The admiral in charge of the Navy's submarine force says sailors involved in the secret recording of female officers will face "significant penalties."

A dozen sailors are under investigation in the scandal aboard the Georgia-based USS Wyoming, one of the first American submarines assigned to have female officers.

The videos were recorded in a changing area used by male and female officers. Vice Adm. Michael Connor says in an interview with The Associated Press that the biggest concern is that it took about a year for authorities to learn of the recordings even though they had been shared among sailors.

Connor said during a talk at a Groton, Connecticut, veterans' hall earlier Thursday that what some might have considered a prank was a serious sexual offense.

The Navy reversed a ban on women serving aboard submarines in 2010.