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Cannoneer No. 4
11-29-2007, 11:59 AM
"Why do you think U.S. troops aren't professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians?"

Question asked last night at Republican Debate by Brigadier General Keith Kerr, California State Military Reserve (http://www.sldn.org/templates/about/record.html?section=81&record=1151), (ret.)

Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFHobluLlFg&feature=user 00:48

Duncan Hunter's response at 01:30


I believe in what Colin Powell said when he said that having openly homosexual people serving in the ranks would be bad for unit cohesion. And the reason for that, even though people point to the Israelis and point to the Brits and point to other people as having homosexuals serve, is that most Americans, most kids, who leave that breakfast table and go out and serve in the military and make that corporate decision with their family, most of them are conservatives, and they have conservative values, and they have Judeo-Christian values, and to force those people to work in a small tight unit with somebody who is openly homosexual, who goes against what they believe to be their principles, and it is their principles, is I think a disservice to them and I agree with Colin Powell that it would be bad for unit cohesion.

General Kerr has remained active on the issue since his groundbreaking 2003 disclosure and last summer took a position on a steering committee of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans who support New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-general29nov29,1,800417.story?coll=la-politics-campaign)

Our troops are professional enough to tolerate all that duty demands. The question to me is, do we gain more good soldiers by tolerating open homosexuality than we lose?

tequila
11-29-2007, 12:31 PM
The only question is whether or not gays/lesbians in the military should not have to hide their sexuality, or alternatively framed, be free to declare their sexuality.

IMO this issue is rapidly growing moot and will not be a genuine issue in 15 years. Not worth spending time on - the direction of the national culture will determine this in the end.

Uboat509
11-29-2007, 12:33 PM
Gee, that's not a loaded question is it? Not at all like "Have you stopped beating your wife?"

SFC W

Tom Odom
11-29-2007, 01:33 PM
The only question is whether or not gays/lesbians in the military should not have to hide their sexuality, or alternatively framed, be free to declare their sexuality.

IMO this issue is rapidly growing moot and will not be a genuine issue in 15 years. Not worth spending time on - the direction of the national culture will determine this in the end.

Agreed. Unfortunately it will still be used as a political tool.

Cannoneer No. 4
11-29-2007, 03:31 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/11/28/debate.transcript.part2/index.html


Brigadier Gen. Keith Kerr (Ret.): My name's Keith Kerr, from Santa Rosa, California. I'm a retired brigadier general with 43 years of service. And I'm a graduate of the Special Forces Officer Course, the Commanding General Staff Course and the Army War College. And I'm an openly gay man.

I want to know why you think that American men and women in uniform are not professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians.

Cooper: I want to point out that Brigadier General Keith Kerr is here with us tonight. I'm glad you're here.

(Applause)

Again, the question to Congressman Hunter.

Hunter: General, thanks for your service, but I believe in what Colin Powell said when he said that having openly homosexual people serving in the ranks would be bad for unit cohesion.

The reason for that, even though people point to the Israelis and point to the Brits and point to other people as having homosexuals serve, is that most Americans, most kids who leave that breakfast table and go out and serve in the military and make that corporate decision with their family, most of them are conservatives.

They have conservative values, and they have Judeo-Christian values. To force those people to work in a small tight unit with somebody who is openly homosexual goes against what they believe to be their principles, and it is their principles, is I think a disservice to them. I agree with Colin Powell that it would be bad for unit cohesion.

Cooper: I want to direct this to Governor Huckabee.

Thirty seconds.

Huckabee: The Uniform Code of Military Justice is probably the best rule, and it has to do with conduct. People have a right to have whatever feelings, whatever attitudes they wish, but when their conduct could put at risk the morale, or put at risk even the cohesion that Duncan Hunter spoke of, I think that's what is at issue. And that's why our policy is what it is.

Cooper: Governor Romney, you said in 1994 that you looked forward to the day when gays and lesbians could serve, and I quote, "openly and honestly in our nation's military." Do you stand by that?

Romney: This isn't that time. This is not that time. We're in the middle of a war. The people who have...

Cooper: Do you look forward to that time, though, one day?

Romney: I'm going to listen to the people who run the military to see what the circumstances are like. And my view is that, at this stage, this is not the time for us to make that kind of...

Cooper: Is that a change in your position...

Romney: Yes, I didn't think it would work. I didn't think "don't ask/don't tell" would work. That was my -- I didn't think that would work. I thought that was a policy, when I heard about it, I laughed. I said that doesn't make any sense to me.

And you know what? It's been there now for, what, 15 years? It seems to have worked.

Cooper: So, just so I'm clear, at this point, do you still look forward to a day when gays can serve openly in the military or no longer?

Romney: I look forward to hearing from the military exactly what they believe is the right way to have the right kind of cohesion and support in our troops and I listen to what they have to say.

(Audience booing)

Cooper: All right. General Kerr is -- as I said -- is here.

Please stand up, General. Thank you very much for being with us.

Did you feel you got an answer to your question?

Kerr: With all due respect, I did not get an answer from the candidates.

(Applause)

Cooper: What do you feel you did not...

Kerr: American men and women in the military are professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians.

For 42 years, I wore the army uniform on active duty, in the Reserve, and also for the state of California. I revealed I was a gay man after I retired.

Today, "don't ask/don't tell" is destructive to our military policy.

Every day, the Department of Defense discharges two people, not for misconduct, not for the unit cohesion...

Cooper: Wait, the mike is -- you've lost me. Is the microphone not working? Please, just finish your -- what is your question?

Kerr: Not for the unit cohesion that Congressman Hunter is talking about, but simply because they happen to be gay.

Cooper: OK. Senator McCain ...

KERR: And we're talking about doctors, nurses, pilots, and the surgeon who sews somebody up when they're taken from the battlefield.

Cooper: I appreciate your comments.

Senator McCain, I want to give you 30 seconds. You served in the military.

McCain: General, I thank you for your service to our nation. I respect it. All the time, I talk to our military leaders, beginning with our joint chiefs of staff and the leaders in the field, such as General Petraeus and General Odierno and others who are designated leaders with the responsibility of the safety of the men and women under their command and their security and protect them as best they can.

Almost unanimously, they tell me that this present policy is working, that we have the best military in history, that we have the bravest, most professional, best prepared, and that this policy ought to be continued because it's working.

Steve Blair
11-29-2007, 04:08 PM
This seems more suited (IMO) to a political discussion forum for the most part. The issue has been hashed, rehashed, and reheated to death. Tequila and Tom both make good points. Now, to redirect, what impact does this policy have on our ability to fight Small Wars?

Global Scout
11-29-2007, 04:19 PM
Gee, that's not a loaded question is it? Not at all like "Have you stopped beating your wife?"

SFC W

Ha, your right, who can honestly discuss this issue in our divided nation? Years of hate radio and T.V. (both left and right) have politicized this issue beyond reason. With the exception of a few and rather loud red neck types, most not in combat arms (imagine that), I really don't think the majority of Soldiers I worked with, or work with now, care if a guy (or gal) is gay or not. There were guys in past units that I served in where the rest of us knew they were gay, but never thought much about it as long as they performed, and in these cases they did. It would have been a different story if he or she openinly paraded the fact though. I really don't want to work with a CPL Klinger, so I'm not sure why the current don't ask, don't tell policy is so unacceptable unless certain gays want to make a political issue out of their sexuality. If that is the case they need to do it elsewhere, because we have more important things to do in the military.

I think the real issue is a Soldier's sexual behavior, not his/her orientation. Obviously a sexual predator, gay or straight, will do much harm to morale, and the services have had their share of straight sexual predators. For example, if I deploy to combat and have to work with female Soldiers attached to us (medical, CA, staff, etc.), it is essential that they don't fear wokring with me because I'm straight. We're professional partners, I can't accoust them, wink at them, or make unprofessional statements that make them uncomfortable. The same would have to apply to gays.

Maybe the way to really decide this issue is take a survey, because with all due respect, a four star officer probably doesn't have the creds on this issue when he/she says they are speaking for the force. As one of you stated it is cultural issue, and the 30 and below gang probably represent the culture better than us 50 and above types. What does the force really think?

Cannoneer No. 4
11-29-2007, 04:49 PM
This seems more suited (IMO) to a political discussion forum for the most part. The issue has been hashed, rehashed, and reheated to death. Tequila and Tom both make good points. Now, to redirect, what impact does this policy have on our ability to fight Small Wars?

Are the units with which we will fight small wars ready NOW to accept OPENLY homosexual members without issues?

Is not Politics In The Rear an appropriate place to discuss politics in the rear?

Van
11-29-2007, 05:23 PM
It's ironic that the most ignored voices in the early 1990s during the discussions of the "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy, were the ones (like me) saying "DADT is de jure recognition of the de facto conditions".

Regarding the use of the word professionalism-
This is one of my personal hot buttons. What professionalism? What is professionalism for IBM, or Harvard faculty should be professionalism for the military? How asinine. In the profession of arms, the profession of breaking things and killing people, we are indifferent to whether the tie matches the hanky, and harsh language is a way of life, not a cause for a reprimand. Being fat is unprofessional to a soldier, but is the perogative of success in academia or corporate America.

Let's make a deal. Soldiers won't hold civilians to military professional standards (like fitness and competence with arms) if civilians don't try to apply their standards of professionalism to the military.

Van

Hal Schyberg
11-29-2007, 05:57 PM
We ask our Soldiers every day to work with people who have different beliefs and backgrounds every day. The truth is that Homosexuals are in the military right now and are serving next to heterosexual in every capacity.
The Judeo-Christian argument is out since we allow Muslims; Hindu, Buddhist and even Satanist into the military. If you are a Jew or a Gentile or a member of any other main stream religion and can serve along side a Satanist. Then you should be professional enough to serve alongside a openly gay soldier.

Sexual orientation is not an indicator of how well a person will do in battle.

Why can we not let openly gay people serve in the Military? I for one would not be bothered by them in any way.

What is the real question?

Stan
11-29-2007, 06:00 PM
Are the units with which we will fight small wars ready NOW to accept OPENLY homosexual members without issues?


As there are more than one million service members, you may need to address your problem with all of them to extract an accurate polling. Personnaly, I can deal with anyone so long as they don't take their orientation to work. Firing a weapon and being physically fit has little to do with what takes place at home or in social settings without a uniform.

Since you claim to be a 'tanker' from the cold war era (which, BTW, includes more than half of the folks herein), what's your take (you often pose the question without touching on a solution)?

Our Admin was openly gay and sadly degraded his position and authority by doing so (including foreign females complaining about his obscure behavior at work). He was otherwise a great administrator, but refused to leave his orientation at home.

…it’s a question of ethics and professional behavior.


Is not Politics In The Rear an appropriate place to discuss politics in the rear?

I think Steve was trying to be diplomatic (which he was).

Rex Brynen
11-29-2007, 06:02 PM
Frankly, I don't think having gays openly serve in the military significantly affects combat effectiveness, nor do I think a DADT policy makes any sense at all from a security point of view.

Indeed, with regard to the latter, concealing one's sexual identity might be grounds in Canada for denying access to shared US intel material.. how's that for irony? Then again, we have same sex military marriages (http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/06/14/militarygaywedding0614.html) performed by military chaplains (http://www.forces.gc.ca/chapgen/engraph/same_sex_marriage_e.asp?cat=7).

More to the point, combat effectiveness does not always trump core issues of human rights. I'm reminded that "combat effectiveness" and unit cohesion was also used as an argument for racial segregation and discrimination in a previous era....

bourbon
11-29-2007, 06:16 PM
Our nations military in some cases, has been "progressive" on race matters earlier and better compared to society. I am thinking here of when we abolished segregated units during the Korean war, albeit out of necessity, the mother of innovation.

The military allowing open homosexuality, would increase the divide between the military and society. Making the military more virtuous, even society as increasingly accepts homosexuality. This divide, being something our founding fathers told us to weary of, as being detrimental to our republic.

Where does this angle lay in the debate?

Jedburgh
11-29-2007, 07:55 PM
Just to be clear, the policy is Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue. The last piece was a modification to the original policy that took effect a few years back. So exactly how "openly" gay does someone have to be to get the boot?

A soldier can subscribe to a homosexual publication, frequent a homosexual nightclub, be seen entering a hotel with another man, etc., but the command cannot do anything about it - it is a violation of the policy to even question the soldier about any of these things. Even if he comes out and confesses to a fellow soldier and that soldier gets upset and tells the command, the command is not supposed to follow up on that in any way.

There are only two ways in which a soldier can be booted out for their orientation: be caught in a homosexual act or put in writing that he (or she) is a homosexual and run it up through a bureaucratic process confirming their sexual orientation several times prior to the actual chapter taking place. A soldier has to work at it to get kicked out for being gay.

There are many homosexuals serving in the military whose fellow soldiers are well aware of their orientation, and it doesn't become an issue. There are others serving who stay very much in the closet, not so much because of the broader policy, but because of their fear of the reaction of their fellow soldiers. The real issue for the average homosexual soldier is down at unit level, and not really at the policy level.

During my time at DLI doing my last year prior to retiring, the gay soldiers I observed being given the boot were consciously trying to get out of the Army. They fell into two categories. The first were the slackers and cowards, who decided that Army life was not for them (or the thought of being deployed into a combat zone after graduation scared the hell out of'em), and that declaring homosexuality was an easy out. Still a lot of red tape, but faster than the old "food-for-freedom" route (which was eventually closed).

An extreme case was a female who first tried to get out on a combination of APFT failure and food-for-freedom. Unfortunately for her, TRADOC had just directed no more chapters for those issues unless there were other disciplinary problems involved. So all she succeeded in doing was obtaining a personalized, tightly supervised and much more intense personal PT program. So, she next went and tried to work the installation shrink to get a psysch chapter. Well, that takes a long time - and once she realized how long and involved it was, she gave up. And immediately submitted a written document to the commander stating that she was a lesbian and could not continue to serve. A couple of formal interviews up the chain and a bunch of paperwork later and she was gone.

Another group was perhaps unusual to DLI; these were the parasites - they'd wait until they were about to graduate from the course, and then declare their homosexuality and get themselves kicked out after having completed nearly two years of world-class language training at taxpayer expense.

So, I see it mostly as a political football. The larger issue of recognizing gay partners, gay marriage and all those things is something that has yet to be settled at the national civilian level. I agree with Bourbon in that I feel the military is not the place to be moving forward with such things until and unless a standard is set that all states and the majority of Americans accept.

selil
11-29-2007, 08:26 PM
Now that's the Mother of All Straight Lines!!! MUST.....RESIST....TEMPTATION....

Muwahahahha he said "STRAIGHT!!"

Seriously, from everything I've seen in the last 20 years the problems/politics/decisions aren't a military one. It's a civilian crisis not a military one. So being asked of future political leaders is likely the right place. What I want to know is when they will openly allow women to server in combat arms and stop the silly facade that women don't see combat (both in the media and in the promotion process). That does have to do with small wars and asymmetric warfare. When the battle field is the "time" and not the "place" chosen by the enemy there is not rear echelon.

Cannoneer No. 4
11-29-2007, 08:36 PM
is that openly homosexual soldiers will no longer be an issue when the greater society from which the soldiers come no longer stigmatizes sodomy.

Some Neanderthal politically incorrect knuckle draggers resist the idea, questioning why they have less right to privacy than females.

DADT will go away shortly after the next Democrat C-in-C takes office.

The reason I posted it on this forum is because a Clinton political operative with 42 years of military service had his YouTube question aired during the Republican debate and was also present in the audience to ask the question again. The political use of retired military officers to advance social engineering agendas was what interested me.

Stan
11-29-2007, 09:07 PM
is that openly homosexual soldiers will no longer be an issue when the greater society from which the soldiers come no longer stigmatizes sodomy.

Some Neanderthal politically incorrect knuckle draggers resist the idea, questioning why they have less right to privacy than females.

Good question. But, I wasn’t specifically targeting what those ‘oriented’ folks do ‘off duty’ and I hope, ‘out of uniform’. Expressing one’s sexual preference in the work place is unprofessional and should never be tolerated. I’m well over 50 and work around very young and available females. Am I then (in my orientation) permitted to display desire? That’s fairly weak Sierra for a male or female in the US Military.


We do not eat where we Sierra and we do not Sierra where we eat…period. This is not an MOS-related issue; the rules apply across the board.




DADT will go away shortly after the next Democrat C-in-C takes office.

That very well may be the case, and the US Military will have to once AGAIN deal with the issue.


The reason I posted it on this forum is because a Clinton political operative with 42 years of military service had his YouTube question aired during the Republican debate and was also present in the audience to ask the question again. The political use of retired military officers to advance social engineering agendas was what interested me.

I like that twist a smigin better and I hate the use of military in political debates. If we were not at war and the politicians had nothing more than the cash in their pockets, those so-called candidates would have little better to discuss than what Bill does with his Cubans :cool:

kehenry1
11-29-2007, 09:21 PM
I was about to write something both agreeing and disagreeing with certain points made here, but, I saw the above statement so many times, I felt laughter bubbling out uncontrollably.

Beyond the "desegregation", we are talking about a military where women's auxiliary corps were integrated into the main force. We are talking about the military that then opened up certain "combat" MOS and other MOS that could be rightfully construed as being near or absolute in all but name combat MOS (MPs? convoy truck drivers, combat medics, etc, etc, etc).

But more than that, we are talking about the military that cut cigarettes out of rations. Has a drug and alcohol rehab program. Is considering removing pornography, in all its forms, from the AAFES. Has instituted BMI, height and weight standards. Gives 5,000 (exaggerated) vaccines for every type of illness known to man. Will discharge members for domestic violence. Has laws that make single or divorced members give up custody of their children, automatically pay support, provide health insurance, etc

This is a short list of things I can come up with off the top of my head. Ostensibly, all of these things are to effect a more disciplined and physically capable force, amounts to "social engineering".

Pardon me, though, if I have an unrestrained moment of amusement over continued assertions that the military does not "do" social engineering. :D

Stan
11-29-2007, 09:26 PM
Kat, that was soooo good, that some democratic candidate will use it...mark my word...,and he/she will win :mad:


social engineering

Well put !

Jedburgh
11-29-2007, 09:49 PM
....Is considering removing pornography, in all its forms, from the AAFES....
Considering?! Its been done. It went from covered shelves (yes, plural - some PX's had quite a selection), to covered magazines on covered shelves, to reducing the selection to Playboy, now its game over. Unless you consider Maxim pornography (Well, some PX/BX still carry Playboy, but that's not really porn either).

And you forgot to mention that soldiers are now sent into a hostile fire zone for a year and longer under prohibitions against sex and drinking for the entire time. So for many, its either risk a career to unwind or keep it all in until you blow.

...We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints...

Hell, it gets ridiculously frustrating sometimes. Almost a decade ago I had one of my SSGs receive a Field Grade Art 15 for having a drink with a source in the Balkans. All of our pleading about local culture, source rapport etc. was dismissed by the Bn Cdr in his "zero tolerance" approach. (Just to be clear - the guy wasn't drinking. He nursed a drink while the source was drinking. Anybody who's worked that AO knows there are many people who won't trust you if you don't have a drink with'em. Just like sitting down to drink tea with a source in the ME.)

Global Scout
11-30-2007, 01:43 AM
The extreme right wing Christians in this country are using their leverage to socially engineer the military along with the extreme left. We're going to end up being a cross between Crusaders and Nancy Boys. Probably not the best type of Army to engage in the business of closing with and destroying our enemies.

kehenry1
11-30-2007, 04:17 AM
Well, if there is ever two subjects that are likely to bring out the stereo types, homosexuality and pornography are they.


The extreme right wing Christians in this country are using their leverage to socially engineer the military along with the extreme left. We're going to end up being a cross between Crusaders and Nancy Boys. Probably not the best type of Army to engage in the business of closing with and destroying our enemies.

You assume its some "right wing Christians" who had the porno pulled? LOL

That's when I know you haven't hung out with very many "liberated" women who view pornography as "objectifying women" and tantamount to the first step a man or boy can make towards disrespect and possibly sexual assault. LOL

Not that I hold those opinions. Only trying to bring a little perspective into it. Though, you may be right to assume that the "ultra-liberal" and "ultra-conservative" "social engineers" have found a subject they can both agree on. LOL

Uboat509
11-30-2007, 05:12 AM
Hell, it gets ridiculously frustrating sometimes. Almost a decade ago I had one of my SSGs receive a Field Grade Art 15 for having a drink with a source in the Balkans. All of our pleading about local culture, source rapport etc. was dismissed by the Bn Cdr in his "zero tolerance" approach. (Just to be clear - the guy wasn't drinking. He nursed a drink while the source was drinking. Anybody who's worked that AO knows there are many people who won't trust you if you don't have a drink with'em. Just like sitting down to drink tea with a source in the ME.)

Ridiculous. Slightly off-topic here but this is another brazen example of a leader enforcing a regulation without bothering to apply any form of critical thought. One of the reasons that I left the big Army and crossed over into the dark side was the number of "leaders" who I had worked for and around who believed that leadership meant ensuring blind to the letter of the regs. Personally, I have always that thought that it was either laziness or stupidity or a combination of both. Thinking is much harder than simply doing whatever the book says. God forbid someone try to consider the intent of a reg rather than just what it says in black and white. Of course we can't have Joe going down town and tying one on with the locals. No good can come from that but is that what was going on with that SSG? Obviously not but why should a leader think when he can just read from a book and do what it says?

[/cynicism]

SFC W

Global Scout
11-30-2007, 05:30 AM
http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/11/gns_porn_071105/


Dozens of religious and anti-pornography groups have complained to Congress and Defense Secretary Robert Gates that a Pentagon board set up to review magazines and films is allowing sales of material that Congress intended to ban.

"They're saying 'we're not selling stuff that's sexually explicit' … and we say it's pornography," says Donald Wildmon, head of the American Family Association, a Christian anti-pornography group.

And the left comes to the rescue, hell I might start donating to ACLU.


Nadine Strossen, a New York Law School professor who heads the American Civil Liberties Union, says the law effectively censors what troops get to read in remote areas or combat zones. "We're asking these people to risk their lives to defend our Constitution's principles … and they're being denied their own First Amendment rights to choose what they read," she said.

Ken White
11-30-2007, 05:46 AM
Ridiculous... Personally, I have always that thought that it was either laziness or stupidity or a combination of both... SFC W

"Regulations were meant to be intelligently disregarded."

Took me about two years to figure out that what you say is too often the case and I gleefully proceeded to ignore a great many for another 40 plus years -- on both sides (even the dark side has a few party line hewers) -- and had a lot of fun doing it... :D

selil
11-30-2007, 06:05 AM
When I was a rookie cop.....

Citizen says to me... "You're here to enforce the law!" (barking dog complaint).
Me... "Nope, I'm here to listen to your complaint". (fifth time we'd been called).
Citizen says to me... "Damn it I pay your sallary you must enforce every law!!! Now!!". (By the way there wasn't any dog next door)
Me... "I realize that sir. Did you realize that your car is parked more than 18 inches from the curb? Sign here. Press hard 3 copies".

Moral of the story? When y'all start complaining about somebody else and wigging out don't be surprised if it comes back to haunt you. Making and abusing the law to harrass somebody else can have dire consequences. Let the soldiers have their porn and nudie magazines. Unless the complainers are serving they should keep their nose out of relaxation and recreation.

Tacitus
11-30-2007, 05:04 PM
Duncan Hunter's response at 01:30


..most Americans, most kids, who leave that breakfast table and go out and serve in the military and make that corporate decision with their family, most of them are conservatives, and they have conservative values, and they have Judeo-Christian values, and to force those people to work in a small tight unit with somebody who is openly homosexual, who goes against what they believe to be their principles, and it is their principles, is I think a disservice to them...

Back to Hunter’s statement, specifically, he claimed.

1. Most of the “kids” in the military are conservatives.
2. Conservatives, who have Judeo-Christian values, would be forced to go against their values if they served with homosexuals, and would be a “disservice” to them.
3. Therefore, conservatives in the military have veto power over this question of gays or lesbians in the armed forces.

I’m just curious how many people around here back Hunter’s statement, in particular, on why they should be excluded.

Are these in fact the armed forces of the United States of America? Which presumably would generally coincide with the characteristics of the population at large.

Or should this be renamed the armed forces of Conservatives of America, Republicans of America, or Evangelical Protestants of America?

I am not persuaded by the argument that "we conservatives in the military would consider it a disservice to serve with <insert whichever group, race, class, color, creed, religion here that you don't want to be around>, so they can't." Any others besides gay and lesbians that, like the Irish, Blacks, Jews back in the day, need not apply?

Stu-6
11-30-2007, 05:13 PM
Duncan Hunter's response at 01:30


..most Americans, most kids, who leave that breakfast table and go out and serve in the military and make that corporate decision with their family, most of them are conservatives, and they have conservative values, and they have Judeo-Christian values, and to force those people to work in a small tight unit with somebody who is openly homosexual, who goes against what they believe to be their principles, and it is their principles, is I think a disservice to them...


Isn’t this a little like saying most of the people at the country club are white so it is unfair to force them to accept anyone different?

If you would be a little nicer to the gays maybe the conservatives would have to do all of the work. Or maybe we would find out that there are plenty of people who are willing and able to serve who just don’t care about stuff like that.

Besides there is no longer a draft no one is forced to work with anyone. . . you don't like it Burger King is hiring.

tequila
11-30-2007, 05:19 PM
Hunter's claim seems to run a bit contrary to my own recent experience at the School of Infantry at Camp Lejeune, N.C., where some enterprising soul took the trouble to wallpaper the interior of all three bathroom stalls for my platoon with some quite interesting hardcore pornography, to the general approval of the squadbay. Perhaps the Rangers were more pious in the 1960s?

Ken White
11-30-2007, 06:19 PM
you can't pay much attention to anything those squirrels say.

The Armed forces are a reflection of the society from which they come; same percentage of crooks, liars, con-men, eagle scouts, gay, straight, totally irreligious, evangelicals, jews, catholics etc. etc.

There are a few such as Hunter describes, the vast majority are not. There are a few who are offended by gays, the vast majority could care less as long as it doesn't become an issue.

Tequila's got it right.

CR6
11-30-2007, 06:30 PM
The only question is whether or not gays/lesbians in the military should not have to hide their sexuality, or alternatively framed, be free to declare their sexuality.

IMO this issue is rapidly growing moot and will not be a genuine issue in 15 years. Not worth spending time on - the direction of the national culture will determine this in the end.

Maybe I'm out of it since I spend my life at echelons above reality now, but as little as eight years ago hostility towards anything or anyone perceived as homosexual was prevasive. Case in point, the murder of PFC Barry Winchell at Campbell back in 1999.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9404E0D81331F931A25751C1A96F9582 60&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/People/W/Winchell,%20Barry%20L.

J Wolfsberger
11-30-2007, 06:59 PM
you can't pay much attention to anything those squirrels say.

The Armed forces are a reflection of the society from which they come; same percentage of crooks, liars, con-men, eagle scouts, gay, straight, totally irreligious, evangelicals, jews, catholics etc. etc.

There are a few such as Hunter describes, the vast majority are not. There are a few who are offended by gays, the vast majority could care less as long as it doesn't become an issue.

Tequila's got it right.

I'm with Ken on this. Some years ago a new 2Lt (out of OCS) was asked by his CO to look into whether an enlisted man was gay. He asked the platoon sergeant. The answer was that everyone thought so, but the guy was damn good at his job, didn't ghost, took showers after everyone else and after one or two social beers, took off on his own (private) activities after duty hours.

The 2Lt then asked, So we don't have a problem?

The platoon sergeant answered, Not unless you create one.

The 2Lt decided he had more important concerns than a witch hunt.

That has pretty much summed the entire situation up for me.

Ken White
11-30-2007, 07:41 PM
Maybe I'm out of it since I spend my life at echelons above reality now, but as little as eight years ago hostility towards anything or anyone perceived as homosexual was prevasive. Case in point, the murder of PFC Barry Winchell at Campbell back in 1999.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9404E0D81331F931A25751C1A96F9582 60&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/People/W/Winchell,%20Barry%20L.

As long ago as the 1950s through the late 70s in a number of infantry units, both Marine and Airborne, there were always Gay guys around and they were never a problem. Best Mess Sergeant I ever knew was as as gay as the proverbial three dollar bill and was campy as well -- Everyone in the 504 knew he was gay, Colonel on down. He spent his weekends in Raleigh and his weeks feeding great chow.

I have known literally dozens of them, ranging from (probably) an Army three star through (certainly) an SF LTC, a couple of Army Majors a Marine Captain and a whole bunch of lower ranks.

Not one ever had or was a problem.

Winchell was an aberration in a Division not noted for the greatest discipline in the world (and in which I served twice when it was still on jump status).

There have been others elsewhere and such things will always occur; they aren't the norm.

Rob Thornton
11-30-2007, 09:10 PM
Winchell was an aberration in a Division not noted for the greatest discipline in the world .

When I was a PL in D/1/187th we (my section leaders, PSG and I) covered down on that platoon as an OC team during that BDE's DIV sponsored EXEVAL about a month or two before PFC Winchell was killed. Our observation was that there were significant command climate problems throughout that company, and there was a lack of mistrust and unit/individual discipline. When leaders cannot or will not work together only bad things will come of it.

Best, Rob

CR6
11-30-2007, 10:44 PM
As long ago as the 1950s through the late 70s in a number of infantry units, both Marine and Airborne, there were always Gay guys around and they were never a problem. Best Mess Sergeant I ever knew was as as gay as the proverbial three dollar bill and was campy as well -- Everyone in the 504 knew he was gay, Colonel on down. He spent his weekends in Raleigh and his weeks feeding great chow.

