It was more impressive than anything we’ve seen before, but now two naval aviators who drew a penis in the sky over Washington state last month have been disciplined by the commander of Naval Air Forces.
Both the Washington Examiner and San Diego Union Tribune report that Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker has punished the aviation crew following a Field Naval Aviator Evaluation Board hearing at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.
The pilots used their EA-18G Growler, assigned to the Electronic Attack Squadron 130 “Zappers” out of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, to skywrite the male genitalia in the sky over Washington on November 16. The amateur artwork was, unfortunately for them, shared widely on social media that eventually led to an apology from the Navy.
The action caught fire online after images were posted to Twitter.
Navy Spokesman Cmdr. Ron Flanders told the San Diego Union Tribune “when they came down, the aviators were apologetic.”
“The aviators admitted that they had done it after it occurred. When they appeared before the (Field Naval Aviator Evaluation Board) they were contrite. They realized that this was an embarrassment to Naval Aviation and the entire Navy. This sort of conduct is contrary to the core values of the Navy.”
As a matter of practice, the Navy doesn’t release results of their evaluation boards or publicly discuss any discipline, but results detailing their punishment were obtained by the Union Tribune.
Instead of losing their coveted pilot wings, the aviators were placed on a probationary status for six months. Additionally, the two had to publically address fellow aircrews and describe the ramifications of their actions.
In a statement released shortly after the incident went viral, Shoemaker said “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.”
“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.”