Don't Ask - Don't Tell is Repealed

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Luigi59, Dec 19, 2010.

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  1. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    'Don't ask' is repealed in historic vote

    By Ed O'Keefe
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, December 19, 2010

    The U.S. military will for the first time in history allow gays to serve openly after the Senate voted Saturday to repeal "don't ask, don't tell," the policy that has required such troops to hide their sexual identity or risk being expelled from the services.

    While opponents said repeal would create a battlefield distraction that could endanger troops, supporters drew parallels to the military's decision to end racial segregation in the 1950s and the admission of women to military service academies in the 1970s.

    "This is the defining civil rights initiative of this decade," said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. "Congress has taken an extraordinary step on behalf of men and women who've been denied their rightful integrity for too long."

    For decades, being gay was grounds for discharge, and tens of thousands of service members were forced out after their sexual identities were exposed. President Bill Clinton, who had hoped to end that ban, authorized "don't ask" as a compromise in 1993. More than 13,000 troops have been discharged under the policy.

    The years-long legislative debate over the policy came to an end Saturday as senators voted 65 to 31 to send the repeal legislation to President Obama, who campaigned on a pledge to eliminate the ban on gays serving openly. Eight Republicans joined 57 members of the Democratic caucus; four senators did not vote.

    "It is time to close this chapter in our history," Obama said later in a statement. "It is time to recognize that sacrifice, valor and integrity are no more defined by sexual orientation than they are by race or gender, religion or creed."

    The vote came after an exhaustive Pentagon review found that allowing gays to serve openly posed a "low risk" of disruption and that a large majority of troops expected that it would have little or no effect on their units.

    Top Pentagon officials - who lobbied vigorously for repeal, in part because they feared that a court-ordered lifting of the ban would be far more disruptive - said Saturday that it would take months and perhaps longer to implement the new policy.

    "We will be a better military as a result," said Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    This is the way it should have been done. Congrats. Now, the military can phase in the transition and handle the logistics effectively, instead of a politically motivated court.
     
  3. jasondavid92

    jasondavid92 USMA Cadet

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    I think this is a terrible time to pass this. Conflict in Afghanistan and possibly Korea? Why would you want to change the military at a critical time like this? That is so ridiculous. I am not anti-homosexual at all, I am currently in the Army Reserve, and my unit is going to Afghanistan next year. I just think that this should have been handled at a time of peace, after Afghanistan. Plus, its just the Democrats trying to pass something before GOP takes over. Poor decisions
     
  4. temp

    temp Member

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    When are we ever out of conflict and at peace? If you don't have a problem with gays, then why does it matter? If someone came out in your unit, then it wouldn't matter if you're not anti-gay, right? Desegregation occurred during the Korean War with must more dire prospects. I think we'll look back within 2 years and wander what the big deal was.

    Everyone tries to pass things before the next group enters power. At least this was the right thing to do, regardless of whichever side. Remember, 8 GOP senators crossed over to support this.
     
  5. temp

    temp Member

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    yes yes yes. And it was passed on its merit, and not attached to something else. :thumb:
     
  6. jasondavid92

    jasondavid92 USMA Cadet

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    It doesn't matter with my unit. We are support. I would be more worried about Marines and Army Infantry units, actually on the front lines. My mistake, my unit will be deploying to Iraq, not Afghanistan. I hope we do look back at this and say it was a good thing
     
  7. vampsoul

    vampsoul Candidate

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    I am interested to see the reactions amongst the Corps when I go back to wp after break.
     
  8. jake s

    jake s USMA Cadet

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    Could you keep us posted on what the Corps' opinion is of this? It would be very interesting to know from a candidate's perspective. Thanks.
     
  9. mvt93

    mvt93 Member

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    This was a long time coming. It was only a matter of time.

    I did an overnight to West Point a few weeks after Katie Miller resigned. The disapproval from the cadets that I encountered was directed at her motives and the way she handled her resignation, not from the fact that she was gay.

    In fact, all of the cadets I talked to (even those who were branching infantry) had no problem with serving with openly gay soldiers, so long as they were competent and professional.

    This seems to be the opinion of most active duty servicemen.
     
  10. temp

    temp Member

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    I think we will look back and say it was a good thing.

    Also, while the numbers in Army and Marine combat units are high in terms of concern about negative effects, I think another statistic is far more important. That 92% of members who served with others they knew or believed to be gay had a positive or no effect on their service and unit. Exposure to normal people who do their jobs well but just happen to be gay will break the stereotypes which is what fuels the concerns.
     
  11. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Maybe everyone except the Commandant of the Marine Corps. I have a feeling that if Gen Amos' first press release is not wildly in support of the repealing of DADT, his days are numbered. And he doesn't seem like the type to eat crow.
     
  12. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    My son (class of 2011, branched infantry) said the same thing to me yesterday when I asked his thoughts about the repeal of DADT.
     
