Don't Like the Repeal of DADT, Don't Serve

And this is the message passed on to all of our current brave men and women in arms and all those around this country who are planning to join our armed forces. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made this statement shortly after telling Congress it was time to end DADT.

Military members who have a problem with a change in policy to allow gays to serve openly may find themselves looking for a new job, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Thursday.

Mullen told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that the military is based on meritocracy, “what you do, not who you are.” He said if Congress changes the don’t ask, don’t tell policy then the U.S. military will comply.

And if some people have a problem with that, they may not want to join the service.

I am against the ending of DADT, but not for the reasons many would assume. I served my country alongside both straight and gay men in Vietnam in some of the most horrible battles known to man. Thinking back, I can not remember a single man in the many Marine companies I served with or alongside, that failed to do their service or even die honorably. There was this one CO who served under me that never seemed to be interested in women when on leave. He received no letters from any women from his home state or any state. But he did have a “friend” that was a male who wrote him quite often and even came to visit him right before we shipped out. He never let us read the letters and would not read his letters to us during the few moments of peace on the battlefield which was something most of us did in order to keep up the spirits of those who may not have received any communications from friends and family back home yet. We all assume he was gay and every sign pointed to it, but he did not state he was and we did not ask. Both sides knew what we were here for and that was to fight and die for a cause that was not our business. We were not to be the litmus test for PC causes, we were not to introduce discord to our troops, and as the leader of the brave men, I was to make sure company cohesion was always at its tightest and best. I served with this man, bled beside this man, and held him when he was shot through the chest until he died. He was my friend, my comrade in arms, my brother, and when I wrote to his parents, I stated that very thing. But my friend died without ever telling us if he was gay, we never asked, and that is the way it was and is supposed to be.

Now we have a new generation of leftist who believe all that is must be changed to suit their agenda. There are many places where their fanaticism can be confronted or even allowed, but the military is not one of them. When a unit is not working well together or does not trust each other, men die. The military is not the place to try out new things, its only focus should be the art of war. Ones sexuality need not be discussed, in fact, it should not be discussed whether the person be straight or gay. When one prepares for war and for dying, they must be focused in on the art, they must trust those who are on their left and their right, or the enemy will win. And changing this rule will cause strife, mistrust, anger, disgust, sexual harassment, assaults, and much more that will cause a cohesive unit to become a broken unit. This PC push by pencil pushing leftist must be stopped for all our sakes.

We all know gays have served since the dawn of man, but that is not the point. We know gays have served and even died with distinction, but again, that is not the point. It is not about excluding gays from serving, it is about excluding an open announcement of their sexuality that will result in harm to the unit. Sexuality announcements do not belong in the military, no matter who is announcing them. The only focus must remain how to fight and how to die. Anything less is a travesty. When they open this Pandora box, it will usher in the era of lawsuits filed by gays who want to bunk with the opposite sex because they say they are the opposite sex trapped in another body, it will usher in the lawsuit by the straight members who demand bunk and shower units without the fear of being around those who may desire them, it will usher in demand and even lawsuits by the gays so that they can dress the way they want to during leisure time, etc. It will bring in an era of distractions that may very well destroy the fabric of our military. And please do not compare the units of foreign nations as the situations and belief systems are not the same. Many of these countries do allow seperate bunking, dress codes during leisure time allow for individual dress, etc. We are not Europe, we do not live like Europe, we do not fight like Europe, and we should not govern like Europe or compare ourselves to them. We are different with different types of beliefs, politics, faith, etc. What may have worked for them, although that is to be argued, does not mean it will work for us.

But the biggest issue here should be the attitude displayed by the upper command. We are not filling quotas right now, we have men serving way past the time they were to be discharged, we are facing a war on two fronts with other areas around the globe sparking. We can not afford to anger those who are dying for us right now nor the ones planning to sign up to die over the next few years. To state in a public manner that those who do not like this policy need to find a new career is nonsense and dangerous. Granted, the military is not a democracy, you take orders and accomplish the mission without a vote or question, but reality is when the feelings of the men in the trenches is stomped on, problems, major problems will arise. And when nearly 2/3 of the men and women in uniform desire the policy to remain as it is, that speaks volumes about how things should be handled. Force this down the throats of our warrior and our warrior to be, and they will spit it out and fight back. If this policy is forced through, we will have serious issue with keeping our men and women in uniform and keeping it filled in the years to come.

