Tuesday, November 18, 2008

104 Generals and Admirals Line Up...

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.


MRMacrum said...

My father, a General Officer in the Air Force had problems with securing clearances in the 1950s because of his employment by a gay back when he was a college student in the 1920s. He used to show such disgust over how the vetting process lingered on his job in a company owned by a homosexual. He did not know the man was gay until they told him in the 50s. Yet, just his having a job under this guy created problems for him 30 years later.

Fast forward - We have come a long way since then. But not that far, or should I say far enough. There is no more ridiculous policy than "don't ask, don't tell". It is promising that so many former officers have stepped up and made their views known.

Good Post

Dawn on MDI said...

Nice post. Nice sentiment, too. I have two friends who were drummed out of the service for being gay and I know others who remained closeted in order to serve and get an education that they otherwise would never be able to afford. Hell of a price to pay. It is nice to see a military man stand up for what strikes so many civilians as common-sense fairness. Thank you.