I have known literally dozens of them, ranging from (probably) an Army three star through (certainly) an SF LTC, a couple of Army Majors a Marine Captain and a whole bunch of lower ranks.

Not one ever had or was a problem.

Winchell was an aberration in a Division not noted for the greatest discipline in the world (and in which I served twice when it was still on jump status).

There have been others elsewhere and such things will always occur; they aren't the norm.

My point, using the extreme and disturbing case of PFC Winchell as an example, is that my short 15 years in the military I have witnessed or heard of more hostility towards the idea of openly gay personnel than acceptance of it. I'm not so naive as to think they are not serving. A guy in my platoon at airborne school went on to become the first openly gay member of the AZ state legislature a few years later.

That being said, when DADT was a big issue in the early 90s, the hostility towards the idea of openly gay guys serving brought out a lot of ugliness whenever I heard the topic discussed among soldiers at Bragg. 15 years and two wars later, maybe it's not such a big deal anymore.

Tacitus
12-01-2007, 12:37 AM
CR6: Your recollections of the attitudes towards the prospect of gay and lesbian soldiers pretty much mirrors mine. I've never been to Ft. Bragg, but I was in from '90 - '94, and spent most of my time with the Big Red One.

I never heard anyone express any racial prejudice. Most of the male soldiers did not have any problems with female soldiers. Among those that didn't have much respect for women in uniform, it wasn't unheard of to hear them say that they were probably lesbians. But I routinely heard some pretty hostile talk, even threats against any hypotethetical homosexual soldiers. Even from NCOs.

I never had a problem with someone else's sexual orientation. I never perceived it as a threat to myself. But I had met gay and lesbian students in school before, so it was not such an alien thing to me. I honestly think that some fellas have led lives so sheltered that they never knew any gay or lesbian people, and had all kinds of notions about them.

Anyway, I knew enough to shut up when the gay bashing was going on in the platoon, lest I be accused of wrongly being one. Self preservation can sometimes trump personal opinions, you know.

Ken White
12-01-2007, 02:15 AM
My point, using the extreme and disturbing case of PFC Winchell as an example, is that my short 15 years in the military I have witnessed or heard of more hostility towards the idea of openly gay personnel than acceptance of it. I'm not so naive as to think they are not serving. A guy in my platoon at airborne school went on to become the first openly gay member of the AZ state legislature a few years later.

That being said, when DADT was a big issue in the early 90s, the hostility towards the idea of openly gay guys serving brought out a lot of ugliness whenever I heard the topic discussed among soldiers at Bragg. 15 years and two wars later, maybe it's not such a big deal anymore.

So has the action -- virtually nil other than a very, very occasional eruption like the Winchell incident. That one, like many in the civilian world, as likely as not brought about by our incompetent media concentrating on a non-event on slow news days.

Troops talk, bitch and moan. Like civilians, they'll harp on the topic du jour. Like the civilian world, some will act on their ranting. They will also smokestack and talk a lot of trash -- most of it needs to be noted but it rarely leads to much action. What they do, as opposed to what they say, matters. In the Army, decent, sensible leadership contains it, that simple.

I've got a serving son and another who was a Falcon (his brother and I have never held that against him ;) ) and I live in a military town and talk to the kids occasionally so I stay reasonably abreast of the current attitudes. Todays kids are at least one notch above the 90s variant and about three or four notches above those around when I retired 30 years ago. You don't even wanta contemplate the 1950 version on the couth and acceptance scale... :eek:

Your last paragraph is very appropriate and correct, I think, attitudes are softening on the topic in the civilian realm, so too will they in the Green Machine. Reflection of the society from which they come...

The most significant problem with unfettered Gay acceptance, I suspect, will be on the subject and in the area of married enlisted quarters. Some of the more forceful wives can decide a bad example for their children is being set then the FSG and community honchos will really have fun... :D

kehenry1
12-01-2007, 02:37 AM
My point, using the extreme and disturbing case of PFC Winchell as an example, is that my short 15 years in the military I have witnessed or heard of more hostility towards the idea of openly gay personnel than acceptance of it. I'm not so naive as to think they are not serving. A guy in my platoon at airborne school went on to become the first openly gay member of the AZ state legislature a few years later.

To mirror a comment above, it's been my experience that people in an organization mirror the leadership. If, up and down the chain, there is no tolerance for ill discipline or harassment, the troops are unlikely to do so. But, it has to be up and down the chain. It can't skip. The officers nor NCOs can make any public pronouncements "on the clock" or in private to members of the unit that state otherwise.

Frankly, it's been the same issue with integrating women in certain units. Even the hint that the LT or the SFC is unhappy and unaccepting usually leads to one or two in the unit making remarks or acting on that.

Although, I expect, in the case of women in the units, that will be less likely as the deployments with women continue and they are seen in more active roles than just "fobbits". Raven 42, combat medics, a captain I know is leading patrols in Afghanistan, the Civ Affairs that are actively "outside the wire", etc, etc, etc there are thousands that are operating in the "new terrain".

Which reminds me, do we have a thread about using women in Small Wars to effect the best culturally sound COIN?

marct
12-01-2007, 11:32 AM
Hi Ken,


The most significant problem with unfettered Gay acceptance, I suspect, will be on the subject and in the area of married enlisted quarters. Some of the more forceful wives can decide a bad example for their children is being set then the FSG and community honchos will really have fun... :D

I suspect you're right about that :wry:. It might be interesting to see how they handle gay officers who bring their spouses down on exchange visits.

Marc

ps. I;m now getting ads for rainbowschristians.....

marct
12-01-2007, 11:34 AM
Hi Kat,


Which reminds me, do we have a thread about using women in Small Wars to effect the best culturally sound COIN?

The topic is spread around pretty much, although there is this thread (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=2414). Why don't you start one?

Marc

120mm
12-01-2007, 09:10 PM
Frankly, I was more fascinated by the use of Colonel (ret) Kerr's question, providing that he was a political "plant".

I'm sorry, I can't refer a CSMR "Brigadier" as anything but a b.s. "pretender" He's a retired Colonel, period.

Entropy
07-08-2008, 01:55 PM
A new study from the Palm Center (PDF File) (http://www.palmcenter.org/files/active/0/FlagOfficersBooklet0408spreads.pdf). Here are the key findings:



Finding one: The law locks the military’s position into stasis and does not accord any trust to the Pentagon to adapt
policy to changing circumstances
Finding two: Existing military laws and regulations provide commanders with sufficient means to discipline
inappropriate conduct
Finding three: “Don’t ask, don’t tell” has forced some commanders to choose between breaking the law and undermining
the cohesion of their units
Finding four: “Don’t ask, don’t tell” has prevented some gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members from obtaining
psychological and medical care as well as religious counseling
Finding five: “Don’t ask, don’t tell” has caused the military to lose some talented service members
Finding six: “Don’t ask, don’t tell” has compelled some gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members to lie about their
identity
Finding seven: Many gays, lesbians, and bisexuals are serving openly
Finding eight:“Don’t ask, don’t tell” has made it harder for some gays, lesbians, and bisexuals to perform their
duties
Finding nine: Military attitudes towards gays and lesbians are changing
Finding ten: Evidence shows that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly is unlikely to pose any significant risk to
morale, good order, discipline, or cohesion

William F. Owen
07-08-2008, 02:31 PM
I completely understand prejudice to Gays in the military, but only if you want to admit that being ignorant and bigoted is OK, and why would anyone want to serve with men who think harming or discriminating against others based on sex, race or even religion is OK?

If an armed force, as macho, over-bearing, traditional, family orientated and even religious as the Israeli Defence Force can encompass the idea of being gay, then sure as hell, the US Armed Forces should do so.

I went to the Gay pride beach party in Tel-Aviv. Wonderful! Anywhere you can watch cute chicks kissing, while your wife enjoys a penis shaped iced lolly, and you get yell abuse at the small number of religious, or right wing zealots and bigots who exercise their right to mostly peaceful protest, gets my vote!

I will admit to declining the penis shaped ice lolly though!

jkm_101_fso
07-08-2008, 02:40 PM
A new study from the Palm Center (PDF File) (http://www.palmcenter.org/files/active/0/FlagOfficersBooklet0408spreads.pdf). Here are the key findings:

This is a difficult subject and I think if the policy is ever re-looked or eventually overturned, it will come after years of study by DOD.
I generally email my congresswoman (democrat) from time to time and ask her military specific questions. A few months back, I engaged her about "don't ask, don't tell" and her response was along the lines of, "I will take the advice of the leaders of the military on this subject". Not that she speaks for the entire House, but I found her response interesting. The overturning of this policy would take a Presidential decision and an act of congress, I'm assuming. Although I think that our society has evolved to be more "gay friendly" or "tolerant", considerations for gay servicemembers should be recognized and reviewed before the implementation. The military would completely need to revamp the EO, Sexual Harrassment policies, etc. When I'm normally asked by civilians about my opinion on this issue, my response is that "don't ask don't tell" is not a policy to exclude gay servicemembers, but to protect them. The policy, in literal translation, doesn't say gay people can't serve, they just can't tell anyone they are gay. There is a documentary currently running on Showtime about a gay Marine; his story was interesting, to say the least.

Entropy
07-08-2008, 03:19 PM
I will admit to declining the penis shaped ice lolly though!

Aww! When in Rome.... ;)

Seriously, though, I pretty much agree with what you said. Gays in the military don't bother me one whit and so I my personal opinion is that it's time for DADT to go.

I have to say, though, the ignorance of many civilians who are against and actively work against DADT is astonishing. It's incorrectly labeled a "policy" by these groups and in the general media which suggests the military can easily change it. Many times I've pointed out that the military has no choice in the matter because it is a federal law - not policy - and instead of blaming the military they should perhaps point the blame elsewhere. Keeping ROTC off campus and protesting at recruiting stations is not going to get the military to drop DADT - only Congress can do that.

marct
07-08-2008, 03:31 PM
From CBC.ca


Soldiers march in Toronto Gay Pride parade
Set up booth in gay village for recruitment drive
Last Updated: Sunday, June 29, 2008 | 2:07 PM ET

http://www.cbc.ca/gfx/images/news/photos/2008/06/29/pride-soldiers-tto-080629.jpg....

"The message to the public is that the Canadian Forces is an employer of choice. We have employment opportunities that people can pursue, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation," he told CBC News.

More... (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/06/29/gay-pride.html)

See also


Military joins Pride parade

Toronto.com
Jun 29, 2008 06:53 PM
Emma Reilly
THE CANADIAN PRESS

Hundreds of revellers danced, shimmied, and strutted their way through downtown Toronto Sunday in the Gay Pride parade – and for the first time, members of the Canadian Armed Forces were among them.

"It's a huge thing for me personally," said Warrant Officer John McDougall, a parade participant who has been an openly gay member of the military for 13 years. "To be able to be in public and be recognized not just for being a soldier, but for being a soldier who happens to be gay is amazing."

More... (http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/451459)

Stan
07-08-2008, 04:31 PM
Do tell, it works on paper back on Capital Hill, but seriously, not doing much far from the flag poles where most of us work.

Crankin' out regs in an election year rarely translates into automatic (full) acceptance in the ranks.

"He's gay, Stan, and it's legal... live with it" (yeah, right).

It's going to take more than reams of paper from some snappy congressman's aid and it's gonna take tons more time.

Glad I'm retired :p

Nice jpeg, Marc !

Schmedlap
07-08-2008, 04:38 PM
I don't think that the issue has anything to do with whether allowing homosexuals to openly serve will impact morale, cohesion, discipline, et cetera. This is a 100% political issue from both sides.

One side wants to eliminate DADT simply because it will be seen as progress in the equal rights / equal privileges / whatever you want to call it movement. The other side wants to keep DADT in place - or go back to pre-DADT - because this would be seen as defending a healthy cultural norm or as a political victory for their side. It strains my credulity to think that those on the former side really care about military discipline or that those on the latter side really care about whether some guy in a four-man stack is aroused.

This is just a convenient battlefield in a much larger political and cultural battle between people who don't see the military as anything other than a block to check on their list of political goals. A discussion of the merits of DADT, in the context of whether we maintain it, seems like a moot argument.

selil
07-08-2008, 04:46 PM
Regardless of the enlightened fantasy of the American public towards racial, gender, sexual orientation freedom the reality is a puritanical repression based on zealotry. No where will that zealotry be so pronounced as the military, the one place where people can be forced to comply to edicts of social manipulation, regardless of the fantasy or antiquated reasons behind it. The false dichotomy of puritanism versus hedonism that the argument implies rejects the spectrum of humanity and beliefs that make us as a society resilient. In capitulation to repression and adoption of ideas and restrictions based on flawed social concepts the military is weakened through self deception and baseless repression.

The Eisenhower doctrine of enforced idealism to a formalized Christian nation layered upon the reality of secular rules and laws has had consequences far beyond "One nation under God". Constraints and dictates empowered to respond to a communist expansion have resulted in a variety of unintended pseudo-religious repressive tendencies. There is nothing more basic as a freedom, other than, the ability to choose who you are intimate with. The restrictions and restraints imposed by the military for various reasons are based on a self perpetuating straw-man that impose draconian response to a pedantic threat. A threat supposedly to good order, good discipline, and morale based wholly on an egregious pseudo-religious moral rectitude.

In essence there is a basic freedom and level of maturity in regards to that freedom. The question posed is shall it be permissible for any entity to deny a familial relationship of a heterosexual nature? Putting some more meat on the question shall it be permissible for any entity to deny a familial relationship of a bi-racial nature? There is an underlying puritan stream of reasoning that says society shall determine who is allowed to consort with whom. A concept I personally reject.

jkm_101_fso
07-08-2008, 04:51 PM
Regardless of the enlightened fantasy of the American public towards racial, gender, sexual orientation freedom the reality is a puritanical repression based on zealotry. No where will that zealotry be so pronounced as the military, the one place where people can be forced to comply to edicts of social manipulation, regardless of the fantasy or antiquated reasons behind it. The false dichotomy of puritanism versus hedonism that the argument implies rejects the spectrum of humanity and beliefs that make us as a society resilient. In capitulation to repression and adoption of ideas and restrictions based on flawed social concepts the military is weakened through self deception and baseless repression.

The Eisenhower doctrine of enforced idealism to a formalized Christian nation layered upon the reality of secular rules and laws has had consequences far beyond "One nation under God". Constraints and dictates empowered to respond to a communist expansion have resulted in a variety of unintended pseudo-religious repressive tendencies. There is nothing more basic as a freedom, other than, the ability to choose who you are intimate with. The restrictions and restraints imposed by the military for various reasons are based on a self perpetuating straw-man that impose draconian response to a pedantic threat. A threat supposedly to good order, good discipline, and morale based wholly on an egregious pseudo-religious moral rectitude.

In essence there is a basic freedom and level of maturity in regards to that freedom. The question posed is shall it be permissible for any entity to deny a familial relationship of a heterosexual nature? Putting some more meat on the question shall it be permissible for any entity to deny a familial relationship of a bi-racial nature? There is an underlying puritan stream of reasoning that says society shall determine who is allowed to consort with whom. A concept I personally reject.

It will take me all day to process what you just said, man...my vocab consists of swear words, Army Acronyms and 20 different ways to say..."I am/was drunk" I can't even spell thesarus correctly...or did I?

Ken White
07-08-2008, 04:56 PM
Pure political theater. Most troops could care less -- but a very few would go bonkers and do stupid stuff (that applies to both gay and overly straight troops). It's all politics and social engineering.

I will never forget the first time I was propositioned by a fellow male service member, A Captain USMC -- ruined all my little 17 year old PFC illusions. :D

Best Mess Sergeant I ran across in the Army was totally gay. He also had gone through WW II with the 82d and Korea with the 187th RCT. Ran a great mess hall and did not hassle his KPs. Had a gay Squad Leader working for me in Viet Nam. Did a good job and I put him in for two Bronze Stars, one with 'V' and one for generally doing good in the combat zone.

I ran across dozens of gay males and females ranging from GO -- according to the common wisdom of the day -- and Colonel (acknowledged) down to peon from all four branches in my 45 years in and with the unigrammed services. Most of 'em just did their jobs and didn't bother anyone.

selil
07-08-2008, 04:57 PM
It will take me all day to process what you just said, man...my vocab consists of swear words, Army Acronyms and 20 different ways to say..."I am/was drunk" I can't even spell thesarus correctly...or did I?

Don't worry I'm just waiting for marct to yell at me for the inappropriate use of zealot.

wm
07-08-2008, 05:06 PM
Don't worry I'm just waiting for marct to yell at me for the inappropriate use of zealot.


He better not. I thought MarcT stood on a cultural-based-understanding-of-language platform. So, your use of 'zealot' ought to be appropriate, given your culture (or lack of it). :D

Ken White
07-08-2008, 05:09 PM
...No where will that zealotry be so pronounced as the military, the one place where people can be forced to comply to edicts of social manipulation, regardless of the fantasy or antiquated reasons behind it.If you say so. I managed to resist that manipulation for over 45 years -- didn't really see that much of it in all that time, guess I was in all the wrong places. Got a kid serving now, my perception is he doesn't see that either.
...In capitulation to repression and adoption of ideas and restrictions based on flawed social concepts the military is weakened through self deception and baseless repression.Son of a gun -- I missed that as well. I sure can't recall feeling repressed in 27 years in the Corps and the Army as an old hairy legged EM :D
...A threat supposedly to good order, good discipline, and morale based wholly on an egregious pseudo-religious moral rectitude.I know there are some in uniform who believe that way -- most do not so I think your rectitude may be quite overly broad. I have to agree with Schmedlap, this is more politics than anything else.
There is an underlying puritan stream of reasoning that says society shall determine who is allowed to consort with whom. A concept I personally reject.I suggest there is also an underlying super secular and freedom from constraint stream of reasoning that says society shall determine who must consort with whom.

I reject both those concepts. Strongly.

jmm99
07-08-2008, 06:30 PM
recommendations of the Study Group (pp. 2 & 12) seem a neutral and reasonable approach toward eventual solution of a number of problems mentioned in preceding posts:


Recommendation 1. Congress should repeal 10 USC § 654 and return authority for personnel policy under this law to the Department of Defense.

Recommendation 2. The Department of Defense should eliminate “don’t tell” while maintaining current authority under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and service regulations to preclude misconduct prejudicial to good order and discipline and unit cohesion. The prerogative to disclose sexual orientation should be considered a personal and private matter.

Recommendation 3. Remove from Department of Defense directives all references to “bisexual,” “homosexual,” “homosexual conduct,” “homosexual acts,” and “propensity.” Establish in their place uniform standards that are neutral with respect to sexual orientation, such as prohibitions against any inappropriate public bodily contact for the purpose of satisfying sexual desires.

Recommendation 4. Immediately establish and reinforce safeguards for the confidentiality of all conversations between service members and chaplains, doctors, and mental health professionals.

Politics being what they are, the probability of their adoption seems remote.

marct
07-08-2008, 06:45 PM
Don't worry I'm just waiting for marct to yell at me for the inappropriate use of zealot.


He better not. I thought MarcT stood on a cultural-based-understanding-of-language platform. So, your use of 'zealot' ought to be appropriate, given your culture (or lack of it). :D

LOLOL - hey, it works for me! I'm just getting worried that Sam has been reading a touch too much Sociology :p!

Actually, I think you're spot on, Sam. One of our (Canada's) greatest Prime Ministers, Pierre Trudeau once said that the State has no place in the bedrooms of the nation. While that was a bit of a self-serving remark on his part, it's certainly a sentiment I agree with wholeheartedly.

Tom Odom
07-08-2008, 06:58 PM
Actually, I think you're spot on, Sam. One of our (Canada's) greatest Prime Ministers, Pierre Trudeau once said that the State has no place in the bedrooms of the nation. While that was a bit of a self-serving remark on his part, it's certainly a sentiment I agree with wholeheartedly.

Din't he do a cartoon?

What's State look like? Must sleep around since Trudeau said bedrooms..:cool:

marct
07-08-2008, 07:02 PM
Din't he do a cartoon?

What's State look like? Must sleep around since Trudeau said bedrooms..:cool:

I think you can get the background here (http://archives.cbc.ca/arts_entertainment/media/topics/832-4892/) :D.

Rank amateur
07-08-2008, 07:45 PM
I just want to say that I enjoyed the ads in the "single in Baghdad" thread much more than the ads in this one.

Uboat509
07-08-2008, 09:04 PM
... really care about whether some guy in a four-man stack is aroused.


Are you saying that you are not? Perhaps you don't appreciate CQC enough.:D


SFC W

Jedburgh
07-08-2008, 09:05 PM
I agree with the general consensus that carrying out the recommendations stated in the report would not result in the Army imploding.

I also want to add to Ken's statement that many have served - and are serving - without any issues or problems. In fact, having to say that they "serve without any issues or problems" almost demeans them, because it implies that they are somehow less of a soldier than others and must be considered in that way. They are just soldiers, some serve relatively openly, some don't - and they have the same varied careers in the military as does anyone else who serves in uniform. Some are outstanding soldiers, some as ordinary as anyone else, and others may be Joe-####-the-Ragman - a disciplinary problem for NCOs that has nothing to do with sexual orientation. As others have stated, most of the current generation of young GIs could care less about such things.

In any case, the manner in which the Army executes the law is not just Don't Ask, Don't Tell - it is also Don't Pursue. The intent of the addition was to prevent any harassment for whatever reason - I remember the briefing at the time provided examples such as, the servicemember may subscribe to homosexual publications, be known to frequent off-post homosexual establishments, and even be seen in the company of a member of the same-sex entering motels or other such common locations for discreet encounters - and the command is not to do anything. It was stressed that there were only two methods by which the process could be initiated for a servicemember to be separated for homosexuality - be caught in the physical act with a member of the same sex (implying that it was occurring in the barracks, on other government property, or that an arrest occurred for a public act) or that the servicemember comes forward and puts a request in writing stating that their homosexuality is incompatible with continued military service.

The latter option is not so simple - it also required interviews with the commander (and up the chain a bit) as well as with the unit chaplain/base shrink. So it actually required multiple official verbal statements, in addition to the initial one in writing.

That long ramble leads me to another point - when pushing trainees in my last year in, we were informed that we would no longer separate trainees who failed the fat boy program or multiple APFTs unless there were other disciplinary issues involved. The environment being the way it was, there were a certain few amongst the trainees who were not too happy with having the relatively simple food-for-freedom option removed, let alone the even easier physical slug route. Surprise - the number of self-reported homosexuals nearly tripled in a six month period following the change in policy...

Fuchs
07-08-2008, 10:56 PM
This thread made me think about how it's like in the German forces. I simply didn't know. It was never an issue to me.
So I looked it up and it seems as if there's a ZDv (=central manual for all services and branches that tells what and how to do or not) that covers the issue in a chapter. It forbids any discrimination since sometime in 2004.

That's pretty much in line with a civilian law since I think 06 that illegalizes discrimination towards several groups of people in general (including homos).

I didn't spot any homos in service when I was active, but later on I came to a personal guess that 5-10% of males are homo or bi.

Well, as long as the good-looking females aren't homo, up to 49% homo rate would be fine with me. Less competition. :D


I wonder whether the U.S.Army in Germany is subject to German civilian laws to the extent that their treatment of homos might be illegal here ?

jmm99
07-09-2008, 05:57 AM
re: Fuchs


I wonder whether the U.S.Army in Germany is subject to German civilian laws to the extent that their treatment of homos might be illegal here ?

I'd restate the case as follows:


Can a US Army commanding officer, stationed in Germany, be prosecuted in a German court for following the mandates of 10 USC 654 with respect to one of the soldiers under his command - assuming arguendo that the action taken with respect to that soldier would violate the terms of a German statute governing the rights of a protected group ?

In short, can the officer be prosecuted for faithfully following US law, IF German law prohibits that conduct.

---------------------------------
Here is a start on finding the answer.

The text and notes for 10 USC 654 are at:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/10/654.html

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode10/usc_sec_10_00000654----000-notes.html

----------------------------------
Your Auswärtige Amt:

http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/diplo/en/Aussenpolitik/InternatRecht/Truppenstationierungsrecht.html

auf Deutsch:

http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/diplo/de/Aussenpolitik/InternatRecht/Truppenstationierungsrecht.html

has this to say in general:


The law governing the presence of forces

The presence of forces from NATO states stationed in Germany on the basis of a special agreement is governed by the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) of 19 June 1951 (Agreement between the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty Regarding the Status of their Forces, Federal Law Gazette 1961 II p.1190), and the SOFA Supplementary Agreement of 3 August 1959 (Agreement to Supplement the Agreement between the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty regarding the Status of their Forces with respect to Foreign Forces stationed in the Federal Republic of Germany, Federal Law Gazette 1961 II p.1218). The Supplementary Agreement contains detailed provisions on all questions regarding troops stationed in Germany. Following German unification, it was thoroughly revised by the Agreement of 18 March 1993 (Federal Law Gazette 1994 II p.2594).

The NATO SOFA and SOFA Supplementary Agreement conferred numerous privileges and immunities on the relevant forces. These include, for example, immunity as regards civil, administrative and criminal jurisdiction, and privileges with respect to social insurance, customs and taxation and motor vehicles. In addition, they – especially the SOFA Supplementary Agreement – include provisions on the use of premises and the employment of local German staff by forces stationed in the country.

-----------------------------------
The relevant agreements are these (plus perhaps a few more):

NATO SOFA 1951

http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b510619a.htm

FRG Accession 1954

http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/b541023v.htm

SOFA Supp 1959

[need url for text of agreement]

SOFA Rev. 1993

[need url for text of agreement]

-----------------------------------
The run of the mill SOFA case involves an offense recognized by both jurisdictions. E.g., US v Thomas (murder by airman of girlfriend; primary US jurisdiction to prosecute airman, despite concurrent German jurisdiction):

http://www.armfor.uscourts.gov/opinions/1997Term/96-0160.htm

The Operational Law Handbook, JA 422, 1997 (chap. 3) has a general discussion, but is not directly helpful on this specific topic:

http://www.cdmha.org/toolkit/cdmha-rltk/PUBLICATIONS/oplaw-ja97.pdf

-------------------------------------
Your question is similar to what was attempted in CCR v. Bush, Rumsfeld et al., discussed in the German Law Journal:


6 German Law Journal No. 3 (1 March 2005) - Torture in Abu Ghraib. The Compliant against Donald Rumsfeld under the German Code against Crimes under International Law

http://www.germanlawjournal.com/pdf/Vol06No03/PDF_Vol_06_No_03_689-724_Developments_Fischer-Lescano.pdf

Whatever happened to that case ?

Rex Brynen
07-27-2008, 10:49 PM
Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research
Views on Gays in the Military Shift in U.S. (http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/views_on_gays_in_the_military_shift_in_us/)
July 24, 2008


Abstract: (Angus Reid Global Monitor) - More adults in the United States believe homosexuals who publicly disclose their sexual orientation should be allowed to serve in the military, according to a poll by TNS released by ABC News and the Washington Post. 75 per cent of respondents agree with this rationale, up 29 points since May 1993.

Jason Pannell
09-01-2008, 06:27 PM
I agree that it is time for the military as a whole to become tolerant of sexual preference. However, I will say that the growing pains will be tough and obnoxious enough that the media and public will be all over it. There is a key problem with this. Whichever Congress or President decides to take up this problem, will mainly reap all the guilt of the injuries and/or deaths that come from the growing pains. I agree that it 100% political and that is why it will take a bunch of marbles to even bring this up. Once it is brought up, it will be passed because people in politics cannot afford to look like a homophobe regardless of how justified their reasoning might be.
If the military could change the policy it would be best for them. However, seeing as how the change must come from above, it will seem forced upon them. So regardless of how much servicemen might be for or against it, every case of violence or discrimination will hurt the military in the short run.

Umar Al-Mokhtār
09-01-2008, 08:51 PM
...the reality is a puritanical repression based on zealotry...false dichotomy of puritanism versus hedonism... capitulation to repression and adoption of ideas and restrictions based on flawed social concepts...weakened through self deception and baseless repression...pseudo-religious repressive tendencies...egregious pseudo-religious moral rectitude...underlying puritan stream of reasoning that says society shall determine who is allowed to consort with whom...

All that, and I believe sometimes there are those who see the more flamboyant of the GLBT community and shudder to think of them being in the military, not really stopping to think that those are probably not the types who would join.

While selil said it far more eloquently than I ever could I really think it is shame that the gay service members I know, and all others who are serving honorably today, must basically lie about who they are.

Entropy
01-11-2009, 12:36 AM
President-elect Obama's press secretary at a news conference today:


Thaddeus: Is the new administration going to get rid of the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy?

Gibbs: Thaddeus, you don’t hear a politician give a one-word answer much, but it’s yes.

Jump ahead to about 4:15 in the video to hear it.

KrtpMrtnGJU

Xenophon
01-11-2009, 02:08 PM
I've seen a lot of the, "the military isn't ready for openly gay servicemembers" argument against those opposed to allowing it. And they have a point. Combat arms types of all ranks in the Marine Corps are vehemently against it, and I'm sure the feeling still exists in other parts of the military. When DADT is eventually ended, there will be violence and hazing at first, and probably for a while. That's very sad, but unfortunately true. I have trouble convincing some Marines that the President-elect is not a Muslim. Open-mindedness towards homosexuals is a little far into the future.

