatives to that, as well, of course, gays. Bottom line is that he gave a loaded gun to anyone, anyone at all that had a grievance, real or imagined, against him. Then videotaped himself painting a target on his forehead. It seems to show destructively poor judgment.

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