January 14, 2019

U.S. Navy Submarine Commander Demoted After Purchasing Prostituted Women

A United States Navy submarine commander was demoted last summer after he admitted to hiring prostituted women while stationed in the Philippines.  The Navy was quick to act in taking disciplinary action against the commander, who abused his power/money to exploit women, once the accusations were proven true.

Sexual exploitation in the military is tragically more common than people realize. While some cases become high-profile, many instances of sexual exploitation in the military go unreported and kept in the shadows. That’s why, at NCOSE, we started a project titled: Pentagon Watch on Sexual Exploitation. A campaign devoted towards changing the current sexually hostile environment in the military.


The following is an excerpt from a recent Fox News article

The investigation by the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) was launched following a sailor’s tip to the Department of Defense Inspector General’s hotline, saying Zettel told him he “requested/ordered ten girls to arrive at the hotel,” according to documents obtained by the Kitsap Sun.

The sailor later saw the commander with around 10 “provocatively dressed females outside the front door of the hotel.”

The incident occurred in March 2018, while being ported in Subic Bay in the Philippines. The criminal investigation began in May.

NCIS agents reportedly confronted Zettel with the allegations. He admitted “culpability in the payment of female accompaniment,” according to the documents released to the publication.

Zettel became the commander of Bremerton, the Navy’s oldest submarine before its recent decommission, in August 2016.

Ben Miller

Digital Strategies Coordinator

Ben joined the National Center on Sexual Exploitation as Digital Strategies Coordinator in July of 2018. As Digital Strategies Coordinator, Ben raises awareness for issues of sexual exploitation through digital media, email marketing, and website development. He works to create a community of activists who are enthusiastic about combating sexual exploitation and changing culture.

Ben earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He graduated with Honors in the Liberal Arts and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. During his college career, Ben spent a semester studying in Washington, D.C. and interned for a member of Congress. On campus, he actively sought to change Greek culture, especially with respect to sexual exploitation, through his membership in Phi Kappa Theta fraternity. Ben also supported his peers who were afflicted by the harms of pornography through a weekly men’s purity group.

Ben’s deep commitment to fighting sexual exploitation was ignited in part by the work done by NCOSE. While writing a research literature review for a public policy class in college, he came across Porn Harms Research and the initiatives being carried out by NCOSE. Ben, a strong anti-pornography activist at the time, began to learn more about the connections between all forms of exploitation and how prominent these issues are in today’s society. He devoted himself to raising awareness about the web of sexual exploitation and is deeply grateful for the work NCOSE has done on these issues. Ben is excited to be a part of the team at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation and to contribute to this important cause.

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