That being said, "readiness" is a non-issue. The military wasn't ready for integration of females nor was it ready for racial desegregation. The pressure to change needs to come from outside events/politicians. The President that decides he wants to take the burden of making that change should take a stand and do so, despite the military's protestations.

William F. Owen
01-11-2009, 04:18 PM
Well you shouldn't be surprised,
http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Culture/10618.htm

...but I guess most will be.

Boondoggle
07-02-2009, 10:54 AM
This thread probably needs to wake up with Secretary Gates looking to make the application of DADT more "humane", the current admin's promise to end it during their first term, and the growing public support to end it.

And this story has the makings of, depending how it plays out, of adding to the discussion.

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/jul/02/crime-watch-gay-sailor-found-dead-pendleton-guard-/?military&zIndex=125686

Rex Brynen
10-09-2009, 10:57 AM
Air Force Academy censors prof for discussing gays in the military (http://www.palmcenter.org/press/dadt/releases/air_force_academy_censors_professor_discussing_gay s_military)
press release, Palm Center, UCSB


SANTA BARBARA, CA, October 8, 2009 - The Palm Center has learned that a Lieutenant Colonel who taught at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, was punished and barred from teaching after she invited three Academy alumni to campus to discuss sexual minorities in the military. The professor, Lt. Col. Edith A. Disler, told Palm Center researchers that the classroom visit was approved by her course director, but Academy officials pulled her from the classroom anyway, launching an investigation that ended in a formal reprimand based on the subject matter discussed.

As the item notes, the Air Force Academy's response was a rather sharp contrast with NDU (and, indirectly, the CJCS), which in the latest issue of Joint Force Quarterly (4th Quarter 2009) has a critical article by Om Prakesh on The Efficacy of 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' (http://www.palmcenter.org/files/active/0/EfficacyofDADT.pdf) (featured as winner of the 2009 Secretary of Defense National Security Essay Competition).

Schmedlap
10-09-2009, 04:24 PM
DADT is a battle ground in a culture/political war. Until condoning homosexuality becomes a societal norm or until it becomes a norm to define it as unacceptable deviancy, DADT should not be changed in favor of either side of the battle - no more restricive, no more lenient. Otherwise, you're just dragging the military into a cultural/political fight.

karaka
10-09-2009, 05:12 PM
Women more likely to be expelled under ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ (http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=65281)


Women are far more likely than men to be kicked out of the military under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy against gays in uniform, according to government figures released Thursday that critics said reflect deep-seated sexism in the armed forces.

Women accounted for 15 percent of all active-duty and reserve members of the military but more than one-third of the 619 people discharged last year because of their sexual orientation.

The disparity was particularly striking in the Air Force, where women represented 20 percent of all personnel but 61 percent of those expelled. That is a significant jump from the previous year and marks the first time women in any branch of the military constituted a majority of those dismissed under “don’t ask, don’t tell,” researchers said.


Delightful.

Schmedlap
10-09-2009, 05:42 PM
That reinforces my view that DADT is a good policy. Some can wish for society to embrace homosexuality, but the fact remains that many do not. That includes members of the armed forces. DADT gives homosexuals a way out if they feel uncomfortable in the service. Sure, some might abuse it and just use it as an excuse to not deploy - but that is not my impression of how it usually works. I've seen guys who were "in the closet" deploy and serve admirably. Not all of them wanted to. They could have played the DADT card and didn't. But I think it was reassuring for them that they had the option. I think that many proponents of DADT are doing a disservice to the people whom they purportedly care so much about.

tequila
10-09-2009, 06:14 PM
Some can wish for society to embrace homosexuality, but the fact remains that many do not. That includes members of the armed forces.

Same could be said about the integration of the armed forces in the 1950s. I deployed with plenty of Marines from minority backgrounds (and am one myself), and plenty of Marines who actively disliked, if not despised, most minorities. In the infantry units I've been part of, female Marines and servicemembers are almost universally despised.

Also I wonder how many people who were separated via DADT did so voluntarily.

marct
10-09-2009, 06:20 PM
Also I wonder how many people who were separated via DADT did so voluntarily.

Interesting question, Tequila. I suspect that someone could make a case based on sexual orientation discrimination for not having DADT as a way of separating :D!

On a more serious note, this is one particular area where we (Canada) tend to watch the games going on down south with a jaundiced view. Socially, we have moved to pretty much full recognition of a lot of Gay Rights areas - gay marriage being the most obvious (with all of the legal and tax implications).

tequila
10-09-2009, 06:28 PM
Interesting question, Tequila. I suspect that someone could make a case based on sexual orientation discrimination for not having DADT as a way of separating :D!



I don't think there's any way to get separated for heterosexuality. :D

karaka
10-09-2009, 06:41 PM
DADT gives homosexuals a way out if they feel uncomfortable in the service.

It also gives the boot to people who want to serve, and both points suggest that it is a bad policy overall; thus why retain it? As tequila suggests, it plays both sides of inequality and doesn't serve what seems to be the need of retaining personnel who are valuable assets and holding personnel responsible to the commitment they've made to serve.


Socially, we have moved to pretty much full recognition of a lot of Gay Rights areas

and clearly Canada has imploded as a result. [That's my dry wit, right there.]

SWJED
10-09-2009, 06:42 PM
Crux of the issue - what do we gain and / or what do we lose concerning this issue? Is it really a generational issue or are the naysayers being forcefully cut out of the debate?

marct
10-09-2009, 07:15 PM
Crux of the issue - what do we gain and / or what do we lose concerning this issue? Is it really a generational issue or are the naysayers being forcefully cut out of the debate?

That really is the crux.....

I think it is more than a generational issue, although that is part of it. Honestly, it's always been a bit hard for me to reconcile the DADT policy with anything other than an ostrich position; something that never lasts in the long run :wry:.

I don't know how you folks (the US I mean) will end up resolving it, and I have yet to see a really decent analysis of what the problems would be if there were no barrier to open gays in the military. Hmmm, guess I should pull that apart a bit more.... Let's say that i am still waiting to see if the problems that are brought up as coming out of such a policy are a) realistic (i.e. what's the frequency disty of their perception) and b) capable of being overcome by modifications of existing policy.

Why I think that it is important to discuss the issue is that

a) it is one of the few major areas where the military does not match the civilian populace demographically, and
b) it is a political hot potatoe that is a constant "irritant".

That's just my $0.0194

karaka
10-09-2009, 07:32 PM
I have yet to see a really decent analysis of what the problems would be if there were no barrier to open gays in the military

Did you read the Prakash essay in Joint Force Quarterly that came out earlier this month?


Crux of the issue - what do we gain and / or what do we lose concerning this issue? Is it really a generational issue or are the naysayers being forcefully cut out of the debate?

Seems like 13000 troops (http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=65281) is a pretty big loss, and millions of dollars is nothing to sneeze at either. Quoted from the Prakash essay:


In a report released in February 2005,
the Government Accountability Office
(GAO) estimated the financial impact to be
at least $190.5 million for the previous 10
years of DADT policy. However, a University
of California Blue Ribbon Commission that
included former Secretary of Defense William
Perry questioned the report’s methodology.
The commission faulted the GAO for not
including recruiting and separation costs that
brought the 10-year estimate to $363 million.15
Also worth noting is that these figures do
not account for the additional opportunity
costs of high-profile, prized specialties such as
Arabic speakers.

You can find the Fall JFQ here. (http://www.ndu.edu/inss/Press/jfq_pages/i55.htm)

Schmedlap
10-09-2009, 07:54 PM
It also gives the boot to people who want to serve, and both points suggest that it is a bad policy overall; thus why retain it? As tequila suggests, it plays both sides of inequality and doesn't serve what seems to be the need of retaining personnel who are valuable assets and holding personnel responsible to the commitment they've made to serve.

It gives the boot to people who want to serve on their own terms. Until DADT changes, you are permitted to serve in the military, even if you are a homosexual, so long as you do not "come out of the closet."

As for holding personnel responsible to the commitment they've made - I think one of their commitments is "don't tell."


Same could be said about the integration of the armed forces in the 1950s.

Is that really analogous? We had Buffalo Soldiers and similar units. I'm not aware of a Brokeback Soldiers regiment. This is an individual issue, not a class or ethnic one dealing with desegregation. Homosexuals can already serve in any MOS with all of the opportunities as heterosexuals. That was not the case with American Soldiers who were black prior to integration. DADT is based upon behavior (disclosing one's sexual preference), not characteristics bestowed at birth (skin color, gender).

Either way, I don't see how we can reasonably view this outside of the larger context that the debate is occurring in. This is part of a larger cultural and political fight. The military is being sucked into it. DADT is a battleground in someone else's war. Rather than getting involved in the debate, I think the military should be telling groups on both sides of it, "go find someplace else to fight. We're a little busy."


On a more serious note, this is one particular area where we (Canada) tend to watch the games going on down south with a jaundiced view. Socially, we have moved to pretty much full recognition of a lot of Gay Rights areas - gay marriage being the most obvious (with all of the legal and tax implications).

I suspect the difference is half due to different views of the military and half due to different views of homosexuality.

I have discussions about this stuff with a lot of people who are involved in LBGT legal issues. What I keep telling them is that they're trying push the law forward and drag the people with them. It is much easier to lead the people forward and let the law conform. Forcing social change through legal maneuvers generally doesn't work without some significant fighting to come to a consensus before hand. The Civil War amendments followed a civil war. Full recognition of minority voting rights followed significant social upheaval. The example that I keep pointing them to for a non-violent alternative is the environmental movement. It's been going on for 40 years. Now people embrace it without any coercion or incentive. There is something to be said for patience. But I guess when the law is your only tool, then everything looks like a legal issue.

It may be a generational thing as Marc points out. I don't think the torch has been passed to a generation that is ready for this.

Rex Brynen
10-09-2009, 08:59 PM
It may be a generational thing as Marc points out. I don't think the torch has been passed to a generation that is ready for this.

It certainly has been passed at a national level--polls show around three quarters of all Americans believe that homosexuals should be able to serve in the military even if they openly disclose their sexual orientation (for example, Washington Post/ABC (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/postpoll_071408.html?sid=ST2008071802580) poll, Jull 2008, Q34).

IMHO, it's a human rights issue. "Ready" doesn't enter into it.

Schmedlap
10-09-2009, 09:57 PM
It certainly has been passed at a national level--polls show around three quarters of all Americans believe that homosexuals should be able to serve in the military even if they openly disclose their sexual orientation (for example, Washington Post/ABC (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/postpoll_071408.html?sid=ST2008071802580) poll, Jull 2008, Q34).

I think that's a bit of a non sequitur. I don't think we're ready for world peace, but if I were asked, "do you think there should be world peace?" I'd say yes.

A poll opinion is a snapshot in time of what we think a population thinks about an issue. Let it go open to debate and we'll see how ready people are. There were polls in early 2008 showing that people were ready for a Hillary Clinton presidency.

Same-sex marriage was shot down in California by public referendum after that WashPo poll that you linked was taken - are the two issues that different? Ideals tend to come across nicely in polls. Once they start considering implementation, people start to get trigger shy.


IMHO, it's a human rights issue. "Ready" doesn't enter into it.

I think you've just illustrated my earlier point about how it is viewed differently in Canada...


I suspect the difference is half due to different views of the military and half due to different views of homosexuality.

I don't think it is widely viewed as a human rights issue in the US. I think many in the US, if not most, would view the Canadian concept of human rights (http://www.chrc-ccdp.ca/default-en.ASP) as a bit odd. Americans tend to view them more narrowly - life, freedom, food, shelter, et cetera. Entitlement to a specific line of work with the government? Not so much.

Rex Brynen
10-09-2009, 11:38 PM
Entitlement to a specific line of work with the government? Not so much.

I'm not aware that anyone is argued that homosexuals ought to be entitled to military employment--only that they ought not to be barred from performing it on the grounds of open sexual orientation (any more than they ought to be excluded on the basis of race).

karaka
10-10-2009, 02:32 AM
I don't think it is widely viewed as a human rights issue in the US.

At least 750,000 (http://www.hrc.org/get_involved/membership_center.asp) people disagree with you on that. And what is freedom if not having the right to partner with the person you love rather than hiding it for fear of losing your job? If freedom is a human right, and heterosexuals are free to marry/engage with their consensual partner of choice (and not get fired for it), then the parallel train of logic stands for homosexuals as well.

Upthread, Xenophon argued against the concept of readiness eloquently, so I defer to that post:


That being said, "readiness" is a non-issue. The military wasn't ready for integration of females nor was it ready for racial desegregation. The pressure to change needs to come from outside events/politicians. The President that decides he wants to take the burden of making that change should take a stand and do so, despite the military's protestations.

And SWJED asked,


Is it really a generational issue or are the naysayers being forcefully cut out of the debate?

This data (http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/08/do-you-favor-same-sex-marriage-do-you.html) suggests it trends very much towards being generational.

Schmedlap
10-10-2009, 03:10 AM
It seems like you're starting from the position that the policy should be changed and grasping to defend it, rather than starting from the position of asking, "should it?" and "why?"


At least 750,000 (http://www.hrc.org/get_involved/membership_center.asp) people disagree with you on that.
Wow. 750,000 / 300,000,000 = 0.25% of America


If freedom is a human right, and heterosexuals are free to marry/engage with their consensual partner of choice (and not get fired for it), then the parallel train of logic stands for homosexuals as well.
You're treating "freedom" and "legal protection" as synonyms. Freedom is a lack of constraints, but the actions chosen have consequences. Legal protection affords immunity to certain consequences that policy makers view as beneficial or otherwise worthy of protection. Not being fired from a job is not a freedom. In some instances, there are legal protections. Being fired for disclosing one's homosexuality while serving in the military - that's not one of those instances.


Upthread, Xenophon argued against the concept of readiness eloquently, so I defer to that post:
We're not ready for women in the infantry, either. Does it follow that we should integrate them?


This data (http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/08/do-you-favor-same-sex-marriage-do-you.html) suggests it trends very much towards being generational.
I suspect it's both. Graphs at that link, I suspect, jibe with most people's impressions/experience, so it probably is partly generational. But I also don't see how anyone can deny the political correctness and other social stigma that each side uses to try to silence the other. That, in my opinion, is one reason that the military should resist the changes that either side proposes (go back to pre-DADT or take it to the next step). This is a political/cultural battle that people are trying to fight on the DoD's turf.

yamiyugikun
10-11-2009, 01:59 AM
Hi everyone,

I know there is a similiar thread in this section, but reading this on yahoo news, I found it interesting. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_obama_gays

A study reported on in the L.A. by a UC Santa Barbara think tank said that women are dismissed more from the military than men for being openly gay.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-military-gays9-2009oct09,0,6656168.story

In academia, at least my experience with University of California, gay and lesbian issues aren't just accepted, they are embraced as part of "diversity" just like women's studies, ethnic studies, etc. There are not just gay and lesbian student groups for sexual orientation in general, but LGBT groups (Lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual) student that combine both orientation and ethnic groups (Latino, Asian, Jewish, Caucasian, African American)."

Academia tries hard to be politically correct, or is genuinely progressive, I don't know. I find this issue fascinating in the military because again, its culture is so different from academia. Thoughts? Comments? Opinions?

Naomi

Umar Al-Mokhtār
10-11-2009, 02:33 AM
I do not know which UC campus your experience is with but IMHO if American academia was truly interested in embracing “diversity” there would be ROTC on virtually every campus as well as full administration support for “republican” or “conservative” groups. In my experience the liberalism and diversity of many in academia (as with many liberals) is only liberal and diverse if your world view conforms exactly to theirs.

Why is it on some campuses conservative speakers are not invited to speak, or if they do appear some are barely allowed to speak by those who oddly claim to believe in diversity? Somehow I find preventing an individual from freely voicing an opinion in a classroom or on a campus to be neither a “liberal” attitude nor the promotion of “diversity.”

As to DADT, I personally feel it is a ridiculous policy that actually may be counter productive. Simply allow men and women to serve, the UCMJ has enough archaic clauses governing personal behavior to keep them in line. I am not sure that, even absent DADT, gays would be too “open” about their orientation since, as others can point out, the military tends to lean more towards conservatism.

yamiyugikun
10-11-2009, 03:55 AM
My campus is UCLA. The Bruin Republicans and conservative groups on my campus are small, if non-existant and they keep a low profile if they do exist. I've had a similiar experience in academia with "liberalism" and "diversity" as well. Some liberal professors seem to want their students to conform to them in attitude and agree with them. As an undgrad, I accepted it cause I didn't know any better and thought professors were the smartest people I knew, simply cause they had Ph.ds.

Grad school is better cause you are encouraged to think on your own, develop your own ideas, but still there's that underlying current of "liberalism." I used to like the "diversity" idea but eventually all it comes down to is identity politics, one group focusing on themselves exclusively on victim mentality and hating outsiders, creating further separation. Granted, history is not perfect, society will never be, but hating others for what was done to your group creates more biogtry and hate.

One of the issues I was interested in as an undergrad was feminism. But the feminist campus magazine I read was so hateful instead of empowering women to work together with men, it came off to me as hate.

I agree with you, Moktar, it is hypocritical for a campus to claim they are diverse and not allow conservative speakers to speak. Even though the military leans towards conservatism, there's something about its values and traditions that draws me. I'm coming from an outsiders point of view, but the military seems to have something that was lost from American culture after the civil rights movement.

Schmedlap
10-11-2009, 12:07 PM
In regard to the lesbian issue, here is what I saw in the military. Keep in mind that I was an Infantry Officer, so I never had any women subordinates or in my chain of command.

The female barracks on post was guarded by some women like a jealous, insecure man would guard his hot wife. Some of my Soldiers griped about "not being able to get past the lesbian gatekeepers" when they tried to venture over to the female barracks. They described stereotypical "butch" females as intercepting and confronting them and denying them entry to the female barracks. My reaction was always to ask, "you've got a large city 30 minutes from here - is it too much to drive off post to meet women?" I remember one day, after my Soldiers explained this phenomenon to me, I was on BDE staff duty and saw three of them walking in the direction of the female barracks. "Going to try your luck again?" I asked. "Watch, sir - I guarantee the lesbian gatekeepers cut us off." I watched from afar, and sure enough, out they came. Apparently they would threaten to call the MPs and make accusations that make the endeavor more trouble than it was worth. Anyway...

My CSS Soldiers (NBC, Commo, Supply, and other non-infantry) elaborated on these stories, explaining how things work in the MSB and FSB units. They told tales of certain women being off-limits because it was more trouble than it was worth to contend with their lesbian "handlers." Apparently some of these women were bi-sexual, but were jealousy guarded by the women who were lesbian only. I witnessed this in action one day when my NBC NCO saw an old acquaintance whom he served with in an MSB. He walked over to quickly say hi (innocently) to her and was immediately surrounded by three other women. I didn't realize exactly what was happening, but he looked kind of nervous and then quickly excused himself. After he rejoined me, he said, "did you see those three [lesbians] roll up on me?" and he then explained that they were the girl's "handlers." He explained that these dynamics created a lot of tension in the units and in some cases cliques formed along lines of sexual preference more so than ethnicity or age - so I guess it's good for diversity? It didn't sound like a healthy organization.

Tales like these were common (and many were far more bizarre and too crazy to share in a public forum, imo). I was always surprised at how common lesbians were in the military, in comparison to their numbers outside of the military, so it does not surprise me at all that most of the DADT dischargees were lesbians. My lack of surprise is due to their numbers and for the propensity that I observed for women to avoid deployments for various women's issues (for example, pregnancies spiked when units came down on orders to deploy to combat and even to training centers). Claiming to be a lesbian seems less of a hassle than getting pregnant.

I would add that for every story of Soldiers complaining about lesbians "cockblocking" them, there were 5 or 10 other instances of sordid, inappropriate heterosexual affairs between superiors and subordinates, between married and unmarried (or married and married), and with other people's girlfriends/boyfriends. I cannot imagine how commonplace such affairs would be if we had mixed-gender barracks accommodations. I think the Army has a lot discipline problems that it needs to address before we expand the role of women in our military and before we open up our force to a segment of the population that identifies itself, in large part, by its sexual preferences. Inappropriate sexual relationships are already too common and impact morale of units. At least DADT gives the chain of command something to work with. Remove that, and you'll have Soldiers who serve openly, inevitably encountering problems from their peers, and then running to the JAG demanding EO-type action - another headache for the chain of command. I also suspect you'll have more women getting pregnant to avoid deployments, rather than just claiming/admitting to being a lesbian.

I guess it's not politically correct, but that is the sanitized version of what I observed.

Umar Al-Mokhtār
10-11-2009, 02:18 PM
Naomi, I think “identity politics” is pretty spot on and some people certainly take it way too far and it becomes 'it is all about me and my issues and screw everyone else not like me.'

The military culture may appeal to you because, besides its conservative aspects, it is very structured (but not necessarily Draconian) and there is also a strong sense of service inculcated in most service members and often their families. Despite the general “conservatism” there also seems to me to be a more open-mindedness about things in general, one could say an inquisitiveness, that is not always present in the civilian. Perhaps that is due to the diversity of the military with people coming from a wide range of backgrounds, but there is also the aspect of adaptation in the face of adversity that causes many in the military to consider things from several perspectives.

Not that there are not bigots, racists, and narrow minded people in the ranks, but I think they are often marginalized since their attitude is counter-productive to mission accomplishment.

Schmed, wow that's some very odd stuff and since you gave the PG version I can only imagine. But that's were leadership needs to step in and have a talk with the ladies.

For example, when the three soldiers were confronted you could have wandered over and asked what the problem seemed to be (a legit question since you were the staff duty). If male soldiers are allowed to enter the female barracks then those women had no real right to block that entrance (the Marines had very few women when I was AD and the barracks were strictly off limits to members of the opposite sex. That was changing in my final years as there were male and female “wings” and the restriction thus passed on to the individual rooms themselves).

The NBC NCO should have told the three female soldiers to piss off (assuming they were of junior rank) as he was having a private conversation with a soldier.

Like Naomi mentioned it sounds like a lot of “identity politics” was occurring and it takes action by the leadership to get everyone identifying as soldiers first and foremost. The Marines do a fairly good job at that although I imagine there are similar issues in some units, we are, after all, not quite perfect. :rolleyes:

Your take on the higher levels of female discharges due to being lesbians sounds accurate, plus if they really are gay I don't think the biological mechanics of getting pregnant would be an option for them. :eek:

As for the wide range of “inappropriate sexual relationships” that is one of the by-products occurring when one places males and females together in any situation. Part of the issue is the permissiveness of the society from which we come (not that that's a bad thing) and the solution may lie with the NCO corps. They need to impress on their soldiers why certain behaviors are detrimental to the unit and keep hammering that message home. Having annual or semi-annual EO/Sexual harassment training isn't enough. When the troops bitch and complain about the emphasis (and they will) the NCOs can point out if the #### wouldn't happen we wouldn't need to talk about it so much.

Perhaps in eliminating DADT there could be certain changes in the UCMJ to address certain behaviors, i.e. prohibiting sexual activity of any kind in quarters. Perhaps also a loosening of some of the PC attitudes.

It's a tough issue, but then again that's why you get paid the big bucks. :D

Cavguy
10-11-2009, 02:59 PM
As long as you do your job and aren't creating an indiscipline problem or sexually harassing anyone, I really don't care what you do.

That's my take. I had (suspected) gay soldiers in my company, and most of the unit knew about it. We didn't care because each of them was a solid pro and never gave anyone reason to care.

There is a big generational shift on this as well, younger soldiers are almost completely accepting, given they grew up in an "open" culture regarding homosexuality. Opposition to allowing gays to openly serve seems to increase in lockstep with age.

I was an XO of a mixed male/female AVN BDE HHC, and I had far, far more problems with heterosexuals in those few months than gay incidents in 12 years.

Cavguy
10-11-2009, 03:05 PM
From an email I wrote awhile back:


I have a sense opposition tends to skew by age here. I find far more opposition in the pre-1990s commissioning/entry year groups than those that entered in the army in the 90s and later. Part of this may be because the 90s was the first time where most of us knew "open" homosexuals in schools, workplaces, and colleges. I didn't start at this position. I actually wrote a high-school oped in 1992 arguing against homosexuals being admitted to the military. Becoming friends in college with several open homosexuals changed my opinion. Combat service changed it more. That in and of itself accounts for my change of attitude.

We have existing regulations to handle sexual harassment and sexual assault, regardless of gender. Those would not change.

As a ground combat arms officer, that most soldiers I led in combat just don't give a damn what your sexuality is, only whether you can do your job. The current junior soldier and NCO grew up in a society where the view about homosexuals is considerably different than what was common before. The strongly wager the millenials would be accepting if not supportive of the change. I've never met anyone who joined the army for the reason of being free of homosexuals. I categorically disagree that admitting homosexuality would somehow make the combat arms effiminate. That trades in old stereotypes those of us who have friends that happen to be homosexuals know to be untrue. (Disclosure: my best friend from college "came out" a few years ago, didn't change a thing about how we interact)

People may joke and go on about it, but when rubber meets the road people care about what kind of soldier you are. You can see evidence of this in the number of media reports about semi-open serving homosexuals with the consent of their chain of command. Why lose a good troop? And if I have gay partners in housing w/benefits - so what? Can anyone show me in a statistical/factual way this would be prejudicial to good order and discipline?

Schmedlap
10-11-2009, 03:10 PM
For example, when the three soldiers were confronted you could have wandered over and asked what the problem seemed to be (a legit question since you were the staff duty). If male soldiers are allowed to enter the female barracks then those women had no real right to block that entrance...
True, though I think we both know that would have been a temporary, one-time fix. The problem was not relegated to the barracks - it was pervasive throughout the chain of command and the barracks was a symptom. Plus, if I'm trying to unscrew the logistical abortion that I am handed as an XO, while attempting to prep the unit for an upcoming deployment, then I've got bigger fish to fry than whether my Soldiers can go partake of the on-post meat market. There are other considerations, too, for example the FSB had an extremely high rate of STDs. I was actually reassured to see my Soldiers get turned away from that horror show.


The NBC NCO should have told the three female soldiers to piss off (assuming they were of junior rank) as he was having a private conversation with a soldier.
Agree. Not sure what their rank was. I was just providing an example of the what appeared to be commonplace behavior.

Leaders certainly do need to fix these things. My point was that they should be fixed before we undertake further social experiments. Is adjusting DADT really important, given that we've got two wars going on? As noted on the other thread, this is a political and cultural battle being fought on the military's turf. We already risk being sucked too far into politics in light of the recent squabbling over the assessment in Afghanistan and apparent disagreements between McChyrstal and Biden. We don't need this.


Perhaps in eliminating DADT there could be certain changes in the UCMJ to address certain behaviors, i.e. prohibiting sexual activity of any kind in quarters.
That sounds like a pretty mixed signal to me. On the one hand, we will allow individuals to serve even after disclosing that they are homosexuals - so you can be gay and live in the barracks with other gay men. On the other hand, we will prohibit certain sexual activity, but Soldiers will have no reasonable expectation of those prohibitions being enforced because the existing prohibitions are violated as thoughtlessly and as often as people violate speed limits. In other words - keep doing what you're doing and do these other things, too. I say fix the discipline problems first and then explore policy changes. Or adjust policy to help fix the discipline problems. But don't ignore the discipline problems and then complicate the situation further. I think making new policies that nobody expects to be enforced and making the environment more permissive is equivalent to ignoring the problem and creating conditions that make it worse.

Schmedlap
10-11-2009, 03:11 PM
As long as you do your job and aren't creating an indiscipline problem or sexually harassing anyone, I really don't care what you do.
...
I had far, far more problems with heterosexuals in those few months than gay incidents in 12 years.
Agree

Entropy
10-11-2009, 04:16 PM
My thoughts on this topic pretty much mirror Cavguy's.

Anecdotally, I've seen/known of twice the number of lesbians in the service than gay men. Of the two incidents I know of where people were busted (caught in the act, so to speak), both were Lesbians. One was particularly bad in that an E-3 was caught with the ships' supply officer, an O-4, in the officer's stateroom, on deployment.

Ken White
10-11-2009, 04:24 PM
I was an XO of a mixed male/female AVN BDE HHC, and I had far, far more problems with heterosexuals in those few months than gay incidents in 12 years.it really is true the best place to hide things from an Aviator is under the soap? :D

Umar Al-Mokhtār
10-11-2009, 06:41 PM
A one time fix perhaps, but if done often enough the message might sink in. The key of course is how often will be enough and it adds more time to an already full day.

Agree the Army (and other services) are not always great places to practice social engineering particularly when engaged in war on two fronts. Yet as Cavguy said much of the resistance to gays serving seems to be generational. I still feel that not many would be “open” about their orientation, without DADT they just wouldn't have to deal with hiding it off duty.

The problems in the higher chain of command need to be fixed in the same way, it's just a different dynamic for officers as not as many live in barracks.

My point on the UCMJ is that it would first need a bit of a revamp (like eliminating the article prohibiting sodomy, which covers all other sexual acts outside of standard male/female intercourse, which is way outdated) so that it prohibits not the type of sexual activity but the time and place where it is prejudicial to good order and discipline. I'm no Puritan, and have nothing against men having sex with men, but if they are doing it my barracks area, work area, or military vehicles, then I do because it impacts others who shouldn't have to be exposed to anyone's proclivities. Goes the same for male/female and female/female as well as a host of other activities (e.g. proselytizing). There is a time and place for all activities and sometimes people just need to keep their libidos in check until they can find that time and place. I know that can be hard on occasion but so be it.

I would like to see DADT eventually go away since I have friends and relatives who are gay and do serve and they have expressed some angst about having to live a lie and watch their back when they are off base. The adage when I was on AD was that you spend 90% of your time dealing with the f*d-up 10%.

