We all know the story now. Navy Command Master Chief Jonas Carter told sailors on the carrier Harry S. Truman to "clap like we're at a strip club" before Vice President Mike Pence gave a speech on April 30.
After an online firestorm, Carter has resigned, stepping down from his position as the ship's senior enlisted leader and retiring from the Navy. Since it was social media that torched Carter's career, perhaps it's fitting that the Truman's commanding officer, Capt. Nick Dienna, announced the decision in a public Facebook post.
As Military.com reported Wednesday, leaders such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, National Review senior editor Jay Nordlinger and conservative commentator Bill Kristol are upset that Carter was forced out by such "trivial" comments.
At least publicly, Carter is acknowledging wrongdoing, saying, "When you find yourself making a mistake, own it, accept responsibility and learn from it. Today, I want each of you to know that I have taken full responsibility of my mistake last week and, together with my family, I have decided to retire."
Was his "locker room talk" really so bad? Here are some takes floating around the internet.
1. Carter's comments were disrespectful to the office of the vice president. There's "inside the family" talk and there's a different way to behave when you're hosting an honored guest, especially when that honored guest brings a horde of reporters and photographers to your house.
2. "Clap like you're in a strip club" ignores the fact that many of the sailors serving on your ship are women. "Strip club" jokes are designed to make them uncomfortable and promote the objectification of women among young sailors.
3. Everyone knows the stories from boot camp: Sarge identifies the deeply religious recruit and spends weeks trying to make him blush with profane and sex-related comments. There are plenty of sailors on that boat who would never set foot in a strip club, and maybe it's time to back off and stop mocking their beliefs.
4. Of course, we all know that it's an all-volunteer military. You knew what you signed up for. Grow up. Your grandpa could take it and so can you. Social media is stupid and messes up everything.
What do you think? Did Carter's career get sacrificed on the altar of political correctness? Should he have skipped the comments altogether? Or just realized that a public forum wasn't the place to talk that way?
Let us know what you think and sound off!