In this July 2016 file photo, Fleet Master Chief Suz Whitman speaks at an all hands call. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Juan King)

PEARL HARBOR – U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Scott Swift released a statement to the Fleet March 14, following the emergence of evidence that female Sailors stationed across the globe are being targeted by anonymous online voyeurs.

The statement comes after a Navy Times investigation found that female Sailors, from multiple commands, were being targeted by online users seeking nude photos of them on various message boards. After Navy Times shared its findings, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson issued a directive to his commanders to stamp out the behavior in the fleet.

Swift stated that he views those who participate in this behavior as an insider threat and that if found, he will take full advantage of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, allowing him to pursue these cases to a greater extent than may be possible in civil venues.

“Those who have until now thought they could behave this way with anonymity or without consequence will find out they are flat wrong,” said Swift. “This is not who we are. If any Sailor thinks that this behavior is somehow acceptable or excusable, they do not belong in our Navy. It goes beyond selfish or immature behavior — it is destructive to our Fleet.”

Additionally, U.S. Pacific Fleet Master Chief Suz Whitman released a statement reinforcing Swift’s remarks concerning the situation.

“By now you have seen these Navy Times Articles,” said Whitman. “We are better than this. Help me get the message out on the deck plates.”

The Navy Times investigation found women’s pictures were often being lifted by users from Facebook and Instagram, and then reposted and identified in various ways by rank, job title, and name, on message threads subdivided by command.

“Sailors are lucky because they have two families. The first family is their blood relatives, mothers, daughters, granddaughters, sisters, aunties, and friends before they joined the Navy,” said Whitman. “The second is their PACFLT Navy family. So, I now ask you this, would you accept this behavior towards your blood relatives and friends? I bet your answer is no! Now I ask: Why do you accept this type of behavior towards our PACFLT Navy family?”

Swift’s statement concludes by asking the entire Pacific Fleet team to discuss the situation amongst one another, recognize the importance of each Sailor and to hold one another accountable for any destructive behaviors.

To view Adm. Swift’s full statement, please visit http://www.cpf.navy.mil/leaders/scott-swift/speeches/2017/03/eliminating-insider-threats.txt