Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Pima, Mar 13, 2009.
Update for DADT
I think if 13,000 gay service members have been expelled, it isn't a problem with the "Don't ask - Don't tell" policy. I don't remember 1 time in my 21 years in the Air Force that anyone ever asked me if I was gay. Nor did they ask me if I was heterosexual. Nor did they ask me anything about my sexual preferences. Quite a number of those years was before I was married. So, if 13,000 gay service members were discharged from the military; I would venture to guess that it's because THEY CHOSE TO TELL that they were gay. And I would not be surprised if some of that telling was to get out of going back to the sand box. This is not that uncommon. I've also see female service members get pregnant so they didn't have to go back to the desert.
Personally; I'd rather not have the "Don't Ask - Don't Tell" policy. I'd prefer the military made it quite clear. (You CAN be gay, or you CAN'T be gay). But as for 13,000 being separated, that's their own fault. They most have told, and why they told could be for a lot of reasons.
Good point. I recall during the 1st Gulf War, another battalion that was assigned to us, had 2 Marines pretend to be gay, and staged getting caught, in order to get booted out.
Before an inspection, they stripped down, pretended to have fallen asleep together and had gay porn mags in the room.
The Gunny walked in prior to the Inspecting Officer, and told them to get up, get dressed and next time come up with a better plan. All they bought themselves was no liberty until after return from deployment.
Both men had girlfriends and was certainly not gay, but their reason for doing this was clearly to get booted out.
Like you said, everyone has their own reasons for coming out, and sometimes the coming out is something else entirely.
This and always has been about advancing a social agenda. The best interests of the military have never been a consideration. Advocates will call it the civil rights battle of our day, and opponents will take issue with the effect on good order & discipline.
I had an airman during GW-1 that stood up during the Fire Department Commanders Call and announce to the Commander that he was gay. The Civil Engineering Commander (an 0-6 Col) looked at him and announced "Amn XX step up here and give me a kiss, then get your Axx back to work" The Amn in question had been stop lossed and had his ETS extended by about 4 months by that time. Was actually quite funny.
I also had another Amn who was raised in Tenn., I remember when he was due to separate. He was an exceptional performer. Quiet and professional. I remember trying to talk with him about re-enlisting. He kept telling me no, he just wanted to get out and go to college in San Francisco. We had him over to the house one evening and he asked if he could bring a friend. That was when I caught on that he was gay. Never changed my opinion of him or his performance. He kept it out of the workplace (a difficult thing in the Fire Department), and was always an exceptional Amn.
The discharges usuallly occur with people who have many more issues then just their sexuality. Even if they were not gay they likely would have been separated for other reasons. I do not really care what they do at this point, but do know that it will make things more difficult for my daughter if they repeal DADT. It will be one more complication for a young officer.
Look at the upside, she won't have to worry about people using the DADT to get out! That's a lot of paperwork she'll be saved from
Did you not hear how it was created? It was set up by a group of people who had no idea what they were doing and we're literately "scared" of homosexuals. I think that the only reason we are keeping this "don't ask -don't tell" policy is because we're so used to having this cloud hanging over the US Military that it has become an ordinary and trivial thing to us. This is one issue that I have with today's conservative ideas. Most base their arguments with the 20th century, when today and the future are completely different. I totally agree with you, we should have a policy that is 100% decisive and clear. But then if it goes back to the "no gays" thing, then everyone who wants out could just say so. I think it's kind of sad when people use it as an excuse.
But I'm not speaking from experience though...all theoretical.
The way I calculate it you would have been born somewhere around 1990-1991. The policy in question was adopted by the President Clinton in early 1993 (I think I remember that right). You would have been about 2-3 years old. Gen. Colin Powell (not one of my favorites, but a favorite republican for the left) helped formulate the policy as a way to get the President out of a pickle. He had promised something the country was not ready for, and the Joint Chief's were threatning to resign over. Not a group of people scared of Homosexual.
A polite word of advice I hope you are not expecting your opinions to be warmly embraced if you do get an appointment to USAFA. I am certain you will get treated fairly, but you may not find your opinions embraced by everyone.
Like I said above the DADT thing really only matters if the individual makes a problem of it. Most gays in the military serve like the individual I described, and it is never a big deal.
Be nice if the country came to terms with the issue first instead of using the military as a guinea pig. Using the military as a front to test social changes is not a good idea IMO. I speak from experience in the military, not theoretically. Get over yourself.
