Navy Bans Racy Pinups

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus Navy Secretary Ray Mabus Charles Dharapak/AP File Photo

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has ordered a “comprehensive visual inspection” of all the service’s properties to remove salacious photos and other offensive items.

A memo dated Thursday directs the chief of naval operations and commandant of the Marine Corps to ensure all Navy workplaces are “free from materials that create a degrading, hostile or offensive work environment.” All Navy sailors, Marines and civilians are subject to the inspections, which must be completed by June 28.

“All DoN personnel shall be treated with dignity and respect,” Mabus wrote in the order. “Fostering a command climate free of all forms of unlawful discrimination, including sexual harassment, is essential to maintaining high morale, good order, discipline and readiness.”

The inspections will take place not just in personal workspaces but in all public areas such as storage rooms, break rooms, galleys and recreational areas. Possible infractions could include lewd or pornographic documents, logos, books, pictures, photographs, calendars, posters, magazines, videos props, displays or other media.

Commanders and civilian supervisors are not permitted to search through personal computers and bags. Mabus said the inspections should repeat on an annual basis.

While the Navy has banned pornographic materials such as magazines, other military installations are selling them, according to a report.

Morality in Media, a faith-based group dedicated to raising awareness on the harms of pornography, said “the Pentagon continues to sell sexually exploitative magazines,” despite  federal law -- the 1996 Military Honor and Decency Act -- which prohibits their sale.

The group published a photo of Playboy, Penthouse and other explicit magazines allegedly on sale at Joint Air Force Base San Antonio-Lackland.

Secretary Mabus’ order and the MIM report come on the heels of a string of measures and initiatives taken up in Congress and by the Defense Department to deal with the growing problem of sexual assault in the military.

Morality in Media wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel asking for the removal of all pornographic magazines on military installations to “help curb the plague of sexual assaults that afflict the U.S. military at this time.”

Neither the Pentagon nor the Air Force Base returned requests for comment on the sale of explicit magazines on military bases.

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