The big difference is you have to currently deal with all those various permutations of raging hormones whereas I can now sit back, out of the fray, and take pot shots. :D

yamiyugikun
10-12-2009, 02:32 AM
Very interesting about attitudes towards sexual orientation varying along age and generation. What happens in the barracks with sexual activity sounds very similiar to college dorms. There was a rule passed recently at the University of Bostom that roommates can't have their boyfriend/girlfriend spend the night in the room with the roommate present. Of course it also ruled out sleeping together in the same bed with clothes on and not doing anything. Its common to have stories where one roommate falls asleep, the other brings in his/her guy/girlfriend and they get it on and wake the roommate who was asleep up. Happened in my undergrad when my roommate thought I was asleep, it was bad manners! Plain and simple. So I learned to tell roommates that if they ever want the room during some alone time with the boy/girlfriend, I will stay out and respectfully give privacy.

Schemlep, are men allowed to visit women's barracks just to drop by and say hi casually? In the scenerio you described, it didn't sound like the guys were causing "harm." The article in the LA times about lesbians getting discharged made it sound like men were sexually harrassing iwomen who refused their advances, then the harrasing men got angry saying the women were lesbians so they got discharged for DADT. That article put all the blame on the guys.

I had no idea how aggressive and territorial the lesbian "gatekeepers" were in blocking the guys:D. I'm also surprised by the high number of lesbians in the military too. I remember watching Gen. Pace's testimony about how important morality was to him, about officer's not sleeping with other officer's wives. Makes sense after learning what you shared about the 5-10 incidents of other sexual activity going on between heterosexuals married/non married.

How would the army fix its disipline problems? As an outsider most of the problems I hear about in the military has to do with wounded warriors, tramatic brain injury and POST on military personnel and families, at least that is what the DoD media shares.

Most lesbians/gay students I've encountered in academia seem the opposite of the type described guarding the barracks. They are like any other student group, but tend to be "politically" progressive by liberal academia's definition. Maybe the military setting just brings out that aggressive side:eek:

Naomi

Schmedlap
10-12-2009, 03:23 AM
Schemlep, are men allowed to visit women's barracks just to drop by and say hi casually?
As far as I know, yes.


The article in the LA times about lesbians getting discharged made it sound like men were sexually harrassing iwomen who refused their advances, then the harrasing men got angry saying the women were lesbians so they got discharged for DADT. That article put all the blame on the guys.
I suppose that anything is possible, but that sounds made up. If it really happened, then it has got to be extremely rare. It just sounds absurd.


Most lesbians/gay students I've encountered in academia seem the opposite of the type described guarding the barracks. They are like any other student group, but tend to be "politically" progressive by liberal academia's definition. Maybe the military setting just brings out that aggressive side:eek:
Or maybe the aggressive ones join the military.

Umar Al-Mokhtār
10-12-2009, 02:26 PM
it was bad manners! Plain and simple. So I learned to tell roommates that if they ever want the room during some alone time with the boy/girlfriend, I will stay out and respectfully give privacy.

Bad manners seems to be the norm these days, to me it shows a complete lack of respect for others who must share the same space. :cool:


The article in the LA times about lesbians getting discharged made it sound like men were sexually harrassing iwomen who refused their advances, then the harrasing men got angry saying the women were lesbians so they got discharged for DADT. That article put all the blame on the guys.

I agree with Schmedlap that this sounds contrived. The way DADT and the UCMJ works is that even if the men made the accusation it would still have to be proven. As noted in previous posts the higher ratio of women being discharged for being lesbians perhaps is due to it being easier to get the discharge that way then through pregnancy or other reasons. By claiming to be a lesbian the woman can receive her discharge, not have a child on the way, and in many areas there is no stigma attached to being a lesbian (there are males who are disgusted by gay men but see no issue with lesbians).

The Times article says “some women who served in the military said the gap could also be a result of "lesbian-baiting" rumors and investigations that arise when women rebuff sexual overtures from male colleagues.” If the men were sexually harassing the women for refusing advances it could be the men who are more in jeopardy of disciplinary action in the form of EO complaints.

While there may certainly be some incidents of 'lesbian baiting' I still feel that the disparity in discharges results more from self-admittance in order to get the discharge (vice pregnancy). I wouldn't be surprised if some of the 'lesbian baiting' and 'sexual harassment' aspects were actually cover stories. Since the discharge may be “other than honorable” the women would have to explain to employers why they were discharged in that manner. Rather than admit to being a lesbian (they may in fact not be gay) a woman could just as easily attribute their discharge to males harassing them and accusing them of being gay, so they were unfairly persecuted and discharged. Most employers, not being familiar with military jurisprudence, probably would take the woman's word for it. Sort of a win – win for the woman.

gute
10-14-2010, 04:31 PM
What to do with DADT. I know what views on this are and I know how people would have responded to lifting DADT in the late 80's - mid 90's Marine Corps, but how about now?

I asked a guy at work who served in the Marine Corps in the last few years how he and the other guys viewed DADT. He said that they believed their was a guy in their weapons company who they all thought was gay - so if he would come out, it would be no big suprise. What about those who will come out that WILL be a suprise - could that not harm morale or it will be so few it will not make a difference?

Also, IMO, lifting DADT will allow those passed over for promotion, etc to use being gay as an excuse, but I guess it would be no different then using race or religion as an excuse.

I say let all service members vote on this. Easy vote. Yes for DADT, No for DADT. What the sevice members decide is the way it will be.

Is DADT all about nothing or should we keep this in place?

All I know is it upsets my universe - kind of like girls playing organized football or wrestling. Some things are just not right. But, I guess if it does not harm me then why should I care - right? I just think this will turn into a cluster.

tequila
10-14-2010, 05:14 PM
I say let all service members vote on this. Easy vote. Yes for DADT, No for DADT. What the sevice members decide is the way it will be.

Like it or not, the Constitution says that Congress sets policies for the military, not democratic votes by military members. Article I, Section 8:

"The Congress shall have Power ... To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces"

USMC-03
10-14-2010, 06:22 PM
The problem though is that to this point Congress has made no law changing DADT. This recent termination of DADT is by order of a federal judge who is in effect legislating from the bench. The last time I checked the judicial branch had no power to pass laws or make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces. It's really a breach of the separation of powers as set up by the Constitution.

gute
10-14-2010, 06:28 PM
Like it or not, the Constitution says that Congress sets policies for the military, not democratic votes by military members. Article I, Section 8:

"The Congress shall have Power ... To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces"

I know what the Constitution says - I was trying to be practical.

DragonsBane
11-13-2010, 01:13 AM
The resistance against Gay service men and women comes from an abhorrence of their sexual practices or from a banning under the authority of religious texts. Gay personnel serve their country and lay down their lives for the survival of their country, they therefore deserve maximum consideration.

The Religious objection:
For those who serve, whose religion is one of their main drives and whose religion bans homosexuality, not much can be done about making concessions to their colleagues who may be homosexual. It could be pointed out from the scholar's perspective, that scriptures were written in ancient times under ancient standards which make no allowance for modern life or modern medicine. Nowadays, in general, the Churches are trying to be considerate and loving to one another, not like the old days when they were the driving force to slaughter each other, including children and including tortures that are banned today by all civil governments and peoples. Under this modern ethical principle, an allowance can be made for homosexuals to be tolerated or befriended as they would be as practitioners of another religion. All civil religions disagree on many points of belief, but agree on the one overriding principle of being friendly to neighbors who are different from you.

The Sexual Objection:
Sexual practices vary widely, not only between different cultures, but also within them. The overriding principles are that sex must be between consenting adults (not children), and that no real harm must be done to a partner. So an accepted spank might be OK, but not a bashing with physical damage.

Also hygiene is very important as the health of a partner (indeed the whole community) depends on this. HIV and hepatitis for instance are rampant and must be completely contained. HIV being transmitted of course not only by some male homosexual (or heterosexual) practices, such as unsafe sex with anal intercourse. I understand that HIV first spread by eating infected monkeys or apes (who had at least partial immunity). So there are many medical safety procedures to be followed: No eating infected flesh (there is also mad cows' disease); no sharing of drug needles; checking donated blood; no unprotected anal intercourse (also no aspirin to those foolish enough to practice that unprotected practice); no unsafe sex (especially amongst naive minors) for adults unless cleared by medical checkup and fidelity; and no administering of First Aid without gloves (if possible). Condoms, like gloves, are not perfect, but can save many lives, lives shortened or lives diseased and miserable. In regard to Personal Defensive Tactics, for law enforcement, security officers, military combatants and self defense: Beware of the infection dangers of biting (both giving and receiving); same dangers in striking the teeth with fist or a headbutt (avoid).

Sexual Approaches:
Sex is (normally) a deepest form of intimacy, of touching body and soul. If abused it is criminal and the damage can be to the body -- which may be temporary; or to the mind -- which may be permanent. So long as homosexuals do not abuse each other, have consent and hygiene, there should be not much to be concerned about. However, the abhorrence that quite a few heterosexuals feel about homosexual practices may be irritated by their Fear that a homosexual will approach them with an offer to engage in a homosexual act. Thus results a confrontation of personal intimate choices.

Homosexual personal controls extend from not damaging each other, to also not imposing themselves on heterosexual persons, as that can result in conflict and aggression. For that to work in practice, I would say that it would be helpful if homosexual military personal (for instance) had some means of identifying others of like kind that was definite and without misinterpretation, possibly visual. I don't mean wear a pink armband, but perhaps homosexuals could themselves consider the matter and come up with some suitable, maybe subtle, agreed sign, especially when the peaceful cohesiveness of a combat group may be at stake. Basically, what needs to be got around, is the aversion of heterosexuals to being approached by homosexuals in a homosexual way: as they take it as a challenge to the 'normality' of their own sexuality (which maybe it is). Some (maybe many) persons are bi-sexual or are uncertain of their sexuality and cannot handle it being put to the test. Some persons are afraid of sex (of any kind) as they are, when in the act, vulnerable and afraid of being abused, hurt or dominated by another stronger personality. It is not unheard of; and sexual abuse is a vital part of many of the tragedies of human relationships. Sex can be pleasant of course, but it is also a touchy vulnerability communication issue and practical processes need to be put in place to protect the varying and volatile sensitivities of people. Where there is not even physical but there is mentally perceived violating, violent reactions ensue.

120mm
11-13-2010, 02:37 AM
I think your view of religion is just a little whacked, by the pop-culture tendency to demonify historic religion. There is also a "chicken and egg" scenario as to whether religion caused historic abuses, or people who would've abused power anyway use religion as an excuse, or religion is applied as an excuse by whack-job modern historians, such as the recent "Hitler was a Christian" spew.

As for the rest of your post? Here's one: The military is not a freaking pick up bar. If your sexuality, sexual orientation or partner choice becomes an issue during uniformed service, you get the opportunity to go earn a living somewhere else. With a Bad Conduct Discharge accompanied by confinement, if necessary.

That's all I got. Tired of "activists" who see the military as an "opportunity" for social activism.

Also tired of the knuckle-dragging haters of whatever breed.

LegalBud
11-13-2010, 03:17 AM
I take issue with your contention that there are those in the military who can righteously object to homosexuality. All to often, the homophobes are nominally religious and their religious objections are based in ignorance and hypocrisy. Having been raised in a fundamentalist, evangelical home, I can state with complete certainty that the Bible (and the Torah and Koran) forbid Adultery, Fornication, Alcholism, Gambling, Cursing, and even Prostitution there are also a fair number who would like to say that smoking is also a sin. You will find a plethora of the above listed vices in the military services. Indeed, with male homophobes, you will often find acceptance of lesbianism (so long as they are young and hot and on video tape), but not male homosexuality. This is all to say, these homophobes are using religion as a crutch for their own petty small mindedness; that we are willing to enshrine it in public policy is a tremendous disgrace. The number of servicemembers who are truly virtuous and follow the Bible strictly is likely less than 1%.

As for your argument about sexual objection, like I said there seems to be no problem with Fornication, Adultery, or Prostitution. "Wrap it up" is sage advice for both gay and straight. The service isn't a pick-up joint, but it seems that many heterosexuals treat it as such, and if you like, I recommend you review the numbers of female servicemembers who are married to a fellow servicemember. The numbers are something like 40-50%.

Finally, as a straight man who was required to conduct two DADT investigations while stationed aboard USS Last Ship, I have to say my greatest problem with DADT after the hypocrisy and fairness issues, is that DADT essentially confers special rights upon gays and lesbians in the service. I investigated a minor sexual assault, something that could have gone to Captain's Mast and resulted in a bust, restriction, etc. But, since it was a potential DADT and the result could be Admin Sep, I had to ensure the servicemember understood the entire DoD DADT policy, and then ask questions.

DADT is stupid, and it's continued maintenance by old white men is an absolute tragedy.

CloseDanger
11-13-2010, 05:01 AM
Why is this so imperative to swing around while we are in 3 wars?

What is so hard about keeping your bedroom in your bedroom?
If there is no issue, do not make it one. The Military is NOT a social experiment. Most men do not care who is gay. I do not see who would want to openly advertise that.

As with all things, keep everything in your pants in your unit, and invite them not to your bedroom. And there is enough legal issues to tend with in these wars already.

Could we kill this dead horse already and let our Soldiers go about their business without more idiot briefings?
People are trying to kill US.

Keep your sex where it belongs - that means it is no ones business but yours.

May we attend to war now?

subrosa
11-13-2010, 05:14 AM
i loooove men...but its too tempting to be together. so if i was a gay person and in the same unit it would be too much.

Tukhachevskii
11-13-2010, 01:07 PM
i loooove men...but its too tempting to be together. so if i was a gay person and in the same unit it would be too much.

You could always re-create "Sacred Bands" (http://www.sacredband.com/Thebes);)

subrosa
11-13-2010, 04:07 PM
The Sacred Band of Thebes was made up of one hundred and fifty male couples, the rationale being that lovers could fight more fiercely and cohesively than strangers with no ardent bonds.

how sexy! this may actually work out for the best!

120mm
11-14-2010, 11:21 AM
Why is this so imperative to swing around while we are in 3 wars?

What is so hard about keeping your bedroom in your bedroom?
If there is no issue, do not make it one. The Military is NOT a social experiment. Most men do not care who is gay. I do not see who would want to openly advertise that.

As with all things, keep everything in your pants in your unit, and invite them not to your bedroom. And there is enough legal issues to tend with in these wars already.

Could we kill this dead horse already and let our Soldiers go about their business without more idiot briefings?
People are trying to kill US.

Keep your sex where it belongs - that means it is no ones business but yours.

May we attend to war now?

The answer to that is easy. A certain portion of the counter-culture is there in order to revel in the attention they get through their freakazoid behavior. It's not about sexuality, it's about being an attention-wh*re.

And while there is a war going on, they feel the need to meddle and draw attention. Some, but not all of the gay community participate in homosexuality because the behavior is "extreme." And if gay behavior was mainstream, they'd be diddling little kids. And if diddling little kids was mainstream, they'd be boinking farm animals. And if farm animals was mainstream, they'd be doing dead bodies. Etc., etc...

So, again, it goes back to my main point. Anyone who allows their behavior, straight or gay, or even non-sexual, to interfere with good order and discipline, needs to find other work.

Rifleman
11-14-2010, 02:46 PM
how sexy! this may actually work out for the best!

Go back to reading about war and peace, dancing, and fooling around in the kitchen. :(

I'm sure it's what you do best. :rolleyes:

Uboat509
11-15-2010, 07:50 PM
DADT is stupid, and it's continued maintenance by old white men is an absolute tragedy.

And with that, anything that you said that might have been worthwhile will be ignored. Old white men? Really? Are they the only ones that are in favor of DADT?

J Wolfsberger
11-15-2010, 09:28 PM
Tired of "activists" who see the military as an "opportunity" for social activism.

Also tired of the knuckle-dragging haters of whatever breed.

Amen.


I don't care about the melanin content of someones skin.
I don't care about where they worship, what day they worship, or even if they worship.
I don't care if their biological plumbing is internal or external.
I don't care about what their milk language was, or what language their parents spoke, or their grandparents, as long as they pass the security check.
I don't care, and don't particularly want to know, what they do in the bedroom, or whom they're doing it with, as long as everyone is consenting and of age.


I do care about getting the mission accomplished or getting the job done. The controversy over DADT is a needless distraction from that, promoted for purposes having nothing to do with military readiness (see point 5).

G Martin
11-20-2010, 10:28 AM
Banning gays from the military doesn't only have to be about religious reasons or an aversion to their sexual conduct. As the military requires a measure of conformity and thus the recognition of "norms"- openly serving homosexuals in many instances would elevate an individual above the organization and force the organization to tolerate, accept, or ignore behavior and/or lifestyles that are still outside of what is considered normal- both within U.S. society, world opinion, and within military culture.

Whether or not a military institution should be that insular and uniform is another subject, but suffice it to say that most professional armies today- and in known history- took on a certain culture of their own which helped to overcome the natural tendency of the individual to run and hide or attack (fight or flight response). This allowed a level of discipline that could be very lethal under the right conditions (usually mainly leadership). Upsetting this culture could be detrimental in many instances. Since combat is all about dealing death- most people in positions of leadership have been wary to force changes that could lead to casualties and/or loss of capability.

So, in short- the thought is that a small group of humans given a mission that chances death, requires a high degree of trust in a short amount of time in order to have the greatest chance of success. The easiest way to build trust is through shared experiences and hardship. If this group starts out with a shared understanding of priorities and purpose- then they can "gell" even faster. Shared norms and culture are a part of this understanding. The more differences these groups have to overcome to arrive at a shared level of understanding, the harder and longer it takes to build trust. Sure, one combat action may overcome all of that- but who wants to take the chance it doesn't, or that many die trying to get there- possibly due to the lack of a common shared beginning?

Talking to our allies' officers, I have found a few curious comments that seem to be pretty uniform:

1) Most gays don't come out even when the policies are changed due to the stigma in the society that still exists regardless of the military's policy and because in combat units at the small-unit level- conformity is the strongest influence on all members.

2) They have a huge problem with "predatory lesbians", although you'd never hear that due to it being politically-incorrect to do so. Suffice it to say that many young females who fall under higher-ranking, usually NCO, lesbians, are coerced to have relationships with other women. Even though this is against the policy of these armies no matter the sexual persuasion of the offender- because it has to do with women and homosexuals, it is a more difficult issue, especially when men in authority have to deal with it. The one solution I have heard a lot is that they bring in outside women officers to break the behavior up/do investigations.

So, in conclusion, I think any issue which could potentially affect the military's raison d'ętre- to defend the nation's interests- no matter how unfair it may seem to some- should be looked at very carefully and those in positions of influence should favor the side of caution, since lives are on the line.

Tukhachevskii
11-20-2010, 12:51 PM
Banning gays from the military doesn't only have to be about religious reasons or an aversion to their sexual conduct. As the military requires a measure of conformity and thus the recognition of "norms"- openly serving homosexuals in many instances would elevate an individual above the organization and force the organization to tolerate, accept, or ignore behavior and/or lifestyles that are still outside of what is considered normal- both within U.S. society, world opinion, and within military culture.

Whether or not a military institution should be that insular and uniform is another subject, but suffice it to say that most professional armies today- and in known history- took on a certain culture of their own which helped to overcome the natural tendency of the individual to run and hide or attack (fight or flight response). This allowed a level of discipline that could be very lethal under the right conditions (usually mainly leadership). Upsetting this culture could be detrimental in many instances. Since combat is all about dealing death- most people in positions of leadership have been wary to force changes that could lead to casualties and/or loss of capability.

So, in short- the thought is that a small group of humans given a mission that chances death, requires a high degree of trust in a short amount of time in order to have the greatest chance of success. The easiest way to build trust is through shared experiences and hardship. If this group starts out with a shared understanding of priorities and purpose- then they can "gell" even faster. Shared norms and culture are a part of this understanding. The more differences these groups have to overcome to arrive at a shared level of understanding, the harder and longer it takes to build trust. Sure, one combat action may overcome all of that- but who wants to take the chance it doesn't, or that many die trying to get there- possibly due to the lack of a common shared beginning?

Talking to our allies' officers, I have found a few curious comments that seem to be pretty uniform:

1) Most gays don't come out even when the policies are changed due to the stigma in the society that still exists regardless of the military's policy and because in combat units at the small-unit level- conformity is the strongest influence on all members.

2) They have a huge problem with "predatory lesbians", although you'd never hear that due to it being politically-incorrect to do so. Suffice it to say that many young females who fall under higher-ranking, usually NCO, lesbians, are coerced to have relationships with other women. Even though this is against the policy of these armies no matter the sexual persuasion of the offender- because it has to do with women and homosexuals, it is a more difficult issue, especially when men in authority have to deal with it. The one solution I have heard a lot is that they bring in outside women officers to break the behavior up/do investigations.

So, in conclusion, I think any issue which could potentially affect the military's raison d'ętre- to defend the nation's interests- no matter how unfair it may seem to some- should be looked at very carefully and those in positions of influence should favor the side of caution, since lives are on the line.

Excellent comments. I think the same could be said for allowing "religious/ ethnic " groups their own ceremonies, rites, customs and culture as a subset of the Military Profession.

stanleywinthrop
12-02-2010, 05:36 PM
but I've got to say it anyway: who thinks that the day the law changes Mike Mullen will be out of the closet?

Deus Ex
12-19-2010, 02:24 AM
I was shocked to log on and see no mention of the repeal of DADT. So here's the forum to discuss it.

120mm
12-19-2010, 03:16 AM
I was shocked to log on and see no mention of the repeal of DADT. So here's the forum to discuss it.

It's been discussed before. Personally, I think most forum members do not care, or consider it external to "Small Wars".

Thalatta
12-19-2010, 05:27 AM
As an avid reader for several years, but what the internet would probably refer to as a 'lurker' the appearance of a post by 120mm (now amended) spurred me to become what you refer to as a one post wonder.

Moderator adds:There were further comments on ROE and these no longer apply as a Moderator has intervened.

Rex Brynen
12-19-2010, 05:44 AM
120mm: I certainly have gay friends currently serving in the US military who do care, not to mention those who may think that there may be social issues whose importance rather trumps military considerations.

Deus Ex: There was no need to express your "shock," with all the implied criticism embedded in that term. You simply had to find one of the many threads in which DADT is discussed, and update it with some thoughtful comments on repeal. It is rather pointless starting a thread without actually saying anything.

Stan
12-19-2010, 07:00 AM
...but apparently somebody needs to establish some ROE.

The least you could do was politely explain why this is irrelevant...

Thalatta, Welcome aboard !

I won't apologize for 120's comments as I know him to be a rather direct individual and very professional in whatever he does. Some of us take our Council very seriously which often means letting 120 out of his cage for clean up ops :eek:

As an avid reader for several years you would have noticed that we do have ROE (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/faq.php?faq=small_wars_council_faq#faq_forums) where, among other things, first time posters normally provide a courteous introduction (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/forumdisplay.php?f=33) so the rest of us know where you're coming from. As Rex pointed out, an avid reader would have noted, there are already several DADT threads (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/search.php?searchid=2957551) where Deus Ex's rather empty comments would have appropriately been posted.

Inevitably a moderator will see this thread and, in addition to cleaning it up will move or delete Deus Ex's post along with mine :D Moderator action taken - you may notice!

I look forward to your introductions.

Regards, Stan

davidbfpo
12-19-2010, 12:26 PM
Stan, 120mm and others,

Point A

I have emerged five threads on this topic into one, with a slightly amended title and you can see there has been a long running discussion on the topic. (I simply searched on DADT, so there maybe other threads).

Point B

Meantime, new members are not required to post an introduction, as the joining instructions make clear; yes, a few words are appreciated and welcomed by many IMHO. Members choose whether to introduce themselves.

Bob's World
12-19-2010, 02:08 PM
What I find most interesting about the entire "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" debate is that it focuses entirely on issue of homosexuals right to serve in the military, and the impact of having homosexuals serving openly in the military.

Those of us who have spent long years in the military all have known and worked with dozens of relatively openly homosexual service members throughout our careers. While it makes some uncomfortable and leads to some distasteful commentary, from insults to humor, it really seems like much of a non-issue by in large.

What has not been discussed at all though is the much larger issue of homosexual acts rather than homosexual orientation. Prisons are full of straight men and women, who for lack of any other option, participate willingly in homosexual acts. They rationalize it as just one more hard compromise they have to make based upon their circumstances.

A Marine friend of mine, who is famous for his candor and rough humor (you gotta love the military for this unique aspect of the community, the last refuge where PC is held somewhat at bay), would say "It's not gay if your underway!" As a winter ranger we would huddle spooning and shivering under shared ponchos and poncho liners in desperate attempts to stay warm enough to catch a couple hours of sleep and joke "No queers on a cold night!" Such rough, ironic barracks humor is about to become a barracks reality.

The fact is that we put our service members in situations very similar to the ones we put our convicted felons in. Over the past couple of generations we have stripped away the access to local women, cheap booze, and even pornography in the pursuit of zero defects under the guise of puritanical righteousness.

While certainly homosexual acts between straight service members occurred throughout the history of the military, for the U.S. military the tool employed to contain and mitigate the widespread incidence of such acts was first the ban on homosexuals altogether, followed by "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Now that constraint will be lifted. Will DoD expand their puritanical controls to greater regulation sexual activity between consenting adults? Or will the U.S. military devolve into a culture where senior leaders have "Chai boys" and every squad has a "squad boy"?

I really don't know, and I'm not judging. I just find it interesting that while everyone was agonizing over the civil rights of homosexuals and the potential impact of openly serving homosexuals on unit morale, no one bothered to talk about what I see as a much larger issues of the "prison sex" syndrome. The greater incidence of such acts is inevitable. There will likely be a rise of same-sex abuse of rank and power for sex in exchange for privileges and favors as well.

We're entering a new era, and no one is talking about the most critical aspect of that era.

slapout9
12-19-2010, 05:09 PM
I really don't know, and I'm not judging. I just find it interesting that while everyone was agonizing over the civil rights of homosexuals and the potential impact of openly serving homosexuals on unit morale, no one bothered to talk about what I see as a much larger issues of the "prison sex" syndrome. The greater incidence of such acts is inevitable. There will likely be a rise of same-sex abuse of rank and power for sex in exchange for privileges and favors as well.



Yep, that will be a really,really big issue IMO unless it is covered up. I said it before the Combatives manual is nothing but a Gay Prison Sex manual:eek: There are some very disturbing seens in the movie Restrapo that hint at such behvior. If they legalize Gay stuff then why not provide Prostitution battalions for the rest of the troops.

tequila
12-19-2010, 05:23 PM
The fact is that we put our service members in situations very similar to the ones we put our convicted felons in. Over the past couple of generations we have stripped away the access to local women, cheap booze, and even pornography in the pursuit of zero defects under the guise of puritanical righteousness.


I couldn't disagree more.

Being on deployment doesn't compare to being in prison. Strangely enough, men can go eight months or more without having sex. Most of us lower enlisted tend to overcompensate a bit on this score when we get home, but it's not really that unendurable. Unlike prison, we are not trapped in restrictive circumstances for years at a time, and unlike prison we are volunteers who, generally, have a degree of discipline and professionalism that separates us from most of the civilian population.

Oh, and if you really believe that the troops lack for porn on deployment or anywhere else, you really are out of touch.


There are some very disturbing seens in the movie Restrapo that hint at such behvior. If they legalize Gay stuff then why not provide Prostitution battalions for the rest of the troops.

Eh, what?

slapout9
12-19-2010, 06:01 PM
Eh, what?


It's discrimination. If DOD is going to facilitate gay sex then they should facilitate regular sex to.

selil
12-19-2010, 06:16 PM
Hmm. I doubt most of you have actually been in a state prison, though some may have spent some time in a county or city jail :) There are good stories waiting much beer about both systems, but instead of some form of caged heat, your are much more likely to find convicted murders playing chess with the CO's.

Y'all got to remember EVERYTHING is monitored inside a modern correctional facility.

So, not to put to fine a point on the topic most state prisons have some mechanism for felons to visit family members "Rocking the trailers" comes to mind.

Rampant social puritanism (no sex anywhere or any form) and cultural constructivism (no beer in Muslim countries) seem to be forms of control that rarely have anything to do with war fighting. We will kill your families, bomb your homes, destroy your country, but heck no we won't offend you by drinking beer in country. From this side of the civilian pond it seems absurd.

slapout9
12-19-2010, 06:28 PM
We will kill your families, bomb your homes, destroy your country, but heck no we won't offend you by drinking beer in country. From this side of the civilian pond it seems absurd.

Quote of the week Apocalypse now type stuff!

Deus Ex
12-19-2010, 06:39 PM
120mm: I certainly have gay friends currently serving in the US military who do care, not to mention those who may think that there may be social issues whose importance rather trumps military considerations.

Deus Ex: There was no need to express your "shock," with all the implied criticism embedded in that term. You simply had to find one of the many threads in which DADT is discussed, and update it with some thoughtful comments on repeal. It is rather pointless starting a thread without actually saying anything.

120mm*, your initial response (not seen here because you edited it) was quite condescending. You seemed to be accusing me of creating the thread (even though I have been a reader here for years) merely in order to spark controversy, and you also seemed to assume that I held a position against the repeal of DADT. Two equally bold and unfounded claims. This is a landmark decision that could have quite a changing effect upon civilian society in the decades to come.

I didn't initially add commentary because of two reasons: first, I would have liked to see a few of the responses, and second, just when I posted the thread I had real life obligations arise that didn't give me time to expand upon my thoughts. I felt, wrongly, given the moderator decision to merge threads, that prior speculation and the actual inclusion of gays were two quite different things. My mistake.

Now that I have the time, there are only two potential problems I see with openly gay people serving (which I support).

First, the vernacular of soldiers. Having experienced the common vernacular of officers, lower enlisted, and NCOs (drill sergeants especially), nearly every soldier says "gay" and "fag/faggot." I know very well educated people who stupidly employ "gay" and "fag" towards things with no relation to homosexuality. "Gay" is used very differently from its primary meaning, and now generally means "stupid", "weak", or "not cool." You older folks may not have your ears to the ground as much, but go to any high school, any college, any unit, and people regularly call things "gay." Guys and girls jokingly call their buddies "fags", or when arguing, call their opponents "faggots" with some flowery language generally attached. The biggest initial problem will be for officers and senior NCOs to not only completely clear their own lexicons of such words, but to stop their soldiers from doing so as well. I honestly feel that in the first few years there will be a metric sh*t ton of EO violations (reported or unreported). Just like one would not be able to describe something as "that's so Mexican/kikey/spicish", our military will have to wholly stop using "gay" as a pejorative. And now we get to all look forward to yet another briefing, in addition to suicide, racism, sexism, we now will get one for gay people. Super! This could potentially be the catalyst that results in civilian society no longer using "gay" or "fag" in such a wide variety of situations with zero relation to homosexuality. In two decades, I wouldn't be surprised if "gay," the most commonly used (intended) insult in America, was used far more rarely and less publicly.

The following thought will have to be taken with a grain of salt, as I am only an Army ROTC cadet at the moment whose only real military experience was training with an infantry unit, LTC, and my closest friends all being enlisted personnel. With that caveat said, the only other potential problem I could envision with the repeal of DADT is within combat units. From the literature I have read on the subject of infantrymen in prolonged periods of combat, two or more lovers in combat together seems like a recipe for flawed decision making. It has nothing to do with homosexuality, as I would say the same for men and women subjected to such a situation in Armor and Infantry. However, women are not able to be in either of those branches so the point is void.

carl
12-19-2010, 06:47 PM
I just spent the last 20 minutes skimming this thread and could find only one brief allusion to the history that prompted restrictions in the first place. That was by Bob's World. The history that prompted the restrictions is something that should be considered. I don't know what it is but the rules came from somewhere and were created for some reason.

I don't think using prisoner culture is useful. There is nothing normal about a prison culture, especially the inmates. If they were normal they wouldn't be in there.

slapout9
12-19-2010, 07:08 PM
I don't think using prisoner culture is useful. There is nothing normal about a prison culture, especially the inmates. If they were normal they wouldn't be in there.

I know a lot of prisoners/criminals that would argue that point:D

carl
12-19-2010, 07:21 PM
Slap: I've heard those arguments. Some of them would insist on making them right up until the time I said goodbye after dropping them off at the county jail.

motorfirebox
12-19-2010, 08:17 PM
It is worth pointing out that DADT itself can have a negative impact on soldier performance and unit cohesion, by forcing gay and bisexual soldiers to choose between integrity and service. Like it or not, relationships are a large part of peoples' lives--soldiers' lives--and like it or not, the military does recognize and account for this fact in its dealings with soldiers. A straight soldier who is having relationship issues has many avenues within the military to seek assistance or just let off steam. He can bitch about his problems to his buddies, he can talk to his chain of support, he can get legal assistance, he can get advice from the chaplain. A gay or bisexual soldier has access to none of these sources of support if he or she is having problems. Something as simple as making car payments can become a problem--if a gay soldier's boyfriend back stateside forgets to drop a check in the mail, the soldier is going to start getting mail about it, and if it goes on long enough, that soldier is going to face UCMJ action. That soldier has strikingly limited options for dealing with the situation, whereas a straight soldier can get help from many quarters.

tequila
12-19-2010, 11:23 PM
It's discrimination. If DOD is going to facilitate gay sex then they should facilitate regular sex to.

How does repealing DADT = facilitating gay sex?

Entropy
12-19-2010, 11:30 PM
The fact is that we put our service members in situations very similar to the ones we put our convicted felons in. Over the past couple of generations we have stripped away the access to local women, cheap booze, and even pornography in the pursuit of zero defects under the guise of puritanical righteousness.

Ever done six months on a ship or submarine? For my first cruise in the Navy my berthing had 150 people crammed inside the square footage of a typical family home. There's lots of gay jokes, lots of very frank talk about spanking the monkey, but very, very, very little sex either gay or straight - at least on board ship. Port calls are altogether different.

slapout9
12-19-2010, 11:35 PM
How does repealing DADT = facilitating gay sex?

Because they are saying it's legal now.

Spud
12-20-2010, 12:37 AM
Now that constraint will be lifted. Will DoD expand their puritanical controls to greater regulation sexual activity between consenting adults? Or will the U.S. military devolve into a culture where senior leaders have "Chai boys" and every squad has a "squad boy"?

I really don't know, and I'm not judging. I just find it interesting that while everyone was agonizing over the civil rights of homosexuals and the potential impact of openly serving homosexuals on unit morale, no one bothered to talk about what I see as a much larger issues of the "prison sex" syndrome. The greater incidence of such acts is inevitable. There will likely be a rise of same-sex abuse of rank and power for sex in exchange for privileges and favors as well.

We're entering a new era, and no one is talking about the most critical aspect of that era.

damn I just missed the sky falling (again).

Perhaps we're just wired differently from yáll but there is no evidence whatsover of this occuring down here (if anything the thing that keeps getting us in the #### is hetro acts couypled with alcohol abuse) and we've allowed gay relationships for years.

Perhaps your question relates more to the education and maturity of your diggers ... prison population = lowest common-denominator in terms of education, experiences etc. If you're equating your soldiers with that group I'm glad I serve in an Army it's bloody hard to get into in the first place.

motorfirebox
12-20-2010, 12:53 AM
Because they are saying it's legal now.
Current regulations in Afghanistan effectively ban sex, at least between unmarried soldiers. Why would you think that gay sex would be encouraged in the field, when heterosexual sex is not?


Will DoD expand their puritanical controls to greater regulation sexual activity between consenting adults? Or will the U.S. military devolve into a culture where senior leaders have "Chai boys" and every squad has a "squad boy"?
Really? Really?

slapout9
12-20-2010, 01:03 AM
Current regulations in Afghanistan effectively ban sex, at least between unmarried soldiers.


No sex that's crazy, that is anti-American, like selil said we can bomb and kill you but we want have any sex going on around here.

selil
12-20-2010, 02:03 AM
No sex that's crazy, that is anti-American, like selil said we can bomb and kill you but we want have any sex going on around here.

Don't forget.. No beer either!

jmm99
12-20-2010, 03:18 AM
has been more my sentiments than anything else. My research on DADT has been pretty much limited to Randy Shilts (unfortunately deceased from AIDS), Conduct Unbecoming, Gays & Lesbians in the US Military (http://www.amazon.com/Conduct-Unbecoming-Gays-Lesbians-Military/dp/5551973522) (1993) - now ancient history, but a decent historical presentation.

While DADT is in the process of repeal (it's not quite immediate), Article 125:


ART. 125. SODOMY
Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration , however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.

(b) Any person found guilty of sodomy shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

has not been repealed - it might be, but that is not a sure thing. And, Article 134 will continue in effect; no doubt about that.

So, this (about halfway down (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101219072903AAoRkMh)) may happen:


Commander: Troop, it has been long suspected that you are gay.

Troop: Why yes I am a gay male.

Commander: Very good, as you know you are now allowed to serve openly in the military.

Troop: Thank you sir for bringing it to my attention, I have followed this issue very closely.

Commander: Troop I must discuss with you about sexual activities within the military as a matter of Public Health. As you know the use of condoms prevents the spread of sexual transmitted diseases. You and your partner use condoms when having sex?

Troop: Yes sir, I take the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases very seriously and always use condoms.

Commander: First Sarge[a]nt.

First Sarge[a]nt: Yes sir.

Commander: Would please advise this troop of his rights before we proceed with a Court Martial for violation of Article 125 of the UCMJ.

Troop: But sir I can serve openly in the military. What did I do wrong?

Commander: Troop you have admitted to having sex. Homosexual sex acts are still a violation of the UCMJ. This is a violation of the UCMJ article 125 and 132[134] and you will also be prosecuted for sodomy and conduct unbecoming.

BTW: An otherwise uncorroborated admission of guilt is not sufficient absent other proof of the crime; but the facts could be supplemented rather easily (the condom salvaged from the garbage plus forensics on the residues) to come up with an Article 125 charge that would hold up.

Regards

Mike

Wargames Mark
12-20-2010, 03:33 AM
I agree with some of what Bob's World wrote.

The main thing that gets me is the assertion by those in favor of the repeal that homosexuals have some "right" to serve in the military.

I don't see any such right.

I also see no benefit to the military.

Stan
12-20-2010, 05:58 AM
Mike,
Hyvää huomenta !

You never cease to amaze me... but condom salvaging :D

I agree with Spud, it's a matter of education and professionalism. We (those that joined in the early 70's) saw rampant racial discrimination and drug abuse. For some reason no one bothered with sexual orientation then - just wasn't high on the list.

Regards, Stan




BTW: An otherwise uncorroborated admission of guilt is not sufficient absent other proof of the crime; but the facts could be supplemented rather easily (the condom salvaged from the garbage plus forensics on the residues) to come up with an Article 125 charge that would hold up.

Regards

Mike

pjmunson
12-20-2010, 06:15 AM
Now that constraint will be lifted. Will DoD expand their puritanical controls to greater regulation sexual activity between consenting adults? Or will the U.S. military devolve into a culture where senior leaders have "Chai boys" and every squad has a "squad boy"?

I really don't know, and I'm not judging. I just find it interesting that while everyone was agonizing over the civil rights of homosexuals and the potential impact of openly serving homosexuals on unit morale, no one bothered to talk about what I see as a much larger issues of the "prison sex" syndrome. The greater incidence of such acts is inevitable. There will likely be a rise of same-sex abuse of rank and power for sex in exchange for privileges and favors as well.

I can only hope that you were drunk when you wrote this. This sort of hysteria is - almost - unbelievable coming from a retired O-6 and someone whose intellect and insight is supposedly worthy of advising the defense community.

By no means do I consider myself a gay rights activist, but if you're going to oppose the repeal of DADT, and if you are going to attach your own name and profile to it, then please come up with an argument that is a bit more becoming of someone that has more than a grade school education gained in Appalachia in the 1950s. This logic reflects poorly upon the quality of intellect recruited to the think tank listed in your profile. If I were the director and saw this post, I'd have reservations about the quality of work I could expect. It isn't a question of pro- or anti-gay. But "squad boys"... really? The imagined scenario is an insult not to gays, but to the NCOs and officers still serving in the military that are more than capable of maintaining good order and discipline in difficult times. Your implications disgrace us, and not due to homosexuality, but due to the fact that such an ignorant point of view would be projected onto us.

Deus Ex
12-20-2010, 07:28 AM
I can only hope that you were drunk when you wrote this. This sort of hysteria is - almost - unbelievable coming from a retired O-6 and someone whose intellect and insight is supposedly worthy of advising the defense community.

By no means do I consider myself a gay rights activist, but if you're going to oppose the repeal of DADT, and if you are going to attach your own name and profile to it, then please come up with an argument that is a bit more becoming of someone that has more than a grade school education gained in Appalachia in the 1950s. This logic reflects poorly upon the quality of intellect recruited to the think tank listed in your profile. If I were the director and saw this post, I'd have reservations about the quality of work I could expect. It isn't a question of pro- or anti-gay. But "squad boys"... really? The imagined scenario is an insult not to gays, but to the NCOs and officers still serving in the military that are more than capable of maintaining good order and discipline in difficult times. Your implications disgrace us, and not due to homosexuality, but due to the fact that such an ignorant point of view would be projected onto us.

You would be surprised how many otherwise very intelligent people can hold the most patently ridiculous thoughts regarding homosexuality. My best bud is about to make e6 and he's truly one of the most well read, intelligent, and thoughtful guys I know, but homosexual-anything is abhorrent to him. Gay marriage? Hell no. Gays in the military? Just as bad.

To the guy who fear-mongered with "squad boys", all I can say to you is "LOL" and thank god I never have a chance of seeing you in my chain of command. Seriously, thank you for the LOL. If this were any website but small wars journal I would have figured you for a pretty poor troll. I guess you haven't had one of the myriad EO violation classes forced upon you recently. You know, the level of boring on par with reading the Bible for hours. The briefings CLEARLY state that there will be absolutely severe repurcussions for anyone who uses sexual favors to gain power above or under another soldier. And then there's the whole most-people-aren't-gay-and-even-if-they-were-they-probably-wouldn't-be-inclined-to-####-a-pass-around-"boy" thing.

This reminds me of the first offical briefing I received on homosexuality within the military. It was a from a O5. She briefed the class that homosexuals cannot serve in the military, and because it deeply offended her Christian sensibility. I wondered what the hell her religious beliefs had to do with anything.

Dayuhan
12-20-2010, 10:41 AM
Over the past couple of generations we have stripped away the access to local women, cheap booze, and even pornography in the pursuit of zero defects under the guise of puritanical righteousness.

I think denial of access to local women and cheap booze is an excellent idea, and in many places necessary. That stuff easily gets way out of hand... does anybody else remember Olongapo City when the fleet was in Subic? Good fun for some, but causes some real complications with the host country government and populace. There have been incidents involving US troops in the Philippines could easily have been avoided if cheap booze and local women were not on the menu.

Presley Cannady
12-20-2010, 12:40 PM
This study (http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendVIIIs10.html) may now be relevant.

motorfirebox
12-20-2010, 01:08 PM
I agree with some of what Bob's World wrote.

The main thing that gets me is the assertion by those in favor of the repeal that homosexuals have some "right" to serve in the military.

I don't see any such right.
So the right to pursuit of happiness doesn't apply to gay people then? Military effectiveness certainly trumps the individual right to pursuit of happiness, but it hasn't been reliably shown that allowing homosexuals to serve will, at this point in history, negatively affect military readiness. There are people like Bob's World running around shouting ridiculous things, but there are more people--according to a poll of military members by the DOD--who don't seem to care. The only possible impediment to military effectiveness in this instance is if a large portion of the military were strongly opposed. That isn't the case.



I also see no benefit to the military.
You don't see the benefit in retaining trained professionals?

Boot
12-20-2010, 02:25 PM
A Marine colonel with substantial command time addressed some BIG problems that will arise.

What,he asked, does “serving openly as a homosexual” mean?
Is all homosexual conduct permitted, e.g. cross dressing when going to the PX? What conduct is not permitted?
Will “hate speech” policies apply to the armed forces after the repeal of the law? If a service member uses a term offensive to homosexuals, can he be charged with hate speech? Will commanders be required to take judicial action? If no judicial action is taken, will commanders be subject to civil or criminal suit by various homosexual political groups and their elected sponsors?
Will the personal opinion on homosexuality of a service member become an impediment to promotion or assignment to key billets? Are there any assignments to which homosexuals must be or may not be assigned?
Will the Senate and the House Armed Services committees demand sexuality statistics to make certain that homosexuals are being promoted at the same rate as non-homosexuals? Will homosexuals be promoted at a faster rate to “compensate” for previous years of discrimination?
What benefits will same-sex “partners” receive? How long must one have a relationship to qualify as a partner? Will partners of homosexuals be assigned to on-base housing? Do former partners of active duty homosexuals retain dependent benefits (like a divorced spouse) when divorce is not a legal option?
Will homosexual service members be permitted to date each other? Live with each other as partners in bachelor officer quarters (BOQ) or bachelor enlisted quarters (BEQ)? How does this affect fraternization regulations?
Will homosexuals be deployed to countries where homosexuality is a crime? If not, who picks up the slack?

(Mod's Note: text was in red, placed in quote marks and no link. PM to author).

Some thoughts:
What about those who ARE offended by homosexual behavior or homosexuals in general? are their rights not taken into consideration? How about the male who is serving and now walks into a bathroom and there is an openly serving male? or the reverse? Since the openly gay male is orientated female, should he be in the male bathroom? Shouldn't he be in the female bathroom? What about those females who don't want physical male using this facility? How about basic training? Are you now going to force those who see homosexuality as sin to shower, train etc...in close quarters?

As you can see, there are some larger issues beyond "I don't like homosexuals" that need to be addressed.
There was nothing wrong with the policy. Our military has long been used as a social experiment. THAT beyond this policy repel is what is and will continue to erode unit effectiveness.

Me personally. I am sure I have served with homosexuals, I don't want to know, nor do I care. I do see it as a sin, as my faith compels me to do so. I am sure that will step on toes, but I don't care; however I also refuse to discriminate against anyone because of what they believe or look like etc...
I do think that at this point in time, this is the absolute wrong time to address this.

Boot
12-20-2010, 02:29 PM
So the right to pursuit of happiness doesn't apply to gay people then? Military effectiveness certainly trumps the individual right to pursuit of happiness, but it hasn't been reliably shown that allowing homosexuals to serve will, at this point in history, negatively affect military readiness. There are people like Bob's World running around shouting ridiculous things, but there are more people--according to a poll of military members by the DOD--who don't seem to care. The only possible impediment to military effectiveness in this instance is if a large portion of the military were strongly opposed. That isn't the case.



You don't see the benefit in retaining trained professionals?

Citizens of this country have the right to do whatever any other citizen can legally do. The military is different, however civil rights as outlined by the constitution cannot be violated, remember that sword is two edged and cuts both ways.

Entropy
12-20-2010, 03:31 PM
You don't see the benefit in retaining trained professionals?

Well, this change in policy will result in some trained professionals leaving the service because of it. I know a couple of them, but it remains to be seen if they will actually get out or not. It will allow the retention of others, so to me it's going to be a wash in that regard.

FWIW, I supported the repeal of DADT for reasons other than military utility.


What,he asked, does “serving openly as a homosexual” mean?
Is all homosexual conduct permitted, e.g. cross dressing when going to the PX? What conduct is not permitted?



The services and DoD are going to write regulations covering this very topic. I strongly suspect that any activity that which reflects poorly on the uniform will be prohibited, just as it is now for our supposedly all-hetero force.

What will be interesting to see is how some of the legal aspects play out. I suspect that soon after implementation there will be a push to grant gay partners spousal rights for military benefits. IOW, the battle over gays in the military isn't completely over yet.

motorfirebox
12-20-2010, 05:53 PM
A Marine colonel with substantial command time addressed some BIG problems that will arise.

What,he asked, does “serving openly as a homosexual” mean?
Is all homosexual conduct permitted, e.g. cross dressing when going to the PX? What conduct is not permitted?
Will “hate speech” policies apply to the armed forces after the repeal of the law? If a service member uses a term offensive to homosexuals, can he be charged with hate speech? Will commanders be required to take judicial action? If no judicial action is taken, will commanders be subject to civil or criminal suit by various homosexual political groups and their elected sponsors?
Will the personal opinion on homosexuality of a service member become an impediment to promotion or assignment to key billets? Are there any assignments to which homosexuals must be or may not be assigned?
Will the Senate and the House Armed Services committees demand sexuality statistics to make certain that homosexuals are being promoted at the same rate as non-homosexuals? Will homosexuals be promoted at a faster rate to “compensate” for previous years of discrimination?
What benefits will same-sex “partners” receive? How long must one have a relationship to qualify as a partner? Will partners of homosexuals be assigned to on-base housing? Do former partners of active duty homosexuals retain dependent benefits (like a divorced spouse) when divorce is not a legal option?
Will homosexual service members be permitted to date each other? Live with each other as partners in bachelor officer quarters (BOQ) or bachelor enlisted quarters (BEQ)? How does this affect fraternization regulations?
Will homosexuals be deployed to countries where homosexuality is a crime? If not, who picks up the slack?
We have solutions in place to deal with all of these issues as they related to female soldiers and black soldiers. I don't see why enacting similar solutions with regards to gay soldiers will be an issue.


Some thoughts:
What about those who ARE offended by homosexual behavior or homosexuals in general? are their rights not taken into consideration? How about the male who is serving and now walks into a bathroom and there is an openly serving male? or the reverse? Since the openly gay male is orientated female, should he be in the male bathroom? Shouldn't he be in the female bathroom? What about those females who don't want physical male using this facility? How about basic training? Are you now going to force those who see homosexuality as sin to shower, train etc...in close quarters?
Well... what about those people? What rights of theirs are being violated by allowing gays to serve? The military doesn't go out of its way to accommodate soldiers who are uncomfortable around black people; why should it go out of its way to accommodate soldiers who are uncomfortable around homosexuals?

Cavguy
12-20-2010, 08:43 PM
A Marine colonel with substantial command time addressed some BIG problems that will arise.

What,he asked, does “serving openly as a homosexual” mean?
Is all homosexual conduct permitted, e.g. cross dressing when going to the PX? What conduct is not permitted?
Will “hate speech” policies apply to the armed forces after the repeal of the law? If a service member uses a term offensive to homosexuals, can he be charged with hate speech? Will commanders be required to take judicial action? If no judicial action is taken, will commanders be subject to civil or criminal suit by various homosexual political groups and their elected sponsors?
Will the personal opinion on homosexuality of a service member become an impediment to promotion or assignment to key billets? Are there any assignments to which homosexuals must be or may not be assigned?
Will the Senate and the House Armed Services committees demand sexuality statistics to make certain that homosexuals are being promoted at the same rate as non-homosexuals? Will homosexuals be promoted at a faster rate to “compensate” for previous years of discrimination?
What benefits will same-sex “partners” receive? How long must one have a relationship to qualify as a partner? Will partners of homosexuals be assigned to on-base housing? Do former partners of active duty homosexuals retain dependent benefits (like a divorced spouse) when divorce is not a legal option?
Will homosexual service members be permitted to date each other? Live with each other as partners in bachelor officer quarters (BOQ) or bachelor enlisted quarters (BEQ)? How does this affect fraternization regulations?
Will homosexuals be deployed to countries where homosexuality is a crime? If not, who picks up the slack?

If the ascribed marine colonel reads the DADT Survey report (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CDcQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.defense.gov%2Fhome%2Ffeatures %2F2010%2F0610_gatesdadt%2FDADTReport_FINAL_201011 30(secure-hires).pdf&rct=j&q=dadt%20survey%20report&ei=0cAPTcWvIJC-sQOYs7izCg&usg=AFQjCNHcZDEu3wDlnHiysX0asStE4RYo3g&cad=rja), it addresses all the above issues pretty well in detail.

Cavguy
12-20-2010, 08:44 PM
Some data from a friend:


--"Gays in Foreign Militaries," Armed Forces and Society, Palm Center at UCSB, Feb 2010
--"How Troops Really Feel about Gays Openly Serving," Military Times, Feb 2010
--"Attitudes of Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans Toward Gay and Lesbian Service Members," Armed Forces and Society, Palm Center at UCSB, Oct 2009

Key Points from the "Gays in Foreign Militaries" study:


1. Twenty-five nations now allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military.



Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay



Put another way, of the 26 countries that participate militarily in NATO, more than 20 permit open lesbians, gays, or bisexuals to serve; of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, three (United Kingdom, France, and Russia) do so.



2. Level of homophobia exaggerated in foreign cases. In many of those countries, debate before the policy changes was highly pitched and many people both inside and outside the military predicted major disruptions. In Britain and Canada, roughly two thirds of military respondents in polls said they would refuse to serve with open gays, but when inclusive policies were implemented, no more than three people in each country actually resigned.



3. No negative long-term impact on readiness. Research has uniformly shown that transitions to policies of equal treatment without regard to sexual orientation have been highly successful. Of the twenty-five nations that dropped their bans none have experienced any negative impact on morale, recruitment, retention, readiness or overall combat effectiveness. No consulted expert anywhere in the world concluded that lifting the ban on openly gay service caused an overall decline in the military. There was still residual resentment, resistance laudable through grumblings in all-male unites about homosexual threats to unit morale.



4. No country has reversed the law. Early assessments by both military and independent analysts hold across time: none of the successes and gains of transitions to full inclusion were reversed by any of the nations studied, or yielded delayed problems over the years in which these militaries allowed openly gay service.



5. Additional societal benefits. In these other countries, evidence suggests that lifting bans on openly gay service contributed to improving the command climate in foreign militaries, including increased focus on behavior and mission rather than identity and difference, greater respect for rules and policies that reflect the modern military, a decrease in harassment, retention of critical personnel, and enhanced respect for privacy.



6. Swift and decisive implementation most effective. All the countries studied completed their implementations of repeal either immediately or within four months of the government’s decision to end discrimination. These experiences confirm research findings which show that a quick, simple implementation process is instrumental in ensuring success. Swift, decisive implementation signals the support of top leadership and confidence that the process will go smoothly, while a “phased-in” implementation can create anxiety, confusion, and obstructionism.



7. Top-cover is critical in transition/implementation. Two main factors contributed to the success of transitions to openly gay service: clear signals of leadership support and a focus on a uniform code of behavior without regard to sexual orientation. Also key are simple training guidelines that communicate the support of leadership, that explain the uniform standards for conduct, and that avoid “sensitivity” training, which can backfire by causing resentment in the ranks.



8. Not separate, but equal. None of the countries studied installed separate facilities for gay troops, nor did they retain rules treating gays differently from heterosexuals. Each country has taken its own approach to resolving questions of benefits, housing, partner recognition, and re-instatement. Generally, the military honors the status afforded to gay or lesbian couples by that country, and the military rarely gets out in front of the government or other institutions in the benefits offered.



9. No mass exodus or increased harassment at any level. Lifting bans on openly gay service in foreign countries did not result in a mass “coming out” at any level. Gay and lesbian troops serve in all levels of the armed forces of Britain, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and Israel, in both combat and non-combat positions, at both the enlisted level and as high commanders.



10. Current law contradicts military bedrock values. Honesty and integrity are bedrock values of the military. How can we ask capable service members to be deceitful about their orientation and still uphold those values?



Other random factoids from the study:



- An estimated 66,000 lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals account for approximately 2.2% of military personnel.

- Approximately 13,000 LGB people are serving on active duty (comprising 0.9% of all active duty personnel) while nearly 53,000 are serving in the guard and reserve forces (3.4%).

- While women comprise only about 14% of active duty personnel, they comprise more than 43% of LGB men and women serving on active duty.

- Lifting DADT restrictions could attract an estimated 36,700 men and women to active duty service and 12,000 more individuals to the guard and reserve.

- Since its inception in 1994, the “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” policy has cost the military between $290 million and more than a half a billion dollars.

- The military spends an estimated $22,000 to $43,000 per person to replace those discharged under DADT.

Stan
12-20-2010, 08:55 PM
Link to survey (http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2010/0610_gatesdadt/DADTReport_FINAL_20101130%28secure-hires%29.pdf)

I didn't get much out of this survey, but it does what most surveys claim to do and the stats are great for those who care.


First, we did not “poll” the military or conduct a referendum on the overall question of whether to repeal the current Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law and policy. That was not our mission, nor are military policy decisions made by referendum of Service members. Our primary mission was to assess the impact of a repeal, should it occur to military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, recruiting, retention, and family readiness.

Second, many of the survey questions were devised in response to concerns raised frequently by Service members in information exchange forums and focus group sessions. For example, the questions about privacy and living arrangements were asked in response to the concerns expressed by a large number of Service members in our discussions.

JMA
12-20-2010, 10:53 PM
Citizens of this country have the right to do whatever any other citizen can legally do. The military is different, however civil rights as outlined by the constitution cannot be violated, remember that sword is two edged and cuts both ways.

It started with the introduction of females and as they expanded across the military so did sexual tension levels, pregnancy rates and very sadly sexual molestation and rape incidence. The military handled the introduction of women badly (remember Tailhook) and the precedent is now set for gays.

In most armies there is much consensual heterosexual sex going on and now there is no way to prevent similar levels of openly gay sex.

It is the sexual tension that will build in these all male environments that threaten moral and operational function and not the mere presence of females or gays in the military.

As I stated earlier in this DADT discussion standby for the first gay version of Tailhook '91. This is not good for the military.

Steve Blair
12-20-2010, 10:59 PM
It started with the introduction of females and as they expanded across the military so did sexual tension levels, pregnancy rates and very sadly sexual molestation and rape incidence. The military handled the introduction of women badly (remember Tailhook) and the precedent is now set for gays.

In most armies there is much consensual heterosexual sex going on and now there is no way to prevent similar levels of openly gay sex.

It is the sexual tension that will build in these all male environments that threaten moral and operational function and not the mere presence of females or gays in the military.

As I stated earlier in this DADT discussion standby for the first gay version of Tailhook '91. This is not good for the military.

Women were in the US military well before Tailhook. I suggest you do just a touch of research before flinging out events that you feel justify your position.

Boot
12-20-2010, 11:26 PM
We have solutions in place to deal with all of these issues as they related to female soldiers and black soldiers. I don't see why enacting similar solutions with regards to gay soldiers will be an issue.


Well... what about those people? What rights of theirs are being violated by allowing gays to serve? The military doesn't go out of its way to accommodate soldiers who are uncomfortable around black people; why should it go out of its way to accommodate soldiers who are uncomfortable around homosexuals?

Tell me how homosexuality which is a life choice is the same as being born a women or black? There is no evidence that you are born that way. From my experience working with a genetic researcher, there is no evidence. The researcher didn't have an opinion either way.
You haven't answered the questions.

JMA
12-20-2010, 11:36 PM
Tell me how homosexuality which is a life choice is the same as being born a women or black? There is no evidence that you are born that way. From my experience working with a genetic researcher, there is no evidence. The researcher didn't have an opinion either way.
You haven't answered the questions.

Homosexuality a life choice? No. People get killed, jailed, fired for being gay. Nobody would choose that. That is simple logic.

JMA
12-20-2010, 11:38 PM
Women were in the US military well before Tailhook. I suggest you do just a touch of research before flinging out events that you feel justify your position.

What systems and procedures were put in place when women were introduced into the military to prevent such incidents as Tailhook?

Andy FMF
12-21-2010, 12:08 AM
So the right to pursuit of happiness doesn't apply to gay people then? Military effectiveness certainly trumps the individual right to pursuit of happiness, but it hasn't been reliably shown that allowing homosexuals to serve will, at this point in history, negatively affect military readiness. There are people like Bob's World running around shouting ridiculous things, but there are more people--according to a poll of military members by the DOD--who don't seem to care. The only possible impediment to military effectiveness in this instance is if a large portion of the military were strongly opposed. That isn't the case.

You don't see the benefit in retaining trained professionals?

I see several points being made and I'll try to address them, but this might become a shoot 'n scoot mission.

Your points:
1. There is no reliable evidence that allowing homosexuals to serve will negatively affect military readiness.
2. There is a poll of military members "who don't seem to care"
3. Trained professionals are not being retained

Response:
1. This is precisely why DADT is in place. Homosexuals and heterosexuals both currently serve in the military without a negative effect upon military readiness. What negatively affects military readiness is the person who possesses dual loyalties. It is a person’s inability to separate, in this case, their sexuality from their duty to follow orders that is the reason for their denial of admission/dismissal from service. Furthermore, those individuals who enlisted/were commissioned with full knowledge of the rules governing homosexual acts and then violated the orders are most certainly not the sort of people that should serve in the Armed Forces. They should not serve because their loyalties are obviously split between following orders and indulging in sexual activities in violation of DADT. Additionally, they have violated their oath to obey the orders of those appointed over them and are only partially dedicating themselves to the service of their country. They are in essence saying, “I will obey these orders, but not those. Oh, by the way, you have to keep me in your Armed Forces, never knowing which other orders I might fail to follow.”

2. Polls have no place in the military. The fact that the military leadership has commissioned a poll regarding this issue is a detriment to military readiness. Orders are to be obeyed, not polled for popularity. Therefore the poll is at best irrelevant and at worst an undermining of the authority of the military heirarchy/chain of command. If the excuse for this poll is that Congress needed "evidence", then the poll should not have included spouses and should have been administered to every member of the Armed Forces.

3. They might be trained, but they are far from professional. People are not being dismissed from the military because they are gay, they are being dismissed because they failed to follow orders and that behavior (failure to follow an order) is not in keeping with the level of honor, courage, and commitment that is demanded of service members by their countrymen. It is for this reason that they are not capable of serving and are not professionals.

This applies equally to those who fail to pay bills, commit adultery, assault another person, are disrespectful to a superior, etc….

Boot
12-21-2010, 12:58 AM
It started with the introduction of females and as they expanded across the military so did sexual tension levels, pregnancy rates and very sadly sexual molestation and rape incidence. The military handled the introduction of women badly (remember Tailhook) and the precedent is now set for gays.

In most armies there is much consensual heterosexual sex going on and now there is no way to prevent similar levels of openly gay sex.

It is the sexual tension that will build in these all male environments that threaten moral and operational function and not the mere presence of females or gays in the military.

As I stated earlier in this DADT discussion standby for the first gay version of Tailhook '91. This is not good for the military.

This is not about sex. I don't care if you are gay or not (you in general). That is between you and GOD. If I am asked by a homosexual how I feel, they will hear, however I will not "go after" them.
There are real issues that need to be addressed. As some have stated, just because there are no reported issues with people in their military being openly gay, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. So if country "A" says we don't allow openly homosexual people in our country we the U.S. government is going to say "too bad" we are going to do what we want? Or will others have to deploy because we can't send openly gay service members? or we ask those who are openly gay to conceal it again?
If a heterosexual male is in the bathroom or in open showers then its ok since their physical make up is male or female, even though they are gay heterosexuals must accept them? Really? How is that not an infringement on their rights? You see now that a male is openly gay I don't want him in the bathroom with me, because I see him as a WOMEN now, since that his sexual orientation is tilted to now, so why would they be in a male bathroom?
The main basis of the argument is, as stated above is the continuing social experiment the military is subjected to. That is divisive and will continue to erode unit effectiveness.

Boot
12-21-2010, 01:01 AM
Homosexuality a life choice? No. People get killed, jailed, fired for being gay. Nobody would choose that. That is simple logic.

and those who choose to do that are making life choices. It is. No real evidence supports that people are born this way.

JMA
12-21-2010, 01:17 AM
and those who choose to do that are making life choices. It is. No real evidence supports that people are born this way.

I am offering my opinion, no more.

It is IMHO insane to believe that two young guys in Iran decided to fool around so that they can get arrested, tortured then hung... as a matter of personal choice. This homosexual business goes way beyond personal choice.

JMA
12-21-2010, 01:55 AM
This is not about sex. I don't care if you are gay or not (you in general). That is between you and GOD. If I am asked by a homosexual how I feel, they will hear, however I will not "go after" them.
There are real issues that need to be addressed. As some have stated, just because there are no reported issues with people in their military being openly gay, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. So if country "A" says we don't allow openly homosexual people in our country we the U.S. government is going to say "too bad" we are going to do what we want? Or will others have to deploy because we can't send openly gay service members? or we ask those who are openly gay to conceal it again?
If a heterosexual male is in the bathroom or in open showers then its ok since their physical make up is male or female, even though they are gay heterosexuals must accept them? Really? How is that not an infringement on their rights? You see now that a male is openly gay I don't want him in the bathroom with me, because I see him as a WOMEN now, since that his sexual orientation is tilted to now, so why would they be in a male bathroom?
The main basis of the argument is, as stated above is the continuing social experiment the military is subjected to. That is divisive and will continue to erode unit effectiveness.

I hear what you say but we are talking past each other.

First, I oppose having gay or females in the military, certainly in operational units for the very simple reason of the sexual tension that it brings. That may be for those (the majority) who feel uneasy about a new dimension that the presence of gays brings to the casual nudity and brotherly intimacy of the soldiers existence. It is difficult enough to create and develop a level of commeraderie and mutual dependence where one will risk his life for another without the addition of sexual tension I speak of.

Second, the more enlightened European countries view the rampant homophobia and legislative oppression of gays in the US as about as backward as Iran wanting to stone a woman to death for adultery. Get over it.

motorfirebox
12-21-2010, 02:48 AM
Tell me how homosexuality which is a life choice is the same as being born a women or black? There is no evidence that you are born that way. From my experience working with a genetic researcher, there is no evidence. The researcher didn't have an opinion either way.
You haven't answered the questions.
There is ample evidence (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/01/homosexuality-genetics-usa) that people are born that way. What is currently lacking is set-in-stone proof that sexuality and genetics are linked. Regardless, your argument is spurious. Homosexuality in and of itself is not inherently harmful, therefore there is no inherent cause to ban it or ban its expression. The burden of proof lies on you to show why homosexuality should not be allowed.


I see several points being made and I'll try to address them, but this might become a shoot 'n scoot mission.

Your points:
1. There is no reliable evidence that allowing homosexuals to serve will negatively affect military readiness.
2. There is a poll of military members "who don't seem to care"
3. Trained professionals are not being retained

Response:
1. This is precisely why DADT is in place. Homosexuals and heterosexuals both currently serve in the military without a negative effect upon military readiness. What negatively affects military readiness is the person who possesses dual loyalties. It is a person’s inability to separate, in this case, their sexuality from their duty to follow orders that is the reason for their denial of admission/dismissal from service. Furthermore, those individuals who enlisted/were commissioned with full knowledge of the rules governing homosexual acts and then violated the orders are most certainly not the sort of people that should serve in the Armed Forces. They should not serve because their loyalties are obviously split between following orders and indulging in sexual activities in violation of DADT. Additionally, they have violated their oath to obey the orders of those appointed over them and are only partially dedicating themselves to the service of their country. They are in essence saying, “I will obey these orders, but not those. Oh, by the way, you have to keep me in your Armed Forces, never knowing which other orders I might fail to follow.”

2. Polls have no place in the military. The fact that the military leadership has commissioned a poll regarding this issue is a detriment to military readiness. Orders are to be obeyed, not polled for popularity. Therefore the poll is at best irrelevant and at worst an undermining of the authority of the military heirarchy/chain of command. If the excuse for this poll is that Congress needed "evidence", then the poll should not have included spouses and should have been administered to every member of the Armed Forces.

3. They might be trained, but they are far from professional. People are not being dismissed from the military because they are gay, they are being dismissed because they failed to follow orders and that behavior (failure to follow an order) is not in keeping with the level of honor, courage, and commitment that is demanded of service members by their countrymen. It is for this reason that they are not capable of serving and are not professionals.

This applies equally to those who fail to pay bills, commit adultery, assault another person, are disrespectful to a superior, etc….
In order:

1. The only reason there's a conflict between service and sexuality is the arbitrary rule that only one sexuality is allowed in the service.

2. Horse pucky. Polls absolutely have a place in military service. Soldiers don't stop being people when they sign up. People have needs, opinions, and desires, and while the needs of the military (and the nation, in turn) ultimately override the needs, opinions, and desires of the individual, that does not proscribe the military from simply ignoring those needs, opinions, and desires. It is, in fact, to the benefit of the military to acquiesce to those needs, opinions, and desires as much as possible without detracting substantially from readiness, not the least reason being that soldier whose needs, opinions, and desires are respected--if not always satisfied--is more likely to reup. Moreover, if polls have no place in military service, then why all this hubbub about how letting gays serve openly will affect military readiness? Shouldn't soldiers shut up and serve with their openly gay fellows when ordered to do so, regardless of their personal opinion?

3. I have to wonder why there isn't a crusade against soldiers who give and receive blowjobs. I can tell you with certainty approaching 100% that there are more soldiers who engage in oral sex than gay sex. Why don't we go after those soldiers, who are in violation of the same article of UCMJ as soldiers who engage in homosexuality? Aren't they just as unprofessional? Aren't they also not in keeping with the level of honor, courage, and commitment that is demanded of service members by their countrymen?

selil
12-21-2010, 03:00 AM
Some data from a friend:

Great stuff CavGuy.

Kiwigrunt
12-21-2010, 03:38 AM
There really is a very worrying undertone coming from the US on this one. What sort of fear underlies that? Are the tough guys afraid they’ll get done from behind? Just don’t drop the soap. The only reason this is such a big deal is because it is turned into such a big deal…..for no reason that I can think off.

Homo sexuals volunteering for the army have a pretty good idea what they are getting themselves into (no pun intended). They are not likely to make their own lives unnecessarily difficult, beyond the inevitable bullying they will receive.
Will there be instances of abuse? Of course, but no more than among hetero’s. And in most cases the homo sexuals are more likely to be the recipients of the abuse, not the other way around.

If a majority of hetero’s feels intimidated by a minority of males who happen to prefer males, think about how a minority of females may feel when surrounded by a bunch of testosterone ridden hetero males.



If a heterosexual male is in the bathroom or in open showers then its ok since their physical make up is male or female, even though they are gay heterosexuals must accept them? Really? How is that not an infringement on their rights? You see now that a male is openly gay I don't want him in the bathroom with me, because I see him as a WOMEN now, since that his sexual orientation is tilted to now, so why would they be in a male bathroom?


Would you feel OK with a lesbian in the shower?

JMA
12-21-2010, 10:11 AM
If a majority of hetero’s feels intimidated by a minority of males who happen to prefer males, think about how a minority of females may feel when surrounded by a bunch of testosterone ridden hetero males.

These females are forced to shower with the testosterone ridden hetero males?

...oh yes and what if the Sgt Major is gay and has a particular interest in 18 year old troopies?

Andy FMF
12-21-2010, 02:07 PM
There is ample evidence (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/01/homosexuality-genetics-usa) that people are born that way. What is currently lacking is set-in-stone proof that sexuality and genetics are linked. Regardless, your argument is spurious. Homosexuality in and of itself is not inherently harmful, therefore there is no inherent cause to ban it or ban its expression. The burden of proof lies on you to show why homosexuality should not be allowed.


In order:

1. The only reason there's a conflict between service and sexuality is the arbitrary rule that only one sexuality is allowed in the service.

2. Horse pucky. Polls absolutely have a place in military service. Soldiers don't stop being people when they sign up. People have needs, opinions, and desires, and while the needs of the military (and the nation, in turn) ultimately override the needs, opinions, and desires of the individual, that does not proscribe the military from simply ignoring those needs, opinions, and desires. It is, in fact, to the benefit of the military to acquiesce to those needs, opinions, and desires as much as possible without detracting substantially from readiness, not the least reason being that soldier whose needs, opinions, and desires are respected--if not always satisfied--is more likely to reup. Moreover, if polls have no place in military service, then why all this hubbub about how letting gays serve openly will affect military readiness? Shouldn't soldiers shut up and serve with their openly gay fellows when ordered to do so, regardless of their personal opinion?

3. I have to wonder why there isn't a crusade against soldiers who give and receive blowjobs. I can tell you with certainty approaching 100% that there are more soldiers who engage in oral sex than gay sex. Why don't we go after those soldiers, who are in violation of the same article of UCMJ as soldiers who engage in homosexuality? Aren't they just as unprofessional? Aren't they also not in keeping with the level of honor, courage, and commitment that is demanded of service members by their countrymen?



1a. Sexuality is not the issue. The issue is the inability to obey orders. Replace homosexuality with theft/being a thief. The Armed Forces permits thieves/people who have stolen to enlist, yet they are expected to obey orders (Do not violate UCMJ Article 121). A member is not discharged from the Armed Forces because he is/was a thief. They are discharged because during the course of their enlistment they failed to follow a lawful order (Article 92) and stole something (Article 121). The thief's dual loyalty is what makes him unfit to serve in the Armed Forces. This applies equally to all other chargeable offenses.
1b. Your point is that there is an arbitrary rule
1b. Response: It matters very little how you choose to describe it, it is still a rule. Any other point of view is irrelevant in the eyes of the military justice system. If we want to discuss arbitrary rules, then a better example would be the service-wide ban on accessing WikiLeaks from personal computers. Nevertheless, it is still a lawful order and service members are expected not to visit the website because it contains classified material, albeit publically available.

2a. Your point is that polls have a place in the military because soldiers have needs, opinions, and desires which when met lead to higher re-up rates.
2a. Response: A soldier's needs are always met, except in the most extreme of circumstances (cut off from resupply, sustained TIC, etc). A soldier's "wants" is another issue entirely. A military that caters to "wants" and makes policy decisions based upon polls has created a mercenary force that is driven by its desire for personal comfort and gain. This force will abandon its leader when the "wants" are cut-off/reduced or personal comfort is threatened. Machiavelli offers an more in-depth explanation, including how a good leader should interact with his military.
2b. Your point implies that "re-upping" is good for the military.
2b. Response: "Re-upping" is neither good nor bad for the military. It is amoral and does not necessarily convey a benefit to the military. Rather it is an opportunity for a service member to re-obligate themselves to the military and for the military to decide if their services are still warranted. The service member is not owed continued employment and their decision to separate does not necessarily mean that the military was a poor employer.
2c. Your point was that soldiers should shut up and serve regardless of personal opinion.
2c. Response: Partial agreement. A soldier was first a citizen who chose to enlist and to submit himself to the moral code of the Armed Forces. If the code changes during their term of enlistment and it now violates the soldier's beliefs, then they should be allowed to exit the Armed Forces without penalty. If the soldier decides that there is a greater moral good in continuing to serve, then their service should be without complaint.

3a. Your point is that there are more soldiers who engage in oral sex than gay sex and that they are not prosecuted with the same fervor.
3a. Response: There was no presentation of prosecution statistics for heterosexual "oral sex" vs "gay sex" so the point is mere conjecture (I would bet that you are correct though) and it sounds as though the JAG Corps are being accused of selective prosecutions.
"Go after" is nebulous, but I'll assume that you meant prosecute. In order to prosecute a violation, there must be proof for the elements that constitute the violation. Violations without proof for all elements cannot be prosecuted.
3b. Your point was that heterosexual and homosexual violations of Article 125 are equally unprofessional.
3b. Response: We are in complete and total agreement. Violations of the UCMJ are to be investigated and, if warranted, prosecuted without regard for rank, gender, occupation, branch of service, etc.

motorfirebox
12-21-2010, 02:09 PM
These females are forced to shower with the testosterone ridden hetero males?

...oh yes and what if the Sgt Major is gay and has a particular interest in 18 year old troopies?
Both of these things already happen. There's a pretty strong likelihood that everyone in this thread has, if they've served in the military, shared a shower room at some point with a gay person. The only difference is that after the UCMJ is changed, there's a stronger likelihood that you'll be aware of it.

And as for the SGM with a hard-on for the younger crowd, come on--you're ignoring that the support and command structure have been enablers for sexual predation for decades (or longer), and you're ignoring that we've had decades to develop tools to deal with it. It isn't suddenly a problem now.


1a. Sexuality is not the issue. The issue is the inability to obey orders. Replace homosexuality with theft/being a thief. The Armed Forces permits thieves/people who have stolen to enlist, yet they are expected to obey orders (Do not violate UCMJ Article 121). A member is not discharged from the Armed Forces because he is/was a thief. They are discharged because during the course of their enlistment they failed to follow a lawful order (Article 92) and stole something (Article 121). The thief's dual loyalty is what makes him unfit to serve in the Armed Forces. This applies equally to all other chargeable offenses.
1b. Your point is that there is an arbitrary rule
1b. Response: It matters very little how you choose to describe it, it is still a rule. Any other point of view is irrelevant in the eyes of the military justice system. If we want to discuss arbitrary rules, then a better example would be the service-wide ban on accessing WikiLeaks from personal computers. Nevertheless, it is still a lawful order and service members are expected not to visit the website because it contains classified material, albeit publically available.

2a. Your point is that polls have a place in the military because soldiers have needs, opinions, and desires which when met lead to higher re-up rates.
2a. Response: A soldier's needs are always met, except in the most extreme of circumstances (cut off from resupply, sustained TIC, etc). A soldier's "wants" is another issue entirely. A military that caters to "wants" and makes policy decisions based upon polls has created a mercenary force that is driven by its desire for personal comfort and gain. This force will abandon its leader when the "wants" are cut-off/reduced or personal comfort is threatened. Machiavelli offers an more in-depth explanation, including how a good leader should interact with his military.
2b. Your point implies that "re-upping" is good for the military.
2b. Response: "Re-upping" is neither good nor bad for the military. It is amoral and does not necessarily convey a benefit to the military. Rather it is an opportunity for a service member to re-obligate themselves to the military and for the military to decide if their services are still warranted. The service member is not owed continued employment and their decision to separate does not necessarily mean that the military was a poor employer.
2c. Your point was that soldiers should shut up and serve regardless of personal opinion.
2c. Response: Partial agreement. A soldier was first a citizen who chose to enlist and to submit himself to the moral code of the Armed Forces. If the code changes during their term of enlistment and it now violates the soldier's beliefs, then they should be allowed to exit the Armed Forces without penalty. If the soldier decides that there is a greater moral good in continuing to serve, then their service should be without complaint.

3a. Your point is that there are more soldiers who engage in oral sex than gay sex and that they are not prosecuted with the same fervor.
3a. Response: There was no presentation of prosecution statistics for heterosexual "oral sex" vs "gay sex" so the point is mere conjecture (I would bet that you are correct though) and it sounds as though the JAG Corps are being accused of selective prosecutions.
"Go after" is nebulous, but I'll assume that you meant prosecute. In order to prosecute a violation, there must be proof for the elements that constitute the violation. Violations without proof for all elements cannot be prosecuted.
3b. Your point was that heterosexual and homosexual violations of Article 125 are equally unprofessional.
3b. Response: We are in complete and total agreement. Violations of the UCMJ are to be investigated and, if warranted, prosecuted without regard for rank, gender, occupation, branch of service, etc.

1. The rule is a bad rule. There's no reason to keep it in place. I don't have a problem with prosecuting those who violate it, but the rule should be (and soon will be) thrown out.
2. I'm not talking about catering. I'm talking about making reasonable concessions when there's no reason not to. That's why permanent bases have Pizza Huts and KFCs and Baskin Robbins. These things aren't necessary, but there's little reason not to allow them on post and they can help keep up morale. As for re-upping, again, horse pucky. Retaining experience is, on the whole, good for any organization.
3. I am reasonably certain that the lack of prosecution for blowjobs isn't due to lack of evidence. It's due to lack of willingness to seek out evidence. With blowjobs, there is a general acceptance that the rules are stupid and prosecuting them would not only be silly, it would in all likelihood be bad for the military. Professional people, whether in the military or the civilian world, have a reasonable expectation to be allowed to lead their private lives as they see fit. Again, obviously, the needs of the military override that. I don't see the need, here.

Your position is that the rules are the rules and they should always be followed. Well, that's one way to do things, but since you're removing human judgment from the equation, you have to be extra careful that the rules actually work. Guess what? Article 125 doesn't work.

Steve Blair
12-21-2010, 02:23 PM
What systems and procedures were put in place when women were introduced into the military to prevent such incidents as Tailhook?

I suggest you do just a bit more research about things before you start spouting about them. Tailhook wasn't an official military event. Try this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tailhook_Association) for a quick crash course.

JMA
12-21-2010, 02:47 PM
I suggest you do just a bit more research about things before you start spouting about them. Tailhook wasn't an official military event. Try this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tailhook_Association) for a quick crash course.

Give it a break Steve.

Steve Blair
12-21-2010, 02:57 PM
Give it a break Steve.

Why? Because your position was disproved? You're the one that brought Tailhook in and implied that it was some sort of official military function. If you're going to use the event to discuss the culture that existed at the time, that's one thing. But you were attempting to link it to government or military policy, and that just won't fly. You've shown the same trait on other threads as well. I think you'd find that your positions might get more respect if you did the basic research.

Ken White
12-21-2010, 05:33 PM
I think you'd find that your positions might get more respect if you did the basic research.Accepting the fact that a pronouncement of opinion from ones self is no more than that and that others can not only fail to agree but are likely to be correct would also be helpful in that regard...

Andy FMF
12-21-2010, 07:16 PM
Both of these things already happen. There's a pretty strong likelihood that everyone in this thread has, if they've served in the military, shared a shower room at some point with a gay person. The only difference is that after the UCMJ is changed, there's a stronger likelihood that you'll be aware of it.

And as for the SGM with a hard-on for the younger crowd, come on--you're ignoring that the support and command structure have been enablers for sexual predation for decades (or longer), and you're ignoring that we've had decades to develop tools to deal with it. It isn't suddenly a problem now.



1. The rule is a bad rule. There's no reason to keep it in place. I don't have a problem with prosecuting those who violate it, but the rule should be (and soon will be) thrown out.
2. I'm not talking about catering. I'm talking about making reasonable concessions when there's no reason not to. That's why permanent bases have Pizza Huts and KFCs and Baskin Robbins. These things aren't necessary, but there's little reason not to allow them on post and they can help keep up morale. As for re-upping, again, horse pucky. Retaining experience is, on the whole, good for any organization.
3. I am reasonably certain that the lack of prosecution for blowjobs isn't due to lack of evidence. It's due to lack of willingness to seek out evidence. With blowjobs, there is a general acceptance that the rules are stupid and prosecuting them would not only be silly, it would in all likelihood be bad for the military. Professional people, whether in the military or the civilian world, have a reasonable expectation to be allowed to lead their private lives as they see fit. Again, obviously, the needs of the military override that. I don't see the need, here.

Your position is that the rules are the rules and they should always be followed. Well, that's one way to do things, but since you're removing human judgment from the equation, you have to be extra careful that the rules actually work. Guess what? Article 125 doesn't work.

1a. Your point is that the rule is bad and should be thrown out.
1a. Response: I'm unclear as to which rule you are referring, but I'll address the possibilites. Article 125: I would suggest reading the MCM and Article 125 before it is labelled "a bad rule" and thrown out. If it goes into the trash, then charges for forcible sodomy without consent, sodomy with children under 16, and sodomy with children under the age of 12 are also discarded.
Article 92: Discarding this article would make it permissible to disobey any order or regulation.
Again, this is not about someone's sexual preferences. This is about whether a soldier will follow orders, even when they do not like the order.

2a. Your point is that retaining experience is good for an organization.
2a. Response: "Experience" was not defined. Certainly the military would not want to retain someone who is experienced in defrauding the government or stealing military supplies. The military would want to retain someone who is experienced in areas that contribute to its mission accomplishment. At this point the discussion is going to evolve into a discussion of "filling a billet" vs "adopting a way of life" and it should probably go to another thread.
2b. Your point: Having establishments, like Pizza Hut and KFC, on base is good because it is good for moral.
2b. Response: This will also evolve into a side discussion, but your reasoning takes us into the debate of whether Gen. Charles Dunlap was correct. http://www.carlisle.army.mil/USAWC/Parameters/ArticleIndex.cfm#index1992

3a. Your point is that "It's due to lack of willingness to seek out evidence."
3a. Response: Your accusation that the legal systems of all four branches (I include the Coast Guard) are jointly deciding to not investigate and prosecute heterosexual violations of Article 125 is baseless.
3b. Your point is that it would be bad for the military to prosecute heterosexual violations of the UCMJ.
3b. Response: It is never morally incorrect to prosecute a violation of the UCMJ. It is a code of ethics and it must be upheld. Failure to uphold one portion places the rest in jeopardy.
3c. Your point is that military professionals should be able to lead their private lives as they see fit (according to the needs of the military).
3c. I completely agree. This is what DADT permitted. No one will ask about your sexuality (hetero or homo) and you will not talk about/commit acts that will disclose your sexuality. Service members were permitted to operate a private life as they chose, so long as they did not run afoul of other articles and orders. If the act or statement becomes public then it becomes an Article 92 violation and is punished.

4. Your point is that Article 125 doesn't work.
4. Response: Our opinions aside, as they matter little, SCOTUS and the USCAAF have upheld Article 125 and the UCMJ as constitutional.

selil
12-21-2010, 08:14 PM
Seems that the issues are far more ranging than just DADT (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwyNpGWaE2Q) (YouTube NSFW). Language warnings, and nude computer puppets.


Humor break

Stan
12-21-2010, 08:19 PM
NSFW). Language warnings, and nude computer puppets.


Humor break

Thanks Sam !
I seemed to have missed the NSFW portions. Perhaps our server blocked the obscenities ;)

motorfirebox
12-21-2010, 08:23 PM
Don't cheapen your position. I'm perfectly aware of what UCMJ Article 125 contains, and you're perfectly aware of the specific portions of it to which I was referring.

I am reasonably certain that the recent bill repealing DADT was, in fact, about sexual orientation. That's the centerpiece of the current discussion, so I have a hard time seeing where we suddenly shifted to mainly considering soldiers' ability to follow orders and regulations, with homosexuality as a sidebar.

Your point 2 consists entirely of avoidance. I said that retaining experience is, on the whole, a good thing for an organization, and pulling out special cases where individuals actively work against the organization doesn't alter the truth of that general statement. I don't know if Dunlap was correct or not, because I don't know (and don't have time/inclination to investigate) which of the four articles of his on the linked page you're referring to.

My charge is that the personnel of all four branches are, without and without need for discussion, by and large not deciding to investigate and prosecute heterosexual violations of Article 125. This state of affairs is readily apparent to anyone who is familiar with the military. Nobody reports it, so nobody prosecutes it, because nobody cares.

The problem with DADT, as I've said before, is that it sounds nice but it doesn't work in practice. Sure, nobody specifically asks about a soldier's sexuality. But sex is a common topic, and remaining silent anytime it comes up generally leads to suspicion and/or assumption, not to mention the stress I discussed in a previous post. The soldier could always lie, I suppose--certainly that would be the professional thing to do.

As for its Constitutionality, a court ruled against it in September. That decision has not been overturned by SCOTUS, and with the recent repeal, it's unlikely to ever be.

Deus Ex
12-22-2010, 01:17 AM
Tell me how homosexuality which is a life choice is the same as being born a women or black? There is no evidence that you are born that way. From my experience working with a genetic researcher, there is no evidence. The researcher didn't have an opinion either way.
You haven't answered the questions.

Goddammit, I am a straight person but I have to truly bite my tongue to resist calling you a XXX.

When did you decide to be straight? I didn't decide, nor did you. If you have to make a conscious choice every day to find women attractive, I may have some unsettling news for you (here's a hint: you might be gay)! I was fortunate to be born straight. Some people simply find themselves attracted to the same sex.

Every gay person I know, which is a great deal because I was raised in a very gay city (take a guess), has said they cannot arbitrarily choose who they are attracted to. They never made a conscious choice to be attracted to men or to women. I like women who are around 5 foot 4, with curves, a stacked ass, tanned skin, and a hot face. I didn't make a checklist one day and determine I loved those things from there on out.

The best thing about this is that history will vindicate me. People like you will be remembered as fondly as those who fought to deny black people their human rights prior to the Civil Rights Act. Gay people may be weird as hell sometimes, but they're human just like us, and they deserve equal rights.

Stan
12-22-2010, 10:24 AM
Goddammit, I am a straight person but I have to truly bite my tongue to resist calling you a XXX.

I'm a little disappointed as I thought you were on the right track arguing your point with dignity and intellect.

This post is just a load of Sierra and leaves me with the impression you will simply continue.

Please tone it down and attack the subject not the council members.

Fuchs
12-22-2010, 10:33 AM
The whole sexuality = choice thing seems to be specifically U.S. myth.
I've never heard or read it coming from any European source. The whole idea is alien in Germany (and would be laughed at by almost everyone here).


Tip for U.S. culture wars: Look at other Western nations. Many nations have settled the very same issues long ago, usually overwhelmingly in favour of a specific answer.

Germany addressed almost all of the current U.S. culture war topics in the period of 1880-2000 and laid them to permanent rest.

Infanteer
12-22-2010, 11:18 AM
Same as Fuchs said.

I really don't get the hub-bub. I had both a gay and a lesbian soldier under my command; all the horror stories you tell are simply not true.

Funny, while the end of the world(TM) is being debated the Canadian military just updated its dress policy to address transgendered members.

JMA
12-22-2010, 12:13 PM
Same as Fuchs said.

I really don't get the hub-bub. I had both a gay and a lesbian soldier under my command; all the horror stories you tell are simply not true.

Funny, while the end of the world(TM) is being debated the Canadian military just updated its dress policy to address transgendered members.

Sure, there is no problem... but maybe then you missed this.

Canada sacks general in Afghanistan (http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2010/05/201053043322635.html)

Chief of Canadian forces serving under Nato dismissed for "inappropriate relationship".

JMA
12-22-2010, 12:50 PM
The whole sexuality = choice thing seems to be specifically U.S. myth.
I've never heard or read it coming from any European source. The whole idea is alien in Germany (and would be laughed at by almost everyone here).

Tip for U.S. culture wars: Look at other Western nations. Many nations have settled the very same issues long ago, usually overwhelmingly in favour of a specific answer.

Germany addressed almost all of the current U.S. culture war topics in the period of 1880-2000 and laid them to permanent rest.

In turn every nation needs to address this issue and now its the time of the US military.

The generals were correct in that the military is not ready for gays to serve openly in the military. The military is being being to be the social guinea-pig for the nation.

The generals (perhaps) argued the case badly but I would have thought that they would have told the legislators to first amend the constitution and any legislation (as applicable) before forcing this on the military. Then they should have been honest about the MST (military sexual trauma) incidence in the military currently.

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2010/12/2010122182546344551.html

"2,200 reported rapes in the military in 2007" is an outrageous figure and based on the generally accept rule of thumb that 8-10 times the reported rape figure go unreported.

It gets worse:

'I reported the rape within 30 minutes - then watched my career implode' (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/oct/25/usa.gender)


" During the last Gulf war, 8% of women sent overseas were sexually assaulted or raped, according to a study by researchers for the Department of Veterans' Affairs. "

The generals were correct... this is not the right time to open the gates.

Infanteer
12-23-2010, 12:18 AM
Sure, there is no problem... but maybe then you missed this.

Canada sacks general in Afghanistan (http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2010/05/201053043322635.html)

Chief of Canadian forces serving under Nato dismissed for "inappropriate relationship".

An egotistical General with a history of philandering who got caught breaking regulations that most soldiers have no problem adhereing to - what's to miss?

The soldier he was with was a female clerk, so your point (as usual) has nothing to do with homosexuality or integration into combat units. That's 1397 inane posts; care to contribute anything else?

Rex Brynen
12-23-2010, 01:56 AM
I really don't get the hub-bub. I had both a gay and a lesbian soldier under my command; all the horror stories you tell are simply not true.

Dammit, Infanteer, with your posting based on actual command experience with gay and lesbian soldiers in the field (in a North American military that eliminated discrimination based on sexual orientation 18 years ago with no discernible ill effects). Facts and practical experience have no place in this debate!

motorfirebox
12-23-2010, 03:24 AM
In turn every nation needs to address this issue and now its the time of the US military.

The generals were correct in that the military is not ready for gays to serve openly in the military. The military is being being to be the social guinea-pig for the nation.

The generals (perhaps) argued the case badly but I would have thought that they would have told the legislators to first amend the constitution and any legislation (as applicable) before forcing this on the military. Then they should have been honest about the MST (military sexual trauma) incidence in the military currently.

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2010/12/2010122182546344551.html

"2,200 reported rapes in the military in 2007" is an outrageous figure and based on the generally accept rule of thumb that 8-10 times the reported rape figure go unreported.

It gets worse:

'I reported the rape within 30 minutes - then watched my career implode' (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/oct/25/usa.gender)



The generals were correct... this is not the right time to open the gates.
Well... when would be a good time? Given that we integrated women in 1948 and we're still having issues, does it even matter if we do it at a "good" time or not?

JMA
12-24-2010, 03:52 AM
Well... when would be a good time? Given that we integrated women in 1948 and we're still having issues, does it even matter if we do it at a "good" time or not?

The decision has been made it is going to happen now... so its a done deal.

I can only offer my opinion on the matter for what its worth.

I have a strong opinion that under no circumstances should sexual tension be introduced into combat units. That means women and gays.

In my experience it is enough of a challenge keeping the integrity of the focus/control/camaraderie of combat infantry troops intact without adding sexual rules of engagement to this already complex brew.

So my position is that anything which introduces sexual tension into a combat unit should be avoided at all costs as it will degrade the units combat ability.

Gen Amos spoke of "distractions", “unit cohesion” and said (http://www.stripes.com/news/marine-commandant-concluded-dadt-repeal-may-risk-lives-1.128737):


When a firefight breaks out, he said, lives depend on “intuitive behavior” free from distraction.

I agree 100% with Gen Amos but differ in how I would have presented my argument to the Senate hearing.

1. Be clear that the distraction that will adversely affect unit cohesion is the introduction of sexual tension. (don't be vague on this)

2. Be honest that the introduction of women into the military remains fraught with difficulties (and cite for example that "during the last Gulf war, 8% of women sent overseas were sexually assaulted or raped") which the military does not have a handle on yet. Also to mention the pregnancy rate among females in the same theatre.

3. Then question why the military should act as the social laboratory for this experiment. The politicians should be told that until the US Constitution and all legislation has been amended to give gay people full rights and protection against discrimination in every aspect of life not to force this upon the military.

4. That should the repeal of DADT should be delayed until the military get to take a time out to fix the problems with women in the service and prepare systems and regulations for gays serving openly.

motorfirebox
12-24-2010, 01:00 PM
Given your theory that sexual tension degrades combat units, how do you explain the admirable performance of gender-integrated units in Iraq and Afghanistan? We've got units, such as MPs--which do allow females--who are effectively acting as infantry in many situations. They're performing many of the same tasks with no apparent degradation in performance or unit cohesion.

82redleg
12-24-2010, 02:20 PM
Given your theory that sexual tension degrades combat units, how do you explain the admirable performance of gender-integrated units in Iraq and Afghanistan? We've got units, such as MPs--which do allow females--who are effectively acting as infantry in many situations. They're performing many of the same tasks with no apparent degradation in performance or unit cohesion.

One, they are NOT acting as infantry. They are getting into fights (and responding appropriately) while doing MP missions.

Two, talking to senior NCO and mid-grade officer leadership of these units, all is not nearly as rosy as you paint. There are plenty of issues caused and/or made worse by the presence of females, but the politically correct Army culture covers these facts up.

Read Sebastian Junger's book "War" about a platoon from 173d on a combat outpost in Afghanistan. Then come back and tell me that the lot of that IN platoon would be improved by adding women (or gays) into that mix. There is a slight possibility that their situation would not be worsened, but why make a change for a slight possiblity. There is no right to serve, and IMO, the only justification if for improvement in combat effectiveness, which no one is claiming. We deny people from service for plenty of congenital deficiencies.

motorfirebox
12-24-2010, 11:32 PM
One, they are NOT acting as infantry. They are getting into fights (and responding appropriately) while doing MP missions.
Fair point, but it remains that gender-integrated units are performing in combat.


Two, talking to senior NCO and mid-grade officer leadership of these units, all is not nearly as rosy as you paint. There are plenty of issues caused and/or made worse by the presence of females, but the politically correct Army culture covers these facts up.
I don't doubt there are problems. There also problems with clashes and race and creed, and while the latter two tend to cause problems on a smaller scale than gender, it is a matter of scale rather than quality.


Read Sebastian Junger's book "War" about a platoon from 173d on a combat outpost in Afghanistan. Then come back and tell me that the lot of that IN platoon would be improved by adding women (or gays) into that mix. There is a slight possibility that their situation would not be worsened, but why make a change for a slight possiblity. There is no right to serve, and IMO, the only justification if for improvement in combat effectiveness, which no one is claiming. We deny people from service for plenty of congenital deficiencies.
A change doesn't necessarily need to improve combat effectiveness in order to be accepted. It merely needs to a) have some value, and b) not significantly degrade combat effectiveness. It is not in line with our national values to solely consider military effectiveness. If it were, well, for one thing, Afghanistan and Iraq combined would have taken maybe three years to pacify.

There is absolutely a right to try to serve. Yes, defects and other factors can bar one from service. But unless such a condition actively detracts from military readiness, then it should not be a bar to service.

Other nations--nations whose military capability we respect--have integrated homosexual soldiers and, in some cases, female infantry (though that's a topic for another thread) without apparent significant impairment. I would like to believe that our soldiers are just as capable as theirs. Hell with that, I'd like to believe ours are better.

82redleg
12-25-2010, 03:11 PM
Fair point, but it remains that gender-integrated units are performing in combat.

Only sort of. Those MP units that you point to have all sorts of problems for their leadership that simply don't exist in Infantry (and other segregated units). And those co-ed units simply don't do the same type of operations. MP units generally run FOB to FOB, and don't stay out and live hard for long periods of time. When they do, you can bet that the leadership generally find a way to leave all or most of the females on the FOB, and deploy an all male unit.



I don't doubt there are problems. There also problems with clashes and race and creed, and while the latter two tend to cause problems on a smaller scale than gender, it is a matter of scale rather than quality.

I don't understand this. These units perform, at a much lower standards on easier missions. That's just the way it is. I doubt you will find a male officer or senior NCO that will argue that co-ed units improve combat effectiveness, which is what the issue should be about.


A change doesn't necessarily need to improve combat effectiveness in order to be accepted. It merely needs to a) have some value, and b) not significantly degrade combat effectiveness. It is not in line with our national values to solely consider military effectiveness. If it were, well, for one thing, Afghanistan and Iraq combined would have taken maybe three years to pacify.

All right, what value does ending DA/DT provide?


There is absolutely a right to try to serve. Yes, defects and other factors can bar one from service. But unless such a condition actively detracts from military readiness, then it should not be a bar to service.

Where is this right found? I haven't seen it anywhere. Or are you arguing that there should be a right to serve.


Other nations--nations whose military capability we respect--have integrated homosexual soldiers and, in some cases, female infantry (though that's a topic for another thread) without apparent significant impairment. I would like to believe that our soldiers are just as capable as theirs. Hell with that, I'd like to believe ours are better.

And when you talk honestly with their leaders (not constrained by political correctness), they will tell you that both changes cause issues that result in lower combat effectiveness. In an existential conflict (you know, one where the enemy has the capability to destroy our nation, like where we are fighting in the streets of LA, NY, etc) we might have to accept the lower combat efficiency in order to generate the massively greater requirements of such a conflict. As long as were are sending miniscule cadres of professionals to execute (relatively) short duration missions of choice, I don't see any reason to accept anything less than optimal combat effectiveness.

jmm99
12-25-2010, 07:16 PM
as Polarbear1605 might say; or more exactly, What does the H.R. 2965 (the text passed by both houses and signed by the President), "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010", do besides making an amendment to "the Small Business Act with respect to the Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer Program, and for other purposes."

Let's first look to some of the 2010 text (full text here (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-2965)):


(a) Comprehensive Review on the Implementation of a Repeal of 10 U.S.C. 654 [JMM: this subsection requires a full DoD report to SECDEF on a number of issues - no time limit for this report - see full text]...
...
(b) Effective Date [JMM: effective 60 days after the SECDEF receives the report, and after POTUS, SECDEF and CJCS reporrt to Congress re: the report, its plan of action and other conforming rules - no time limit for this report - see full text]...
...
(c) No Immediate Effect on Current Policy- Section 654 of title 10, United States Code, shall remain in effect until such time that all of the requirements and certifications required by subsection (b) are met. If these requirements and certifications are not met, section 654 of title 10, United States Code, shall remain in effect.

(d) Benefits- Nothing in this section, or the amendments made by this section, shall be construed to require the furnishing of benefits in violation of section 7 of title 1, United States Code (relating to the definitions of ‘marriage’ and ‘spouse’ and referred to as the ‘Defense of Marriage Act’).

(e) No Private Cause of Action- Nothing in this section, or the amendments made by this section, shall be construed to create a private cause of action.

(f) Treatment of 1993 Policy-

(1) TITLE 10- Upon the effective date established by subsection (b), chapter 37 of title 10, United States Code, is amended--

(A) by striking section 654; and

(B) in the table of sections at the beginning of such chapter, by striking the item relating to section 654.

(2) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Upon the effective date established by subsection (b), section 571 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 (10 U.S.C. 654 note) is amended by striking subsections (b), (c), and (d).

I'd estimate (because of the 2012 election campaign) that those reports will be completed within the next 12 months (probably the next 6 months).

What is then going to be "struck" - as though it were never passed. Let's look to the key parts of 10 U.S.C. 654 (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode10/usc_sec_10_00000654----000-.html):


(a) Findings.— [JMM: Congress made 15 findings which will be stricken as though Congress had not made them; but, striking does NOT enact the opposite into positive law - e.g., striking finding 2 "There is no constitutional right to serve in the armed forces." does not create a finding that there is such a constitutional right - negating a point does not prove the point's opposite holds true.] ...
...
(b) Policy.— A member of the armed forces shall be separated from the armed forces under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense if one or more of the following findings is made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in such regulations:

(1) That the member has engaged in, attempted to engage in, or solicited another to engage in a homosexual act or acts [JMM: the remainder provides an exception for "one off" acts - similar but stricter than the sub (2) exception below.]...
...
(2) That the member has stated that he or she is a homosexual or bisexual, or words to that effect, unless there is a further finding, made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in the regulations, that the member has demonstrated that he or she is not a person who engages in, attempts to engage in, has a propensity to engage in, or intends to engage in homosexual acts.

(3) That the member has married or attempted to marry a person known to be of the same biological sex.
...
[JMM: subsections (c) Entry Standards and Documents, (d) Required Briefings and (e) Rule of Construction are conforming provisions to the mandatory discharge policy]
...
(f) Definitions.— In this section:

(1) The term “homosexual” means a person, regardless of sex, who engages in, attempts to engage in, has a propensity to engage in, or intends to engage in homosexual acts, and includes the terms “gay” and “lesbian”.

(2) The term “bisexual” means a person who engages in, attempts to engage in, has a propensity to engage in, or intends to engage in homosexual and heterosexual acts.

(3) The term “homosexual act” means—

(A) any bodily contact, actively undertaken or passively permitted, between members of the same sex for the purpose of satisfying sexual desires; and

(B) any bodily contact which a reasonable person would understand to demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in an act described in subparagraph (A).

The constitutionality of 10 U.S.C. 654 has been upheld by numerous decisions, Brett E. Heyman, Constitutional Law—”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: Acceptable in an Accepting Society? (http://dont.stanford.edu/commentary/Constitutional_Law_Dont_Ask_Dont_Tell_Acceptable.p df)—Cook v. Gates, 528 F.3d 42 (1st Cir. 2008) (SULR 2009).

The repeal also will strike the Sec. 571 provisions (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode10/usc_sec_10_00000654----000-notes.html) when repeal becomes effective, which are:


Section 571 (b)–(d) of Pub. L. 103–160 provided that:

(b) Regulations.—Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 30, 1993], the Secretary of Defense shall revise Department of Defense regulations, and issue such new regulations as may be necessary, to implement section 654 of title 10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a).

(c) Savings Provision.—Nothing in this section or section 654 of title 10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), may be construed to invalidate any inquiry, investigation, administrative action or proceeding, court-martial, or judicial proceeding conducted before the effective date of regulations issued by the Secretary of Defense to implement such section 654.
(d) Sense of Congress.—It is the sense of Congress that—

(1) the suspension of questioning concerning homosexuality as part of the processing of individuals for accession into the Armed Forces under the interim policy of January 29, 1993, should be continued, but the Secretary of Defense may reinstate that questioning with such questions or such revised questions as he considers appropriate if the Secretary determines that it is necessary to do so in order to effectuate the policy set forth in section 654 of title 10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a); and

(2) the Secretary of Defense should consider issuing guidance governing the circumstances under which members of the Armed Forces questioned about homosexuality for administrative purposes should be afforded warnings similar to the warnings under section 831 (b) of title 10, United States Code (article 31(b) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice).

The bottom line is that, unless Congress enacts added legislation and/or DoD promulgates added rules and regulations, the legal situation will largely revert to what it was in 1993 before DADT was enacted. In that scenario, Randy Shilts, Conduct Unbecoming, Gays & Lesbians in the US Military (1993), will no longer be ancient history !

This legal story is far from finished - lots of legal beavers will be working on this forest of trees because all the "repeal" does is to repeal the DADT mandatory discharge policy, bringing back into effect (unless there is positive law enacted or promulgated) a discretionary discharge policy - or no policy in this area at all. Take your pick.

Regards

Mike

Deus Ex
12-26-2010, 02:28 AM
Given your theory that sexual tension degrades combat units, how do you explain the admirable performance of gender-integrated units in Iraq and Afghanistan? We've got units, such as MPs--which do allow females--who are effectively acting as infantry in many situations. They're performing many of the same tasks with no apparent degradation in performance or unit cohesion.

I simply do not understand this. I cannot fathom how anyone thinks integrating females into combat arms and the repeal of DADT are in any way the linked. 82 already responded appropriately, but this seems to be a developing trend and it worries the hell out of me.

The repeal of DADT seems to be, for the most part, a good thing. However, DADT always seems to be mentioned in hand, mainly by liberals (not saying you are one, motorfirebox, and not that it's a bad thing to be liberal) on other sites, as something that should occur with the integration of women into combat arms.

I seriously cannot fathom how anyone could argue for women in infantry or cavalry. The standards for female fitness (PT test and otherwise) are ridiculously low, females are biologically weaker (I don't give a damn about some obscure outlier), and the evolutionary mentality for combat seems quite different in men than in women, given our 70,000 or so years of evolution where women were not the combatants and hunters. I have done MMA training for years. I have yet to encounter a single woman who I couldn't beat to death if the need arose. Women are equal to men, but not when it comes to infantry and cavalry tasks.

Infanteer
12-26-2010, 08:16 AM
I seriously cannot fathom how anyone could argue for women in infantry or cavalry. The standards for female fitness (PT test and otherwise) are ridiculously low, females are biologically weaker (I don't give a damn about some obscure outlier), and the evolutionary mentality for combat seems quite different in men than in women, given our 70,000 or so years of evolution where women were not the combatants and hunters. I have done MMA training for years. I have yet to encounter a single woman who I couldn't beat to death if the need arose. Women are equal to men, but not when it comes to infantry and cavalry tasks.

Never seen that argument before.

FWIW, a rifle company just finished up its 7 month tour in one of the most contested areas of Panjwayi district under a female commander.

These same claims were raised over 2 decades ago when the Canadian military was fully integrated. The sky has not fallen. Really - there are better things to expend one's energy on....

Deus Ex
12-26-2010, 10:02 AM
Never seen that argument before.

FWIW, a rifle company just finished up its 7 month tour in one of the most contested areas of Panjwayi district under a female commander.

These same claims were raised over 2 decades ago when the Canadian military was fully integrated. The sky has not fallen. Really - there are better things to expend one's energy on....

Thank you for the response. Although interesting that a woman held the command and did (from the sounds of things) a good job, the tasks of the average infantryman engaged in prolonged and high intensity combat are well beyond that of your average or better than average female. I have seen this personally time and time again in training, and I've only experienced mild stuff.

You know how many 130 pound women I know who, in full kit, can drag or carry a wounded comrade, also in full kit, 50 to 200 meters? Extremely few. I don't even know of a single woman who deadlifts, or could even deadlift her own bodyweight. How many women do you know who can do a pull up from a dead hang? I'm just touching on the empirically documented biological differences that exist between men and women, differences that would put a unit in prolonged and heavy fighting in danger of not being able to accomplish core tasks.


Sure, women can shoot damn well. First time I qualified, I knew of some women with higher scores. But there is a fundamental biological difference in the brains of men that make them
far more competent, effective, and brutal in combat. Imagining women in combat appeals to the lowest common denominator of combat: a firefight at 300 meters that lasts for 30 minutes and ends as it started. Reality for infantrymen could potentially mean a ruck march of 30 miles through extremely difficult terrain at high elevations with 80 lbs of gear with minimal amounts of sleep in horrendous weather, after all of which the enemy would have to be found, closed with, and killed, possibly in close combat. Close combat where, I might add, a female has an absolute disadvantage compared to a man. Read Rommel's book, what I just described is par for the course. You know how many women I know who could do the above? None. For most men that would be pushing the utmost limits of their capabilities.

Back to the original point: the repeal of DADT should in no way be confused with or put in the same category as the inclusion of women into infantry, cavalry, or armor. If there is one thing that would make me leave my commission early, if I am fortunate enough to get combat arms (I'll know in less than 9 months), it is the inclusion of women into the above-stated branches. Call me a mysoginist, but I've worked with and trained women in combat situations (mma and military), and this is one area that they are simply not equal in.

selil
12-26-2010, 06:23 PM
I have yet to encounter a single woman who I couldn't beat to death if the need arose. Women are equal to men, but not when it comes to infantry and cavalry tasks.

Deus Ex,

Caveat: I am not calling you on the carpet, or trying to insult you. So, take the following as you can and adjust fire accordingly.

First you are making a logic error of specific to be applied to the general case. It is absolutely possible to construct an argument that excludes a gender, or ethnicity. Your later discussions about carrying a comrade out of a fire fight carrying a full ruck, after a 30 mile march is a fine example of hyper specificity to a small sampling of cases. You even give a counter example yourself in stating that most men would be driven to failure.

So the question is what level must somebody meet to be given the opportunity versus excluded?

You also use a lot of absolutism (none, all, every) statements. Then handily toss out you're not interested in discussing edge cases (but, your argument is completely constructed of them). The use of superlatives are also logical fallacies, but worse they can lead to erroneous decisions based on the least evidence rather than the prJitsueponderance of the evidence.

I like your MMA example. Like you I train in a variety of martial arts (Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Jiu Jitsu , and a minimal amount of Aikido or Hap Kido). I'm not claiming any expertise it is just a point of reference. I easily beat my 19 year old sparring based on guile, strength (me 190lb, him 130lb), but he zips out a 5K in 14-15 minutes, while I plod along at 25 minutes. Simply, there are to many variables across age, training, body type, and conditioning to make any type of substantive comparison.

There is also a concern about the specifics of the example of combat. From your argument you constrain the idea of one man versus the world. I refer to this as the evil side of "army of one", but to put a kinder point on it, you forget the other guys in the squad. If as you stated earlier that even most men would be hard pressed to make the grade perhaps the argument is fully moot. Perhaps the examples of extreme are then examples of other failures that shouldn't have even happened.

I though don't hear an anti-gender argument. I hear an argument that to many soldiers (regardless of gender) are not making the grade. This would follow with recent studies by the Marine Corps, and the Army into recruits entering. The rapid escalation of cross-training and other forms of exercise based on the level of recruit entering are fine examples of adaption to the realities of a soft civilian population. I'm not interested in political correctness, but if we are going to disenfranchise and expel from opportunity half the population, the argument should be well founded and factually based.

Infanteer
12-26-2010, 08:31 PM
You know how many 130 pound women I know who, in full kit, can drag or carry a wounded comrade, also in full kit, 50 to 200 meters?

The average soldier carries 50-90 lbs of gear. No soldier, with all that gear, can pick up an additional 200-300 lbs of deadweight and move it, especially in 50 degree (celcius) heat and complex terrain. While (thankfully) none of my soldiers had to be evacuated in combat, a friend related an evacuation of a mortally wounded soldier during a TIC - it took 8 soldiers 45 minutes to move him 800 meters.


Call me a mysoginist, but I've worked with and trained women in combat situations (mma and military), and this is one area that they are simply not equal in.

I don't need to read Rommel or imagine your situations. I've commanded women in a Rifle Platoon in Afghanistan (support trades - sister platoon had a female infantryman). These situations of morale and effectiveness falling apart and the images of weeping, ineffective female soldiers are simply not true. If standards of competence and fitness are kept reasonably high, then the problems don't really manifest themselves.

To avoid getting off on too much of a tangent, the issue of women in all branches of the military is not really a significant one - especially in the combat trades. Small combat units are type-A organizations, much like football or hockey teams, and appeal to certain personalities. Even with a completely open military, we see less than 1 percent of the spots filled by women. The ones who tend to end up there are usually the ones attracted to fit and demanding tasks.

Deus Ex
12-26-2010, 09:41 PM
The average soldier carries 50-90 lbs of gear. No soldier, with all that gear, can pick up an additional 200-300 lbs of deadweight and move it, especially in 50 degree (celcius) heat and complex terrain. While (thankfully) none of my soldiers had to be evacuated in combat, a friend related an evacuation of a mortally wounded soldier during a TIC - it took 8 soldiers 45 minutes to move him 800 meters.



I don't need to read Rommel or imagine your situations. I've commanded women in a Rifle Platoon in Afghanistan (support trades - sister platoon had a female infantryman). These situations of morale and effectiveness falling apart and the images of weeping, ineffective female soldiers are simply not true. If standards of competence and fitness are kept reasonably high, then the problems don't really manifest themselves.

To avoid getting off on too much of a tangent, the issue of women in all branches of the military is not really a significant one - especially in the combat trades. Small combat units are type-A organizations, much like football or hockey teams, and appeal to certain personalities. Even with a completely open military, we see less than 1 percent of the spots filled by women. The ones who tend to end up there are usually the ones attracted to fit and demanding tasks.

I greatly appreciate and respect your service in commanding a rifle platoon. I mean absolutely no disrespect when I ask the following questions:
At what intensity level was the combat your rifle platoon experienced during their tour? Was your female-integrated rifle plt. conducting dismounted patrols? If so, how often? What was your optempo like? How many casualties did you suffer? Was contact with the enemy based around them initiating distant ambushes and employing ieds, or did your men and women seek to close with and kill the Taliban? How heavy was your kit load for an average dismounted patrol? What part of Afghanistan were you deployed to?

Deus Ex
12-26-2010, 11:10 PM
Deus Ex,

Caveat: I am not calling you on the carpet, or trying to insult you. So, take the following as you can and adjust fire accordingly.

First you are making a logic error of specific to be applied to the general case. It is absolutely possible to construct an argument that excludes a gender, or ethnicity. Your later discussions about carrying a comrade out of a fire fight carrying a full ruck, after a 30 mile march is a fine example of hyper specificity to a small sampling of cases. You even give a counter example yourself in stating that most men would be driven to failure.

So the question is what level must somebody meet to be given the opportunity versus excluded?

You also use a lot of absolutism (none, all, every) statements. Then handily toss out you're not interested in discussing edge cases (but, your argument is completely constructed of them). The use of superlatives are also logical fallacies, but worse they can lead to erroneous decisions based on the least evidence rather than the preponderance of the evidence.

I like your MMA example. Like you I train in a variety of martial arts (Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Jiu Jitsu , and a minimal amount of Aikido or Hap Kido). I'm not claiming any expertise it is just a point of reference. I easily beat my 19 year old sparring based on guile, strength (me 190lb, him 130lb), but he zips out a 5K in 14-15 minutes, while I plod along at 25 minutes. Simply, there are to many variables across age, training, body type, and conditioning to make any type of substantive comparison.

There is also a concern about the specifics of the example of combat. From your argument you constrain the idea of one man versus the world. I refer to this as the evil side of "army of one", but to put a kinder point on it, you forget the other guys in the squad. If as you stated earlier that even most men would be hard pressed to make the grade perhaps the argument is fully moot. Perhaps the examples of extreme are then examples of other failures that shouldn't have even happened.

I though don't hear an anti-gender argument. I hear an argument that to many soldiers (regardless of gender) are not making the grade. This would follow with recent studies by the Marine Corps, and the Army into recruits entering. The rapid escalation of cross-training and other forms of exercise based on the level of recruit entering are fine examples of adaption to the realities of a soft civilian population. I'm not interested in political correctness, but if we are going to disenfranchise and expel from opportunity half the population, the argument should be well founded and factually based.

No offense taken at all, I enjoy the debate.

I think we are in pretty fundamental disagreement. My example of what an infantryman is expected to do is not an example of hyper specificity. Although it may be an exceedingly difficult and trying experience for a well conditioned infantryman, it was, like I said, par for the course for the Württemberg infantry Rommel commanded. They were not some ultra elite unit. They were simply veteran infantry in an above average unit led by a genius. I didn't say most men would be driven to failure (although most civilian men, without training, would of course fail and die). I said that for a well trained infantrymen it would be a very trying experience. An infantryman is expected to be adaptable and capable of fighting successfully in an innumerable amount of circumstances.

My 1st Sergeant during training last summer was a cav guy. His basic + AIT training many years back involved a 25 mile ruck march test in full gear in incredibly hot weather. How many women could complete that? I'm willing to bet for every 10 guys who could do that, you would find 1 woman (tops!) who could as well.