From a previous thread:
Make up your mind.
Sorry. Couldn't resist.
Quick question. Was not a part of the DADT law to allow gays in the military under certain stipulations? By repelling the law, would gay's serving also not be repelled? I think everyone has agreed, and given examples, where DADT is not working. I think the real question is, 'where do we go from here?'. The Army, at least, from another thread, seems to have recruiting problems. Can we afford not to enlist gays? I remember several years ago when one of the service's intelligence communities was decimated due to the DADT policy. Can't remember who, how, or why, though.
Oldgrad, I think the issue you're referencing is the loss of some arabic linguists a few years back (4 - 5?) who were kicked out of the servce for admitting they were homosexuals. Raised a lot of concern because of how desperately linguists with this skill were (and still are) needed in the current fight. Also became a rallying point for the anti-DADT community as an example of how the policy is hurting readiness.
Just my opinion, but I really couldn't care less if a person is a homosexual or not when it comes to serving our country. And to use the old chestnut example, if the person next to them has thier back in the foxhole, most of the soldiers wouldn't care either, IMO. I think the majority of our younger generation of soldiers, sailors, marines, coasties, and airmen are willing to live and let live as well, as homosexuality has become more acceptable in their generational view. Besides, to me the arguement of "it would hurt moral and cohesion in the barracks" is just too close to the same language used in the 40s and 50s against integrating the ranks based on race; something we look back on now as embarrassingly wrong if not out-right dumb.
I do understand the arguement against allowing homsoexuals to openly serve, and I do understand this is an emotional and charged issue for both sides. What has me concerned are the second and third order of consequences when this issue becomes politicized. There is MUCH more here than just, "well, so-and-so is gay, and a great soldier." Allow so-and-so to serve as an openly homosexual soldier, and what happens when he gets married in a state that allows gay marriage, but is transfered to a state that doesn't recognize it? Will this couple have legal rights in that state? I thnk the answer should be obvious, they are recognized at the Federal level, and therfore, the state has to follow federal guidelines. But we all know how most times the obvious is not a part of the government's motis operandi.
Allow gays to openly serve? I'm fine with it, and I feel that if / when this happens, it will blow over as quickly as when we de-segregated the services. I do understand those who are not fine with it as well, and I respect their opinions on the matter; they just don't match mine, and I'm fine with that.
But my only hope is that SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE is ready to tackle the second and third levels of consequence because of this decision, because it has the potential to become a "chocolate-mess nightmare".
Translators at Defense Language Institute in 2002
HAHA no I don't expect them to be warmly embraced. I don't usually care if my opinions are warmly embraced. But just like these gays here have a right to express themselves (perhaps none of us talking here are gay, so we don't know what it is like to hold this inside of us for so long) I like saying what I think. I hope in no time I get expelled from the service academy from that .
I don't think it's fair for people to hide what they are. Especially when they like to serve, and plan on serving more than 10 years. But then again, we're not gay- we have no idea of truly knowing anything about this, do we?
It might also be important to point out that gays are not the only ones who would be affected by this... Just a reminder.
Remember How Long That REALLY Was
With the services desegregating (formally) in 1948, it is instructive to remember that we had shipboard demonstrations in 1972, 24 years later.
Bullet is right, it IS the right thing to do, but let's not think it will be easy or fast.
Thanks for reminding me that de-segregation of the services was a difficult path. But, ultimately it was the right thing to do, and worth the pain towards getting it done. One of the things I am most proud of as a military member is the way we have led the way for this Nation in trying to establish equality.
I do feel allowing homosexuals to serve is the right thing to do, and you are correct; the path will not be easy or without it's hurdles. But my hope is that by the time these young men and women here looking to start thier careers are ENDING their careers, it will also become as accepted as equality of race.
They had a riot on Travis AFB in 1971. This event shut down the base and forced A/C to be devirted to surrounding AFB's. It was seen as a pivitol moment in DoD history with regard to race integration. The emphasis on equal rights was elevated and great improvements were seen.
The arguments surrounding homosexuals in the military have shared some similar key points, but also distinctions. Gays serve in the military today, and likely always have. Most do so with honor, and distinction. As I mentioned before the young Amn who chose to separate was exceptional, and his sexuality never came into the workplace. The Air Force lost a valuable asset when he separated.
That said integration of homosexuals will not occur without problems and consequences. Housing issues, Healthcare, and a host of other social complications will have to be confronted. These are the things that I know will make my daughters service more challenging.
What are "the best interests" of the military?
I agree with DS, there are many social issues that are connected with accepting homosexuals. I only hope that when they do accept, they have those issues addressed. IMHO the upheavel it would cause if the regulations have not been thought out to the nth degree would be disasterous. I.E. dorms...will they allow military members the ability to say due to my religious beliefs it is immoral and I will not room with that person or will they just place the homosexual with the G*d fearing person?
This issue will most likely be used as an example for every state that does not recognize gay marriage, b/c the military member that gets married in VT is legally recognized, thus they are allowed benefits. People will say if the US military recognizes gay marriage than the state should too. I wonder how long it would take for a court case to make it to the Supreme. How can the military(Federal institution) recognize gay marriage and yet thre are states that don't? If the military does allow openly gay people to serve, but not recognize those that have civil unions this too will be an issue for the military
Dorms could be a very difficult situation. A heterosexual male, even if he wasn't attracted intellectually to a particular woman, would find certain physical attractions if he was rooming with a woman. Especially if there were periods of undress. And obviously, the woman would feel uncomfortable probably if she had a male room mate for the same reasons. The same feeling could arise having a homosexual room mate. Not that there would be anyone forcing anything on anyone. But consider that even if the homosexual didn't have any intellectual or initial attractions to the heterosexual, there would probably be some physical attractions. And the heterosexual could feel a bit uncomfortable. Especially during periods of undress. The heterosexual would be in the same position as a woman would be in the room with a heterosexual male.
Obviously; the only possible room mate combination would be a true homosexual male with a true homosexual female. Or 2 heterosexual males or females. Unless of course the military would be promoting promiscuity. Then they could allow 2 homosexual males or females to room together. But to allow this, would be the same as allowing a heterosexual male and female to room together. A heterosexual female or male would probably have the same levels of discomfort with a homosexual room mate as they would with a heterosexual of the opposite sex. Too many people don't want to see this. In the military, the initial couple of years are normally associated with a room mate. Unless the military moved to coed rooms; there is not way to put a homosexual in the same room as a heterosexual. Nothing physical might happen, but you're asking the heterosexual to deal with the exact same feelings they would have if they were rooming with another heterosexual of the opposite sex. Maybe some wouldn't mind this; but many wood.
And of course it's not very practical to room homosexuals without a room mate. Most people would prefer to not have a room mate. To reward someone for being homosexual and giving them their own private room would not go over too well. I think too many people are not looking at this the same way. Forget all the macho answers and B.S. I want each heterosexual to consider what it would be like to be rooming with another heterosexual of the opposite sex; in a 15x15ft room. Many times getting undressed in front of each other. If the girls don't have any problem doing this with a guy (Not of your choice); and guys don't mind this with a girl (Not of your choice); then I think you would be in the minority. Rooming with a gay room mate of the same sex could produce the exact same discomfort. Know that the room mate could be looking at you in a certain way.
Personally, I feel that the only reason gays have served in the military; and honorably; has been because it was kept somewhat "In the Closet". Anyone remember different movies where a guy dressed as a girl; Like Juanna Mann; or where a girl dressed like a boy; like the movie with Amanda Bynes wanting to play soccer in a private school. As long as the other thought they were what they were, no one had problems. When they realized they were the opposite sex, there were problems. To openly allow gays in the military would not in itself be a problem. However; until every military member was guaranteed a private dorm room, I don't believe it would work. Especially on a navy ship. Unless of course it was a gay man and lesbian woman as room mates.
Look at the possibilities: 10 heterosexual guys rooming together wouldn't have any sexual conflicts. Same with 10 heterosexual girls. ANY combination of homosexual guys or girls makes multiple room mates an issue. 10 homosexual guys rooming together will be promoting sexual possibilities. Same with 10 lesbians. The ONLY combination that takes sex and sexual desires/attractions out of the equation is: a) All heterosexual of the same sex in the same room. Mathematically; an unlimited number. b) 1 gay man and 1 lesbian woman rooming together. Mathematically only 2 people. c) Private rooms for everyone. Mathematically only 1 person per room. Until the military can guarantee private rooms for all their personnel, OPEN homosexuality will not work. It's better to remain a don't ask don't tell military. It's really that simple. later... mike....
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