WARNING: ARTICLE CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGE
Two U.S. Navy aviators were placed on "probationary" status for six months, but were able to keep their wing insignia after appearing before disciplinary board for drawing lewd images in the sky with their aircraft earlier this month, according to a report.
The San Diego Union-Tribune obtained the results of the Field Naval Aviator Evaluation Board hearing for the unidentified aviators: the pilot and his backseat aviator.
The pair used their EA-18G "Growler" aircraft to draw a phallus in the sky over Okanogan County, Wash. on Nov. 15. Local residents captured the image on their smartphones.
Officials from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island admitted that one of their aircraft had created the sky graffiti.
Navy spokesman Cmdr. Ron Flanders described the aviators as "apologetic" and "contrite."
"They realized that this was an embarrassment to Naval Aviation and the entire Navy," Flanders added. "This sort of conduct is contrary to the core values of the Navy."
Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, the Navy's so-called "air boss," also the aviators to address other flight crews about the incident, describing the "ramifications and the embarrassment it caused" and "contrasting their actions with the excellence and discipline" expected in the service.