I must ask a question though, considering the DADT policy has been in affect for 17 years, and the Adm Mullins has been a CO for much longer, his claim to have worked alongside gay members of the military for his entire career makes me question is ability to decide new military policy since he was in violation of a military rule for so long. If he knew they were gay he must have asked or been told which would be a violation in itself of DADT and a violation of policy even prior to DADT. He should have been disciplined for asking, the person stating should have also been disciplined, and if it all happened prior to DADT, the person he knew was gay should have been expelled from the military. Maybe it is time to bring charges against Adm Mullin for the many rules he has broken by his own admission.

Mullen, who claimed he worked alongside gay service members through his entire career, said combat units who are most opposed to having gays serve openly in the military could lead the way in a smooth transition to a policy switch.

“Should repeal occur, some soldiers and Marines may want separate shower facilities. Some may ask for different berthing. Some may even quit the service,” Mullen said. “We’ll deal with that.”

“We treat each other with respect or we find another place to work. Period,” he said.

Mullen, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Gen. Cater F. Ham, commanding general of U.S. Army Europe, and Pentagon chief counsel Jeh Johnson spoke at the hearing to review the military’s recent study on overturning the 17-year ban on openly gay individuals serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

They argued that not moving quickly leaves the U.S. military to the mercy of U.S. courts that may order a repeal of the policy before the Defense Department can act on its own toward implementing an orderly transition.

“If the law changes, the United States military can do this, even in a time of war,” said Ham, who helped lead the working group that conducted the 10-month long study on the impact of openly gay members serving alongside straight troops.

“I do not underestimate the challenges in changing the law, but neither do I underestimate the willingness and capability” of U.S. forces to adapt to change, Ham said.

According to the survey, 67 percent of Marines and nearly 58 percent of Army soldiers in combat units say repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell would have negative consequences on unit cohesion in the field or at sea.

But Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., one of the biggest critics of changing current policy, noted that the study of U.S. troops found that combat forces were much more concerned about serving alongside gay members than the military population as a whole and as many as 32 percent of Marines said they would leave the service earlier than planned rather than remain alongside gay troops.

“These views should not be considered lightly, especially considering how much combat our force is facing. Additionally, I am concerned about the impact of a rush to repeal when even this survey has found that such a significant number of our service members feel that it would negatively impact military effectiveness,” he said.

McCain added that argument that those opposed to changing the policy are just too young and immature to know what they’re saying, trivialize members’ ability to think for themselves.

“I think men and women are able to make a choice if they want to fight and die (for the U.S.), I think they’re mature enough to make a call on who they are comfortable serving with,” he said.

Gates responded that while any loss of troops, particularly those in the field, is “potentially of concern for the force as a whole, I don’t think any of us would expect that the numbers would be anything like the survey suggests, just based on experience. Plus you have the reality that they can’t just up and leave.”

Mullen, who claimed he worked alongside gay service members through his entire career, said combat units who are most opposed to having gays serve openly in the military could lead the way in a smooth transition to a policy switch.

Saying he expects less turbulence, “even in the combat arms world,” than some would predict, Mullen added, “In fact, it may be the combat arms community that proves the most effective at managing this change, disciplined as they are. It’s not only because our young ones are more tolerant. It’s because they’ve got far more important things to worry about.”

Mullen said that U.S. military members are already working on the battlefield with NATO forces from countries where being gay is not a disqualification from service.

“I don’t recall a single instance where the fact that one of them might be openly gay ever led to poor performance on the field,” he said. “Gay or straight, their troops patrolled with ours and bled with ours.”

We as the people of this country must stand for what is right. We need to understand that it is not about gay or straight, it is only about doing what is right for the men and women dying for us to keep us free. We need to understand the military is not our PC litmus test nor is it the place to demonstrate New Age inclusion. The military is only about two things and two things alone whether you are gay or straight, fighting and dying. I saw both during my times and it takes complete concentration in order to face the two. Gays have always served and will always serve, but the military is not the place to come out of the closet or to make your sexuality known. It just does not belong in the military, gay or straight.