Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Navy: Ill. hazing involved embarrassing exercise

May. 8, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
  • Filed Under

NORFOLK, VA. — A commanding officer in Illinois was removed from the job after hazing three reservists by ordering them to exercise and yell “I do what I want” in front of other sailors because they missed physical training, a Navy report said.

Lt. Cmdr. Jack O’Neill was relieved of command of Navy Operational Support Center Rock Island in Illinois on March 19. O’Neill was upset several sailors missed physical training during a drill weekend March 9, an investigative report released by Navy Reserve Forces Command in Norfolk said.

The sailors who had to exercise said they were embarrassed, and others who watched the ordeal described it as awkward and uncomfortable.

“It gave you a queasy feeling; it just wasn’t the right thing to do,” a witness, whose name was redacted from the report, told investigators.

The incident happened just weeks after the Navy created the Office of Hazing Prevention in an effort to track and stop the practice.

The Navy’s definition of hazing is an extensive one. Among other things, it defines hazing as causing another military member to be exposed to any activity that is humiliating or demeaning. The definition excludes command-authorized physical training and administrative corrective measures.

Statistics released Wednesday show there have been 27 reported incidents of hazing in the Navy in the 2013 fiscal year. Of those, 15 were categorized as physical; one was humiliating and demeaning; five were a combination of those and six haven’t been categorized.

The day after the incident, O’Neill apologized and performed the same exercise in front of those who witnessed it a day earlier. He also yelled “I do what I want” in an effort to make amends, according to the report.

“I deeply regret the incident and cannot offer any explanation as to why I approached something like this without thinking it over longer, as I tend to be very analytical typically,” O’Neill wrote in a statement to Navy investigators.

Still, that coupled along with other problems in the command climate that negatively affected Rock Island’s morale resulted in O’Neill being disciplined.

“Naval officers are rightfully held to the highest standards of personal conduct,” Capt. George Whitbred, commander of Navy Region Midwest Reserve Component Command, wrote in a letter endorsing the investigation’s findings. “O’Neill’s conduct in humiliating and mortifying his sailors shows a complete lapse in judgment and a failure to conduct himself in accordance with the high standards of a naval officer.”

The report was obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Navy Times

This Week's Navy Times

Best federal contractors
The companies hiring the most veterans now

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook