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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Marines against repeal of DADT

“Make no mistake: the anti-war voices long for us to lose any war they cannot prevent.” — Colonel Ralph Peters

CNS.Com reported on December 20, 2010 that 66.5 percent of U.S. Marine combat forces surveyed by a special Defense Department working group said that putting homosexuals in their units would hurt their effectiveness in the field, and 47.8 percent of Marines in combat units specifically said putting homosexuals in their units would hurt their effectiveness “in an intense combat situation.”

The U.S. Congress voted last week to repeal the law — commonly known as Don’t Ask, Don’ Tell — that barred homosexuals from serving in the military.

Earlier this year, after President Barack Obama said in his 2010 State of the Union Address that he wanted to end the ban on homosexuals in the military, Defense Secretary Robert Gates put together a special working group to begin making plans for integrating homosexuals into the Armed Forces if Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell were in fact repealed.

The working group secured the services of Westat Corporation, a polling company, to survey more than 115,000 active duty service members on their attitudes and views about integrating homosexuals into the military. Among those surveyed by Westat were 989 men serving in Marine combat units.

Question 71a in Westat’s survey of these Marine combat forces read as follows: “If Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed and you are working with a Service member in your immediate unit who has said he or she is gay or lesbian, how, if at all, would it affect your immediate unit's effectiveness at completing its mission ... In a field environment or out to sea?” The Marines were given 6 options for answering: Very positively, Positively, Equally as positively as negatively, Negatively, Very negatively, No effect.

The Marines in combat units answered as follows:
  • Very positively: 2.9 percent
  • Positively: 3.0 percent
  • Equally as positively as negatively: 18.8 percent
  • Negatively: 23.9 percent
  • Very negatively: 42.6 percent
  • No effect: 8.7 percent
Only a combined 5.9 percent said putting a homosexual in their combat unit would have a positive or very positive effect on their ability to complete their mission in the field, while 66.5 percent said it would have either a negative or very negative effect.

Almost half of the Marine combat forces surveyed specifically said placing a homosexual in their unit would have a negative or very negative effect on the unit’s effectiveness even in “an intense combat situation.”

Question 71c in Westat’s survey of Marine combat forces read as follows: “If Don’t Ask, Don't Tell is repealed and you are working with a Service member in your immediate unit who has said he or she is gay or lesbian, how, if at all, would it affect your immediate unit's effectiveness at completing its mission... In an intense combat situation”

The Marines in combat units answered as follows:
  • Very positively: 3.2 percent
  • Positively: 6.0 percent
  • Equally as positively as negatively: 28.4 percent
  • Negatively: 17.8 percent
  • Very negatively: 30.0 percent
  • No effect: 16.7 percent
Last week, before Congress voted to lift the ban on homosexuals in the military, Gen. James Amos, the commandant of the Marines, told reporters that he opposed lifting the ban because of what he had heard from Marines about it.

On December 21 CNS reported that Rep. Barney Frank (D.-Mass. And a homosexual male) says he agrees with the recommendation of a Department of Defense (DOD) working group that straight and gay military personnel of the same gender should be required to shower together when the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law goes into effect. Click here for the video

“What do you think happens in gyms all over America?" Frank said when asked by about the working group's recommendation that straights be required to shower with gays. "What do you think happens in the House of Representatives? Of course people shower with homosexuals. What a silly issue. What do you think goes wrong with showering with homosexuals? Do you think the spray makes it catching? I mean people shower with homosexuals in college dormitories, in gyms where people play sports; in gyms elsewhere. It is a complete non-issue. ” then asked Frank why he thinks it is a non-issue.

“To accept the principle that homosexuals can’t shower with other people is a degree of discrimination that goes far beyond this. We don’t get ourselves dry cleaned. We tend to take showers when we go to the gym; when we play sports,” he responded.

Rep. Frank continued, “The notion that knowing that someone is gay or lesbian as opposed to knowing that they are gay or lesbian people that have to pretend who they are; that that somehow makes a difference is pretty silly,”

As I stated in a previous blog post the repeal of DADT is not so much about gay and lesbians serving in the military (they already do) as it is about destroying our military’s effectiveness to protect our nation. This is being done by forces, representing less than 7% of our population, who are anti military and want to bring it down.

Top military leaders must find or certify that changes to the current policy “must not affect troop readiness, cohesion or military recruitment and retention.” How is this possible when Marine Commandant General Jim Amos has already said that the changes would cost lives? Calling repeal a major distraction, Amos said, “I don’t want to lose any Marines to the distraction. I don’t want to have any Marines that I’m visiting at Bethesda [National Naval Medical Center, in Maryland] with no legs be the result of any type of distraction.”

A New York Times story on the “repeal” simply noted, “The repeal will not take effect for at least 60 days while some other procedural steps are taken. In addition, the bill requires the defense secretary to determine that policies are in place to carry out the repeal ‘consistent with military standards for readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention.’”

