Last month two U.S. Navy pilots made headlines for a seemingly harmless joke that garnered national attention. Two pilots who belonged to the Electronic Attack Squadron 130 have reportedly been reprimanded for their part in drawing a penis in the sky. The exact details of their punishment were not released to the public.
Commander of Naval Air Forces, Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, told The Military Times that he has personally handed down punishments for the negative publicity.
Shoemaker issued a statement on behalf of the Navy. “The American people rightfully expect that those who wear the Wings of Gold exhibit a level of maturity commensurate with the missions and aircraft with which they’ve been entrusted.”
He added that he expects better things from his men. “Naval aviation continually strives to foster an environment of dignity and respect. Sophomoric and immature antics of a sexual nature have no place in Naval aviation today.”
The little information that was released to the public did claim the two pilots were able to keep their pilot status. After the incident, which took place on Nov. 16, the Navy grounded the entire squadron that the two pilots fly with.
The Naval Air Station in Whidbey Island apologized to those in the surrounding area who witnessed the drawing and who possibly had young children who saw it.
‘The Navy holds its aircrew to the highest standards and we find this absolutely unacceptable, of zero training value and we are holding the crew accountable,’ a Navy official said in a press release.
The Navy immediately apologized and indicated that the pilots’ decisions were “immature’ and ‘unethical.” The Daily Mail reported an EA-18 Growler aircraft was used in the incident.
A Navy official did state that there is a separate investigation being conducted by the Virginia-based carrier air wing meaning additional punishments are still possible. Some reports indicate that a possible court-martial could also happen as a result of the pilots’ antics.