Commit this to memory, you valiant souls who put yourselves in harm's way for your country: Do not film yourself making lewd remarks. Do not mouth off about your superiors with reporters present. Do not rage against the bureaucracy, do not humiliate the men and women under your command, and above all else, do not have sex with people you work with.
Navy Capt. Owen Honors was the latest military officer to learn these lessons, after his amateur blue-comedy vids cost him his command of the USS Enterprise yesterday. But chances are he won't be the last.
In the new issue of Proceedings, retired Capt. Kevin Eyer writes about the rise of a post-Cold War "zero-defects mentality" that strips officers of their commands for infractions unrelated to the accomplishment of their missions. He's talking specifically about the Navy — which is more strict than other services about relieving officers — but that doesn't mean officers from the Army, Marines or Air Force are safe from the phenomenon. The important thing is not to sabotage yourself.
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