Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Don't ask

I see that the House voted today to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the Clinton era ban on determining a military recruit's sexual orientation. Good, it's about time. Hopefully the Senate will soon follow and we can put an end to this nonsense.

I was a serving Army Reserve officer when President Clinton came out with this policy and even then I thought it was a side-step away from the real problem. I've served with soldiers, both male and female that I was 98% certain were gay and it didn't color my opinion of them in the least. Soldiering is a results-oriented career and as long as the soldier met qualifications and took care of his or her duty, I damn sure didn't ask. I'm sure, statistically, that I deployed gay soldiers to the Middle East during Desert Storm. I'm also sure that they served honorably.

I had more problems with heterosexual soldiers and the problems associated with spouses and deployments than I ever had with gay soldiers. There are a number of things that might make one unsuitable for military service, but being gay in-and-of itself isn't one of them. If, heaven forbid, a guy starts flaming in formation, or mincing across the company area, there are other ways to deal with that, ways that have nothing to do with sexual orientation.

Officers will be tested and NCOs will have to lead. That has always been the leadership challenge and it is what we're paid for. A professional military can handle this challenge without adversely affecting readiness. It's simply a matter of doing the right thing.

I'm glad that this is making its way through the Congress and I hope like hell our President signs it. The last thing the military needs is for it to be decided in the Courts. It's time for Congress and our President to show backbone and put an end to this foolishness.


Rivrdog said...

PawPaw, would you still be unconcerned if those "98 percent certain" gay troops didn't have to hide their gay mannerisms and sexual projection anymore and instead came right out with it?

The problem I see, as a 22-year USAF career guy, is that we just want to "give gays a chance", and that's fine, but what are we going to do when a few of them abuse that chance? If you think that it's going to be easy discharging a gay for malarkey in the barracks, think again, and look to municipalities' experiences in trying to fire gays who act up on City or County time.

Gay activists have a full generation head start on the military, and they will get their due: promotions, the best assignments, etc, or you will read about it on Page One of Army Times.

Nope, ending DADT is just the beginning of a major FAIL for the military, the activists will see to that.

Pawpaw said...

Dog, I understand your concerns, but you're forgetting that the military is different from the civilian population. We've got Article 134, which makes anything a crime if it becomes prejudicial to good order and discipline.

We cab discipline soldiers for a wide range of activity that the civil population doesn't consider a crime. Of course some fools are going to try the system, but if I can discipline a soldier for getting a sunburn, I can certainly discipline one for causing trouble in the barracks.

Termite said...

"The last thing the military needs is for it to be decided in the Courts."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the only court with jurisdiction over the US military was the SCOTUS?

Rivrdog said...

PawPaw, you don't REALLY think that the gay activists are going to follow the strictures of the UCMJ, do you? They will try these cases in the exterior press of the Queer Nation, where it will be spread all over by the MSM.

Nope, when the military lets THIS genie out of the bottle, there's no way that it can be put back in. The gays then become just one more Rule of Engagement (ROE) for commanders to have to deal with.

Remember the movie "Breaker Morant"? Remember how the Army dealt with the mutiny of the soldier in that film?

Rule 303.

BTW, in case you don't think that it's a hot deal, the "Doonesbury" comic strip has DADT as it's main topic right now...

Pawpaw said...

Rivrdog sez: Nope, when the military lets THIS genie out of the bottle, there's no way that it can be put back in.

The military isn't going to let this genie out of the bottle. The Congress is. The military doesn't get to set the rules because we're firmly under civil control.

Yeah, there will be some who test the patience of the leadership, but that's always the way it's been. I remember during the dark days at the end of Vietnam, when the peace-mick hippy types that found themselves drafted tried to test the limits of military discipline.

We got over that, we'll get over this too. Our military has the best leadership in the world and I've got a lot of faith in those guys and gals.

It's going to be all right.

Rivrdog said...

When I run across the reports in a couple of years, I'll send them to you. It's a recipe for a Mark One Mod Zero can of worms. If we're LUCKY, we'll mostly get past it. Most folks enlist or enter as Zeros because they WANT to be in the military, so they will not cause the trouble. The trouble will be caused by those who WANT to cause trouble. By not having a barrier to these intruders, we have to be completely prepared to accept whatever predations they bring to us.