  13. basilrathbone

    basilrathbone Member

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    From the Boston Globe today

    Harvard President Drew Faust says that she will welcome ROTC back to campus, now that Congress has repealed the "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. Here is the full text of her statement:

    The repeal of DADT is a historic step. It affirms American ideals of equal opportunity and underscores the importance of the right to military service as a fundamental dimension of citizenship. It was no accident that Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation not only guaranteed freedom to black Americans but at the same time opened the Union Army to their participation. Because of today's action by the Senate, gay and lesbian Americans will now also have the right to pursue this honorable calling, and we as a nation will have the benefit of their service.
    I look forward to pursuing discussions with military officials and others to achieve Harvard's full and formal recognition of ROTC. I am very pleased that more students will now have the opportunity to serve their country. I am grateful to the Massachusetts delegation for their unified support for repeal.
     
  14. vampsoul

    vampsoul Candidate

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    I must agree on the Katie Miller comment. The Corps was angry at her unprofessionalism and lack of respect and didn't really care that she was homosexual. It was how she handled the situation that set cadets ablaze.
     
  15. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    The problem I have with President Faust, is her distorted view. Serving in the military is NOT a RIGHT!!! Find that any place in the constitution. Serving in the military is an HONOR and a PRIVILEGE!!! Unfortunately, in today's "Entitlement... Me.... Society", too many people choose the military strictly for economic reasons. They have no idea what honor, integrity, loyalty, patriotism, etc... actually means. And while I think it's fine that not every military member is 100% gung-ho when they join the military; in whatever capacity; I believe it is something they should become aware of. Obviously Ms. Faust never served in the military. SERVING is not a right. With one sentence, she was able to give a "back-handed" compliment to the military. Basically, she's saying that ANYONE should have the RIGHT to join the military. That is simply not true.

    I am personally glad that the DADT policy has been rescinded. NOT because gays have a RIGHT to be in the military. But because those individuals who truly have the desire to serve this great country, and sacrifice for it's citizens, should be allowed that privilege without being persecuted for personal beliefs or standards.

    Her comment about Lincoln's proclamation freeing slaves also opened them up to service in the Union Army, is also very misleading. Black Americans have served in our military since even the revolutionary war. As Harvard President, and someone who is supposedly educated, it is quite obvious that she sees rescinding the DADT policy strictly as a "Political Achievement" and not for what it truly is. She obviously doesn't know anything about the military, and therefor should keep her trap shut. And neither her, nor anyone else who says that ANYONE has a "RIGHT" to be in the military, understands what a "RIGHT" is. They are simply using the word as a "Political Buzz" word. To entice emotion.

    Other than that, Ms Faust is simply trying to "Sell" her school as being "PRO-Military". It's a political strategy that she'll probably succeed in with many Americans.
     
  16. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    Definitely CC. As far as Ms Faust goes....just another person trying to take advantage of the situation and provide more publicity/recruitment for Harvard. All of us on this site know that the majority of the Ivy League's have been opposed to the military for quite some time.

    Being in the military isn't a job, it's a lifestyle. One that too many of my nonmilitary peers forgets and doesn't understand. We want people who will work their hardest. We want people who are good to others. We want people who are able to sacrifice. It's good that the military is able to dictate how all of this is going to end up though....I personally wouldn't want some judge deciding all of this.

    What's your take on the commander situation, CC? I read something that the commanding officers at units will have dicretionary powers on how to handle things of this nature. For instance, berthing issues, etc. Must be a sticky time to be in command.....

    I'm really interested on what the Corps take will be on all of this when I get back to CGA. I'll keep you guys posted.
     
  17. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    So what was Harvard's excuse for not hosting ROTC before that? Actually - ROTC was not on campus for a lot longer than the controversy over DADT-They didn't like the Vietnam War so they booted ROTC from the Campus in the 1960s. For the last two years of the Vietnam War, the entire Cold War, Desert Storm and now for the last 9 years while hundreds of thousands of soldiers went into harms way for the United States, tens of thousands came home wounded and thousands of them didn't come home at all- Harvard wasn't there because they didn't approve of the policy. (Note that it didn't stop them from taking money from the Government that implemented the policies- I guess that principal has its limits). The handful of Harvard grads who commissioned thru ROTC did so courtesy of MIT or BU. But now the Army's policies meet their approval so we are welcome back (until they decide that something else isn't up to the Harvard "Reinheitsgebot" when they will assume the right to throw it off again). So from my perspective and I hope that of the DoD- Harvard and Drew Gilpin Faust can take her arrogant "approval" and hit the streets.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
  18. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Just curious.... where does it say this in the US Constitution? I don't have time this morning to whip out my pocket copy and take a look. Thanks.


    Actually no. It was the draft that caused them (and many more elite universities) to boot ROTC back in the 60's.

    I doubt Harvard will have their own Battalion. IF they 'welcome back' ROTC this will mean that classes will be able to be held on campus and students will get credit for their coursework. This will be great for the cadets and mids.
    Dr Faust has been a big supporter of ROTC since she arrived at Harvard. As for Harvard, the institution, - meh.
     
  19. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Really?? What do you know about Dr Faust? (That would be Dr to you) What do you know of her opinions of the military and ROTC? Have you met her? Read her writings?
    As far as the Ivy's go - prior to conscription (the draft) they were huge supporters of officership and produced many officers for our military.
     
  20. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    What truly is it?

    I'll bet they understand a "right" they have been denied........

    Such as the right of all American citizens to equal protection of law, ala the 14th Amendment?

    :cool:
     
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