The “procedural steps” that are part of the bill give the new conservative-controlled House an opportunity to derail the repeal policy.

The Center for Military Readiness, a group that specializes in social issues in the military and has opposed repeal, said the new legislation “will impose heavy, unnecessary burdens on the backs of military men and women.” It said the Senate majority voted with “needless haste” by not waiting for hearings into a recent Department of Defense study of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Elaine Donnelly, president of the group, said that the Pentagon’s survey indicated that 32 percent of Marines and 21.4 percent of Army combat troops would leave the military sooner than planned if “don’t ask, don’t tell” were repealed.

Only two days after it proclaimed the end of the Pentagon’s homosexual exclusion policy, The Washington Post is now admitting that open homosexuals can NOT join the military services. “‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ ban on gays won’t change immediately,” was the headline over the article in the print edition of the paper.

Even after Obama scrawls his signature, the law won't actually change until the Pentagon certifies to Congress that the military has met several preconditions, including education and training programs for troops. On Monday, Pentagon officials repeatedly declined to predict how long they would need, saying only that they would proceed at a "methodical" and "deliberate" pace.

"I don't think anybody has any idea yet how long this will take," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

As senior military leaders prepare to integrate openly gay men and lesbians, they are drawing on conclusions of a Pentagon study outlining tricky scenarios that might arise. Among the hypothetical situations in the report: A chaplain's sermon includes several direct statements calling homosexuality a sin. An applicant informs recruiters that he is gay. Troops are heard making jokes about using the same showers as gay colleagues.

Some commanders who oppose the repeal warned in the days before Saturday's historic vote to end the ban that such incidents could compromise the military's ability to fight two wars. But the 300-plus-page report provides potential solutions for each, and reminds commanders that such issues should be treated the same as incidents of harassment, racism or sexism.

The sermons and teachings of the chaplain could not be restricted, unless he publicly maligned military leaders, the report said. The applicant who shares his sexual orientation should be handled like any other recruit. Commanders should remind the joking troops that discrimination or harassment against gay colleagues is inappropriate, but could grant a service member's request not to shower among them

Frank Barrett, a professor of management and organizational behavior at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., predicted that the military will move quickly to implement the new law, but that the ease of doing so will vary widely among the different branches.

"The real challenge of repealing 'don't ask, don't tell' is that it challenges the warrior ethos, what it means to be a warrior," Barrett said. Warriors, he said, forge a "bonding love" during combat and preparation for war. The question that arises, he said, is: Can people who are uncomfortable with gays continue to form those close warrior bonds with openly gay troops?

"The Marines are going to have the hardest time, and the Air Force is going to have the easiest time," he said. "The Air Force doesn't do eye-to-eye combat. But Marines, they are close-knit in close quarters, and the identity of hyper-masculinity is so core to their mission."

In order to secure the vote of Senator Jim Webb, Democrat of Virginia, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that “neither he [Admiral Mullen] nor I would sign a certification until we were satisfied, after having consulted with each of the Service Chiefs and Combatant Commanders, that risks to combat readiness, unit cohesion, and effectiveness had, in fact, been mitigated, if not eliminated, to the extent possible for all Services, commands, and units.”

The law, however, specifically states that the changes must be “consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.” The option of changing the policy as long as the negative impact is just “mitigated” is not there.

Senator Webb, a highly-decorated combat Marine in Vietnam and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, voted for the “repeal” anyway.

In a statement opposing the overturning of the homosexual exclusion policy, Jimmie L. Foster, national commander of The American Legion, said that “The American Legion remains convinced a repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ cannot be easily implemented and could compromise the effectiveness of crucially needed fighting forces.”

Mike Gravel, a failed presidential candidate, former Democrat U.S. Senator from Alaska, and all around nut case, claimed repeal of DADT was in the best interest of the military. Gravel, a former lieutenant in the U.S. Army, claimed that the most fearsome fighters in history were the Spartans, and most of them were homosexual. He said that the Spartans encouraged their soldiers to enter into homosexual relationships because they would fight to the death save their lovers. This is partially true in a historic sense, but Sparta is not the U.S. Military. Sparta did not have sensitivity and diversity sessions for its soldiers, nor did they have a Uniform Code of Military Justice. They took young boys as sex toys, but they also entered into heterosexual marriages.

The burden is now on the gay rights lobby to prove that the changes will have no negative effect on any of the above. How can they prove such a thing when the Pentagon has already concluded that the change is risky and faces opposition from as many as 60 percent of our combat troops?

What is going to happen when a straight soldier is sexually harassed or assaulted by a gay soldier? How will that play out?

The next time you hear about Gays, diversity and sensitivity please consider the story of  Leon A. "Jed" Jedziniak of the 101st Airborne during the Battle of the Bulge.  These were soldiers, not rear echelon weenies whining about diversity and equal rights. The only equal rights they had was the right to die for freedom.


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