SANTA BARBARA, November 17, 2008 - Retired Admiral Charles Larson, former Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, tops a list of 104 retired Generals and Admirals calling for an end to the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy governing gay troops, the Associated Press reported today.
IT'S ABOUT FRACKING TIME SOMEBODY SPOKE UP. I know they're retired, and I know this hasn't killed the policy, but it's a huge increase (by 80 or more, if I remember correctly) of support from retired GO/FO's (General Officers/Flag Officers).
WaPo seems to indicate the public's view has changed since DADT's implementation. I was interested to see that the poll quoted only 50% of veterans as supporting homosexuals serving openly. I think those numbers should be higher, and would be higher, particularly among serving military. In the Navy I found out that sexual orientation rarely remained a mystery on a ship, and in general nobody really cared...they were more worried about if you knew how to do your job. Fancy that. Does it mean I don't think there would be any bumps? That's a ridiculous assumption. Of course there would be, but I don't think they would be severe ones.
I don't think we can expect the policy to vanish immediately - though it should - given Obama's statement that he would work with the Pentagon to build consensus rather than go it alone. But we should expect (and demand) it go away.
I can tell you that with the decreasing number of people who are considered "recruitable" (mostly due to health/psychological/criminal/etc. issues) by current standards, we do our forces, our country and our citizens wrong if we require any portion of them to disavow or conceal themselves in order to serve. Not only does it drive talent away, but it is wholly against the ideals we would ask them to support and defend.
I really hope DoD "nuts up" and gets this done.