Navy officer under scrutiny for letter disparaging enlisted sailors as ‘deviants’ and ‘perverts’
By ERICA EARL | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 5, 2021
TOKYO — An officer at Yokosuka Naval Base is under investigation for purportedly writing a complaint to the base housing office about the “deviant nature” of enlisted sailors who pose a danger to his family.
The letter, allegedly authored by Lt. Nathanael Allison of Naval Hospital Yokosuka, states that living in the Ikego Housing Detachment in an apartment building for enlisted families is “unacceptable.” The message, filled with spelling and grammatical errors, condemns enlisted sailors as “perverts” and accuses them of egregious behavior such as rape, involvement in drug cartels and attacking each other with hatchets.
“There are often drunk and often hostile sailors hanging around enlisted housing,” the letter states. “Housing with enlisted greatly increases the risk to my family. I have a good-looking family, a wife and two daughters ages 3 and 4. They are prime targets to be victims for these enlisted deviant activities.”
According to screenshots, the letter was sent Feb 8 via a Google email account to housing. It began circulating last week on military community Facebook pages, and a YouTube video about the letter has garnered over 300,000 views as of Monday.
The Yokosuka housing office declined Stars and Stripes’ requests for comment. Allison did not respond to attempts to reach him by email.
The base hospital is investigating the letter for the strong remarks and language used, according to a response from Naval Hospital Yokosuka commanding officer Capt. Carolyn Rice posted Sunday by the hospital’s Facebook page.
“I am aware of the recent allegation that a member of our staff sent a letter to the housing office with comments disparaging to enlisted service members,” she wrote. “We are conducting an internal investigation into the matter and if any allegations are found to be true, we will take appropriate actions.”
Allison’s command is working with the housing office to confirm the letter’s authorship, hospital spokeswoman Erika Figueroa told Stars and Stripes in a phone call on Monday.
“It is under investigation, as is any case when someone allegedly acts in a way that is counter to our standards of behavior,” she said.
The letter states that officers are “more respectable” than enlisted members and that Allison’s children should “only be friends with officers’ children” and his wife “only friends with officer wives.” He also expressed concern that his officer colleagues would not want to visit him in enlisted housing.
The letter struck a nerve in some service members who said in Facebook comments they were disappointed that people in leadership positions may have such low opinions of them.
“Understandably, emotions are high because some extremely offensive things were said,” military spouse and former Ikego resident Amy Hayes said in a Facebook message to Stars and Stripes on Monday. “Any trust community members could have possessed for this man to serve hospital patrons without bias has been obliterated.”
Navy veteran and Ikego resident Amber Borrero said she found the comments about her neighborhood unsettling.
“I always feel safe here,” she said Monday in a Facebook message to Stars and Stripes. “It's really upsetting, because our community is always really helpful. We have support pages specifically for Ikego, and if anyone needs anything they can make a post, and someone usually helps.”
Ikego is 7 miles from Yokosuka and features more than 800 housing units, a fitness center, a swimming pool, tennis courts and a teen center, according to the base’s website.