The best part about this is that thus far we have merely discussed the basic physical qualities necessary to be in prolonged and varied combat in high intensity warfare (which I posit 99% of women are not capable of, or if capable, would be decisively less efficient at than men). We haven't discussed the myriad of other factors that would make the choice obvious to exclude women from combat arms MOSs like infantry/cav:
1) The clearly separate evolutionary track that male and female brains took in regard to combat.
2) The problems of potential integration of women into Knox and Benning. Having had multiple friends go through Benning and Knox, and friends who went to Jackson and other joke training centers, there is an absolute difference in difficulty and training when women get involved. If you deny this, you're either mendacious of ill informed. Knox and Benning stay more difficult because women are not there, and because men in combat arms are held to a higher standard.
3) I have read about Israel forming an all female infantry unit. It was said to be an abject failure and the Israelis relegated it to innocuous border duty before disbanding it. If anyone has any further information on this topic I'd be very interested in reading more.
4) Before we can even consider putting women in the infantry/cav, we must correct that women are held to a FAR lower standard on the PT test (Army) that is pitifully easy to pass. The minimum amount of push ups for men is the MAX for women. The minimum passing time on the 2 mile run for men is again the MAX for women. A real test for a combat arms fitness would be something more similar to this (http://www.militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=43).

My MMA training involves real fighting. No offense, but Tae Kwon Do, non Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Aikido, and Hap Kido are not very effective martial arts. This Hollywood crap of a 125 lb female doing spinning and ineffective Tae Kwon Do kicks against a mob of built men is utter fantasy. If the above-stated were effective, I would be seeing fighters using those martial arts in Mixed Martial Arts. Those styles simply do not train in a realistic and brutal enough fashion for street fighting or MMA. I have trained in the four most proven martial arts: Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, wrestling, and boxing. I have done this for years, and it teaches you hard lessons about waxing philosophically on issues that are settled by kinetic force. For no fault of their own, women have never been even close to equal in any of those fighting styles. Not in my elite fighting gym, and not in higher organizations like the UFC, K1, Dream, Pride, etc. On the battlefield, there are no weight classes. The bullets fired by your enemy do not give a damn that Pvt. Susie Baker can run 2 miles in 15:30 for a 100 point score on her PT test. The burly Chechen foreign fighter who is about to bludgeon to death with his AK-47 a decidedly disadvantaged 5 foot 4 130 lb female soldier does not care about the feminist cause, or equal rights, or her entirely unrelated score on the joke that is the PT test. This is real life. And people will die.

I must restate again that this is a very separate issue from DADT. We already have gay men and women in the service. They have not affected the quality of our military. I personally know gay people in the Army, a few are open about it to trustworthy individuals, and the majority are in the closet. They are already here, working hard, and doing just as well as anyone else, if not better. We do not have women in situations that can be comparable to what infantrymen and cavalrymen must endure. There is no precedent for women in high intensity warfare that can be objectively evaluated. If all signs indicate that women are not as physically and mentally capable of conducting high intensity warfare, the onus is on you to provide evidence that women are not only capable, but will not detract from the quality of combat arms.

To open the channels to women entering infantry and cav would be the height of stupidity.

motorfirebox
12-26-2010, 11:32 PM
I'm going to defer to Infanteer on the topic of combat viability. (Mostly because he agrees with me :D)

All right, what value does ending DA/DT provide?
Equality. It is inarguable that gay soldiers receive unequal treatment in the military under DADT. Our founding documents make it clear that equality is a virtue in and of itself.


Where is this right found? I haven't seen it anywhere. Or are you arguing that there should be a right to serve.
Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. The 9th Amendment applies, here. The reason the 9th Amendment exists is that the Founding Fathers feared that creating a specific list of rights could be taken as an exclusion of any rights not listed. Being denied entry into any government enterprise based on opinion of personal choices, rather than any actual deleterious effects related to entry, seems like exactly what the 9th Amendment was included to prevent.


I simply do not understand this. I cannot fathom how anyone thinks integrating females into combat arms and the repeal of DADT are in any way the linked. 82 already responded appropriately, but this seems to be a developing trend and it worries the hell out of me.
I was mainly responding to JMA's assertion that the main reason to bar openly gay soldiers from serving is that it would create sexual tension.

selil
12-27-2010, 02:48 AM
I think we are in pretty fundamental disagreement. My example of what an infantryman is expected to do is not an example of hyper specificity. Although it may be an exceedingly difficult and trying experience for a well conditioned infantryman, it was, like I said, par for the course for the Württemberg infantry Rommel commanded.

Unfortunately we are not dealing with Rommels infantry nor are most of the people to be found in the current military of America going to be conditioned by the blue collar jobs and strength over brains career of early industrial Europe. Watching Restrepo as the Marine unit moved on to OP Restrepo struggled heavily and that hike wasn't nearing 20 miles.

Simply put the use case for exclusion is an aberration rather than a standard.


My 1st Sergeant during training last summer was a cav guy. His basic + AIT training many years back involved a 25 mile ruck march test in full gear in incredibly hot weather. How many women could complete that? I'm willing to bet for every 10 guys who could do that, you would find 1 woman (tops!) who could as well.

So, your 1st Sgt and I likely were in the Army around the same time. More on this later.


The best part about this is that thus far we have merely discussed the basic physical qualities necessary to be in prolonged and varied combat in high intensity warfare (which I posit 99% of women are not capable of, or if capable, would be decisively less efficient at than men). We haven't discussed the myriad of other factors that would make the choice obvious to exclude women from combat arms MOSs like infantry/cav:

I'm still not why if a woman could meet the physical entry requirements why would you expel her? Entry requirements that are non-gender based are good for quality, but other than gender why would you exclude?


1) The clearly separate evolutionary track that male and female brains took in regard to combat.

There is no well founded science to this point. You can find citations to this point, but close study will show that women are perfectly capable of tripping the trigger..


2) The problems of potential integration of women into Knox and Benning. Having had multiple friends go through Benning and Knox, and friends who went to Jackson and other joke training centers, there is an absolute difference in difficulty and training when women get involved. If you deny this, you're either mendacious of ill informed. Knox and Benning stay more difficult because women are not there, and because men in combat arms are held to a higher standard.

Back to your 1st sgt. I personally went through Knox around 25 years ago. But, wait.. There is more. I also went through MCRD San Diego around 24 years ago. Then about 22 years ago I went through Police Academy. That puts me through basic training, boot camp, and a law enforcement academy. Do I get any personal cred points to say I have a clue what it means to hump a ruck old style on my back instead of in a jeep?

The point succinctly is that humping an M60 with ammo 25 miles (I've done it numerous times because I'm fat) is back breaking work. If somebody can do it, and they want the job they should be allowed to do it. If they can't do it then they shouldn't be allowed to do it. Regardless of gender. This point is likely moot because we can likely count on one hand the number of women who WANT to do it, and CAN do it. And, likely all five could kick our rumps easily. Exclusivity at the edge of the data set has a tendency to create examples in extremism.


4) Before we can even consider putting women in the infantry/cav, we must correct that women are held to a FAR lower standard on the PT test (Army) that is pitifully easy to pass. The minimum amount of push ups for men is the MAX for women. The minimum passing time on the 2 mile run for men is again the MAX for women. A real test for a combat arms fitness would be something more similar to this (http://www.militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=43).

This we are in agreement with. The test should be the test. Regardless of gender.


My MMA training involves real fighting. No offense, but Tae Kwon Do, non Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Aikido, and Hap Kido are not very effective martial arts. This Hollywood crap of a 125 lb female doing spinning and ineffective Tae Kwon Do kicks against a mob of built men is utter fantasy. If the above-stated were effective, I would be seeing fighters using those martial arts in Mixed Martial Arts. Those styles simply do not train in a realistic and brutal enough fashion for street fighting or MMA.

One point we disagree on is that MMA is real fighting. It is close, but it still has rules. Rules that can be abused and used to strategize a winning bout. Maybe I should have mentioned but I do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with a Gracie (as he trained in Brazil) trained instructor. Tae Kwon Do and Jiu Jitsu is how my two 10 year olds, my 19 year old, my wife and I spend our time most evenings. When we are not sneaking through the woods with bows, running marathons, or doing combat courses.

To reiterate MMA is a great work out, and grappling, kicking, punching are great but they usually mean you've screwed up. I spent 7 years in constant combat working rapid response inside a corrections environment averaging up to 7 or 8 fights a shift (inner city 1000 prisoner county jail). There are no rules, there is only one allowed outcome, and contrary to public opinion when the five-o shows up they are always outnumbered.

But, that doesn't change the fact. Whomever, you bring into combat, infantry or otherwise, should be ready to engage the enemy and do the enemy harm as dictated by the mission and rules of engagement. Insuring the barriers to entry are set correctly, and that the training is focused on the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities, are of paramount importance. They also should be gender neutral.


The bullets fired by your enemy do not give a damn that Pvt. Susie Baker can run 2 miles in 15:30 for a 100 point score on her PT test. The burly Chechen foreign fighter who is about to bludgeon to death with his AK-47 a decidedly disadvantaged 5 foot 4 130 lb female soldier does not care about the feminist cause, or equal rights, or her entirely unrelated score on the joke that is the PT test. This is real life. And people will die.

The bullets don't care if you're the lantern jawed perfect PFT soldier either.

Interesting. I train with a Polish (former Spetznaz type do the math) career infantry guy. When we are doing TKD, or BJJ he whoops my ass (did I mention I'm fat?). When we are free form and I move between Aikido, Muay Thai (fun by the way), and back through Judo seamlessly I get some pretty good take downs. When the rules are relaxed the art creeps in and I'm sneaky. Perhaps your mythical superstud infantryman can handle all cases and situations, but what set them apart can be assessed. Your 5'4" 130# female (who is nearly overweight for the Army by the way) isn't the case you want ever.

If you want to argue this case take the 5'8" 150# male and female and test two who pass the same physical fitness standards. That is your case study for whether they can pass. Using constructed cases of the tiny chick you'd have to compare her to that mini-me man to have validity. Instead you should be testing based on equality from the onset of your study.


To open the channels to women entering infantry and cav would be the height of stupidity.

The exact same arguments were made about women fighter pilots, and half a dozen other occupations. Some of the best cops I knew were women, and some of the worst cops I knew were men. In isolation that might mean something but really it doesn't have any bearing on reality. There were always bad cops and good cops. Regardless of gender. You use of edge cases simply doesn't stand to any logical rigor. The examples must be comparable to be accurate.

The problem is this argument like DADD is more about puritanism and social constructivism then it is about reality. The argument is that gender inequality of service is about inadequacy but it glosses over the bitter reality that the your chosen examples are edge cases based in historical inaccuracies. I'm willing to bet that any serving Army soldier who is active on a daily basis in MMA and Crossfit is going to be an edge case against the backdrop of the totality of the Army population. Much like the flaming fairy private in a tu-tu dancing through the chow hall is going to be an aberration of the other extreme.

One final point. Opportunity is not entry. If the opportunity is the same across the board (not the current silly different scales) and is monitored and evaluated with the same quality. Then hopefully the pool of applicants increases and the overall quality increases. That is a difficult point to ponder, but statistically and in reality if you increase the overall pool of available volunteers, then the men in the pool will simply get better too.

J.C.
12-27-2010, 03:47 AM
I think the real point is:

1.What does this mean for the TLs, SLs, PSGs, PLs, 1SGs, and COs.
2.What will the new EO courses be ( 6hrs of online PPT).
3.What about CO LDRs who refuse the training based on religious belief.
4.What happens when soldiers start claiming or filing EO.
5.What happens with housing, benifits, and FRG groups.

All in all, asking about gay or lesbian soldiers serving is the 25m target. When has that Army etc.. implemented a policey well....

This will be a signifigant issue at the CO lvl. CDRs will over react, and it will be painful. In the end it is what it is.... But, we will lose alot of good leaders who are just feed up with the EO BS. In the end nobody cares... untill its their problem. We can't even kick out over wieght, under performing people for the right reasons now, what happens when this just becomes another one of those layers.

v/r

J.C.

bourbon
12-28-2010, 05:08 PM
Special forces wary of 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/27/special-forces-wary-of-dont-ask-repeal/), by Rowan Scarborough. The Washington Times, 27 December 2010.

The working group's report contained this observation: "These survey results reveal to us a misperception that a gay man does not 'fit' the image of a good warfighter - a misperception that is almost completely erased when a gay service member is allowed to prove himself alongside fellow warfighters.

"Anecdotally, we heard much the same. As one special-operations force warfighter told us, 'We have a gay guy [in the unit]. He's big, he's mean, and he kills lots of bad guys. No one cared that he was gay.' "

Said Adm. Worthington: "It just depends on how they comport themselves. If they start breaking out the bows and the earrings in the barracks, that might cause a little trouble. That becomes a good order and discipline sort of thing. The services are going to have to tighten up on regulations."
It has always amazed me on how readily the military and SOF in particular embrace all things Sparta of ancient Greece, yet overlook the pervasive homosexuality of the Spartans. You can’t cherry pick history.

DVC
12-28-2010, 08:45 PM
Been lurking on SWJ and enjoyed the back and forth but have decided to post. Am retired military, combat arms.


I am definitely opposed to the repeal of DADT because I believe homosexuality is morally wrong and saying that things that are morally wrong are right and normal is damaging to society.

Not sure the driver behind society's perception of homosexuality changing from moral evil to mental illness to normal. It does seem like those in favor of repeal use the standard of "if it's consensual between adults and there is not overwhelming scientific data that it is physically harmful, then it is OK." If that is the standard is there still a basis for societal or military prohibitions on adult incest, polygamy, bestiality, prostitution, or even marijuana use?

As an interesting aside, on another forum there was a post by an acquaintance of someone in AIT. The guy in AIT asked his NCO what he thought of the repeal. The NCO answered that as soon as it went through, he was going to grab his towel and shower in the women's barracks because if gays get to shower with the gender they like to have sex with, it's only fair that straights have the same opportunities.

JMA
12-28-2010, 09:51 PM
I was mainly responding to JMA's assertion that the main reason to bar openly gay soldiers from serving is that it would create sexual tension.

Yes, and that sexual tension extends to females in the military in general and combat units specifically.

The problems are hidden or under reported on the pretext that everything is just fine and dandy with the introduction of females into the military. The truth is being hidden.

As much as the Canadians may claim "there is no problem" they have recently lost a brigadier-general (http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/world-news/sex-tainted-top-canadian-commander-quits_100465592.html) and a colonel (http://www.suite101.com/content/canadas-top-soldier-in-haiti-stripped-of-command-a259771) who couldn't keep their pants zipped. I'm sure if one dug a little deeper one would find more evidence that all is not as well as claimed. For example disciplinary 'charges have risen by as much as 62 per cent over an eight-year period (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/07/21/f-militarycharges.html#socialcomments)' (of the Canadian deployments to Afghanistan) and that includes "sexual" offences.

OK so thats the naughty stuff. On the heterosexual consensual side we see them banging away like belt-fed mortars with the resulting problems to the services caused by pregnancies. See here (http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/acsc/99-016.pdf) and here (http://www.iom.edu/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Veterans/GulfWarLitReview/Araneta_reproductiveoutcomes042005.pdf) and elsewhere.

So clearly the introduction of females into the military has brought a number of specific problems which go beyond my principle argument of the introduction of sexual tension.

The same will be the case when gays can openly serve in the military. More of the same.

davidbfpo
12-29-2010, 11:53 AM
Moderator at work: The few posts on the un-related issue of Chechen warriors have been moved to the thread on that topic. Now back to our normal programming.:wry:

Rex Brynen
12-29-2010, 01:51 PM
Yes, and that sexual tension extends to females in the military in general and combat units specifically.

The problems are hidden or under reported on the pretext that everything is just fine and dandy with the introduction of females into the military. The truth is being hidden.

As much as the Canadians may claim "there is no problem" they have recently lost a brigadier-general (http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/world-news/sex-tainted-top-canadian-commander-quits_100465592.html) and a colonel (http://www.suite101.com/content/canadas-top-soldier-in-haiti-stripped-of-command-a259771) who couldn't keep their pants zipped. I'm sure if one dug a little deeper one would find more evidence that all is not as well as claimed. For example disciplinary 'charges have risen by as much as 62 per cent over an eight-year period (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/07/21/f-militarycharges.html#socialcomments)' (of the Canadian deployments to Afghanistan) and that includes "sexual" offences.

OK so thats the naughty stuff. On the heterosexual consensual side we see them banging away like belt-fed mortars with the resulting problems to the services caused by pregnancies. See here (http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/acsc/99-016.pdf) and here (http://www.iom.edu/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Veterans/GulfWarLitReview/Araneta_reproductiveoutcomes042005.pdf) and elsewhere.

So clearly the introduction of females into the military has brought a number of specific problems which go beyond my principle argument of the introduction of sexual tension.

The same will be the case when gays can openly serve in the military. More of the same.

Of course, the other interpretation would be:

1) The rules are being applied even to BGs and Colonels, rather than senior officers being allowed to get away with violations. Presumably that's a good thing.

2) The increased number of disciplinary charges could be a function of lower tolerance and tightened-up unit discipline in wartime.

Moreover, none of the links above address the human resource gains of enlarging the recruit pool beyond heterosexual males, nor for that matter the larger political and normative issues around discrimination.

In any case, it is a done deal and has been for years. Given the very strong support in both the Canadian Forces and Canadian society for the full inclusions of women, gays, and lesbians in the military, there is zero chance of the policies being changed (which would be unconstitutional in any event).

motorfirebox
12-30-2010, 04:03 AM
Not sure the driver behind society's perception of homosexuality changing from moral evil to mental illness to normal. It does seem like those in favor of repeal use the standard of "if it's consensual between adults and there is not overwhelming scientific data that it is physically harmful, then it is OK." If that is the standard is there still a basis for societal or military prohibitions on adult incest, polygamy, bestiality, prostitution, or even marijuana use?
The major driver is the shift away from Abrahamic religions (mainly Christianity) in a large portion of our society. If you don't care about God's opinion of homosexuality, there's little reason to view it as wrong. Incest and bestiality don't fit your definition--incest is physically harmful, in that it greatly increases the chance of harmful effects on any children; and bestiality isn't something that occurs between consenting adults. I'm in favor of reclassifying marijuana to have usage restrictions similar to alcohol, and likewise I don't have any real problem with prostitution other than how it's often conducted, so I can't really comment on that part of your comparison. As for polygamy, by the standards set out in the Bible, it's already a culturally accepted phenomenon, what with the rate of divorce and the frequency of extramarital sex.

And frankly, I don't think moral aspersions on any sexual behavior, in comparison to prostitution and/or polygamy (again, as understood in the Bible, since that's where a lot of these arguments come from) can really be taken seriously when it comes from a military perspective. At most levels I'm familiar with, soldier promiscuity and engagement with prostitutes is widely accepted and viewed as acceptable so long as it doesn't actually cause any issues. To turn around and say that homosexuality is wrong on the same basis that promiscuity/polygamy and prostitution are wrong is pretty thin reasoning in practice.

DVC
12-30-2010, 09:54 PM
The major driver is the shift away from Abrahamic religions (mainly Christianity) in a large portion of our society. If you don't care about God's opinion of homosexuality, there's little reason to view it as wrong.

Agreed and very frightened by what this means for America.

"The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man." - G.K Chesterton, Chapter 19, What I Saw In America, 1922

Fuchs
12-30-2010, 10:52 PM
So clearly the introduction of females into the military has brought a number of specific problems which go beyond my principle argument of the introduction of sexual tension.

The same will be the case when gays can openly serve in the military. More of the same.

Let me slap you with math.

Example:
Assumptions:

A unit has
60% heterosexual men,
30% heterosexual females,
5% homosexual males and
5% homosexual women.
Unit not deployed.
No bisexuals (would complicate math much for no gain).
Covert homosexuals did not identify each other under DADT.

Introduction of females into service meant that
60% may find a partner among 30%, while 30% may find a partner among 60%.

Introduction of gay tolerance means that
5% may find a partner among 5% (and this twice).

Sorry, but in-unit sexual tensions will likely be tiny unless homosexuals are much less choosey than heterosexuals.

-----------------------

I'm more concerned about stupidities of the heteros in the unit. Infantry service is for example considered to be a very 'male', 'warrior' thing - and this attracts at least some highly motivated men (and more than too much loud-mouths, of course).
Aside from recruitment issues, heterosexual males may develop stupid behaviour towards homosexual males and turn the latter into outsiders.

May happen, doesn't need to happen. It's usually a NCO job to correct stupid behaviour by stupid people, but sadly many NCOs are stupid as well.

Deus Ex
12-30-2010, 11:20 PM
Agreed and very frightened by what this means for America.

"The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man." - G.K Chesterton, Chapter 19, What I Saw In America, 1922

No need to be worried. Modern atheists tend to be the biggest proponents of universal and unassailable human rights. I know I am. I know Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris believe the same.

The Bible and Quran are ripe with quotes that would lead us to not be equal. Hell, the Bible tells you how exactly one should own and treat a slave. Strange that Jesus never told the slave owners to stop owning slaves, as it is a gross and disgusting practice.

I don't need a sky daddy to tell me to be good.

Btw, just so everyone knows, the United States is not and never was a Christian nation. Read The Treaty of Tripoli, universally ratified by our nation's early Senate: "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..."

motorfirebox
12-31-2010, 05:05 PM
Agreed and very frightened by what this means for America.

"The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man." - G.K Chesterton, Chapter 19, What I Saw In America, 1922
I can understand that. I don't mean this as an attack on you or an attack on religion, but the reason I can understand it is that I'm fairly frightened of what it would mean for me if the religious right regained control over the US. I think the religious right would outlaw about 75% of my lifestyle, including my sex life--I'm not gay or bi, but I'm not married and I'm not refraining.

But I don't think the argument that without God there can be no equality is really reasonable. A logical premise for equal treatment of all humanity can be arrived at without religious dogma. It's fairly straightforward: it hinges on the acceptance of the idea that circumstance does not define the individual. The idea of rejecting circumstance hinges on the idea of free will (now, some people reject that free will exists, but I don't think it's worthwhile arguing with those people). If one has free will, then circumstance is at most a modifier to one's actions, not the ultimate determinant. And if circumstance does not define an individual, then one must to some extent disregard circumstance when it comes to determining the value of other human beings. If you disregard circumstance, then you accept that all humans are indeed created equal.

And on top of that... I'm not sure it matters where the basis for equality comes from. Let's say you're right and the only reasonable basis for equality is Christian dogma. Well, Christianity has had over two millennia to get equality right, and it's only been in the last two centuries that it's arguably even started on the right path. The previous thousands of years have been filled with countless human horrors perpetrated by people who could show you a strong theological basis for their actions. Again, I'm not attacking Christianity or religion, here--Pol Pot didn't need God to give him a reason to commit atrocities, after all--but the evidence simply doesn't support the idea that having a basis in Christianity, or any other religion, or any lack of religion, matters in the end when it comes to creating societies that treat all humans equally.

Which makes sense, really. I've studied the Bible fairly extensively, and I don't recall Jesus ever saying that his words were intended to create good nations. Just good people.

DVC
12-31-2010, 07:05 PM
No need to be worried. Modern atheists tend to be the biggest proponents of universal and unassailable human rights. I know I am. I know Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris believe the same.

The Bible and Quran are ripe with quotes that would lead us to not be equal. Hell, the Bible tells you how exactly one should own and treat a slave. Strange that Jesus never told the slave owners to stop owning slaves, as it is a gross and disgusting practice.

I don't need a sky daddy to tell me to be good.

Btw, just so everyone knows, the United States is not and never was a Christian nation. Read The Treaty of Tripoli, universally ratified by our nation's early Senate: "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..."

I agree that atheists can be moral people, great advocates of human rights, and good neighbors. Now Steve Martin has even given them something to compensate for their lack of sacred music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADNesm6F27U&feature=related.

However if the basis of atheism is an evolutionist/materialist worldview, it is illogical and anachronistic for atheists to be compassionate, moral, or advocates of human rights. These things, that worldview implies, just serve as roadblocks to the ultimate survival of the fittest and contribute to excess population that consume resources and stress the environment. Stalin, Hitler (though probably more correctly rejector of the Judeo-Christian foundation of Western Civilization that a pure materialist atheist) and Mao were logically consistent atheists; Dawkins and Hitchens are not.

Re Treat of Tripoli. C'mom Deus this is some obscure stuff. I think the wording is expedient rather than definitive as compared to the mountain of writing that indicate that a Christian, particulary Christian as informed by the Reformation, worldview was the foundation of the United States. But I feel for the treaties authors. How do you explain to a Muslim ruler who I imagine operated from a Muslim worldview, that the U.S. though founded on a Christian worldview, did not have any pretense of using political or military power to "expand the borders" of Christendom and was in this regards different from the traditional European powers."

As a counterexample, let me point to the last few lines of a perhaps more familiar document:

Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In Witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names.

Go Washington - President and deputy from Virginia et al

Who do you think that "Lord" might be that was conducting "ground operations" 1787 years before that the document refers to?

Re: Slavery. Please point me towards a place in the New Testament that advocates for slavery as an institution?

Enjoy the discussion. Happy New Year and God bless you (sorry, couldn't resist :))

DVC
12-31-2010, 07:51 PM
I can understand that. I don't mean this as an attack on you or an attack on religion, but the reason I can understand it is that I'm fairly frightened of what it would mean for me if the religious right regained control over the US. I think the religious right would outlaw about 75% of my lifestyle, including my sex life--I'm not gay or bi, but I'm not married and I'm not refraining.

But I don't think the argument that without God there can be no equality is really reasonable. A logical premise for equal treatment of all humanity can be arrived at without religious dogma. It's fairly straightforward: it hinges on the acceptance of the idea that circumstance does not define the individual. The idea of rejecting circumstance hinges on the idea of free will (now, some people reject that free will exists, but I don't think it's worthwhile arguing with those people). If one has free will, then circumstance is at most a modifier to one's actions, not the ultimate determinant. And if circumstance does not define an individual, then one must to some extent disregard circumstance when it comes to determining the value of other human beings. If you disregard circumstance, then you accept that all humans are indeed created equal.

And on top of that... I'm not sure it matters where the basis for equality comes from. Let's say you're right and the only reasonable basis for equality is Christian dogma. Well, Christianity has had over two millennia to get equality right, and it's only been in the last two centuries that it's arguably even started on the right path. The previous thousands of years have been filled with countless human horrors perpetrated by people who could show you a strong theological basis for their actions. Again, I'm not attacking Christianity or religion, here--Pol Pot didn't need God to give him a reason to commit atrocities, after all--but the evidence simply doesn't support the idea that having a basis in Christianity, or any other religion, or any lack of religion, matters in the end when it comes to creating societies that treat all humans equally.

Which makes sense, really. I've studied the Bible fairly extensively, and I don't recall Jesus ever saying that his words were intended to create good nations. Just good people.


Sorry, no advocacy of theocracy from me. My biggest objection to the repeal of DADT is that its proponents, including many of our government and military leaders, framed it not so much as a correction to make our limited government silent on a issue that society has determined should be outside of government purview, but really was framed as affirmation of homosexual behavior as normal, natural, and deserving of government support and, in today's environment, probably subsidy, and a affirmation of homosexuality as an identity that is qualitatively equal to race and ethnicity If this is the case because homosexuality is consensual and adult sexual expression, on what grounds can there be legal prohibitions on consentual adult incest (especially if the adults make themselves incapable of bearin children), polygamy, bestiality, prostitution etc. Should we start preparing for a coming DoD Polygamist Heritage month. Probably should have more chairs at that lunch than some of the others:D.

Probably another analogy (maybe more useful because it's not about sex) would be the issue of overeating/overweight. Should the government enforce height/weight standards on the general population? Probably outside the limits on limited government. Should the government affirm overeating/overweight as normal and natural? Should the only question about fat people in the military be can they do their job, pass the PT test, and fit in their assigned piece of equipment? Should we lift military height weight standards and stop the discharge of fat but talented people in this era of persistent conflict? Why should someone not be allowed to serve their country just because of what they love (on their plate)?

Strongly agree that the new birth through Jesus Christ gives those that take it the potential to be better people, though still far from perfect. I think better people make better nations. The Great Awakening, IMHO, is the father of American exceptionalism and the fact that it produced a large number of true Christians as opposed to church members allowed the U.S. to have a great degree of freedom without anarchy. Individuals ruled themselves based on a desire to live godly lives rather than needing a Leviathan state to keep them in line. I think you only need to compare the American War of Independence with the French Revolution to see this.

Motorfirebox -On a probably much too personal a level though, I'll ask - do you object to Christianity because you doubt its truth or because "walking the talk" might cause you change your lifestyle? Disregard if I'm crossing the line.

Again I enjoy the debate. God bless you and Happy New Year

motorfirebox
01-01-2011, 05:23 AM
However if the basis of atheism is an evolutionist/materialist worldview, it is illogical and anachronistic for atheists to be compassionate, moral, or advocates of human rights. These things, that worldview implies, just serve as roadblocks to the ultimate survival of the fittest and contribute to excess population that consume resources and stress the environment. Stalin, Hitler (though probably more correctly rejector of the Judeo-Christian foundation of Western Civilization that a pure materialist atheist) and Mao were logically consistent atheists; Dawkins and Hitchens are not.
Well, that's one view of atheism, but it's not the only one and it's certainly not the only logical one. It's just as reasonable to decide that what makes humanity 'fit' is our ability to form resilient societies, and conclude that the ultimate expression of humanity's fitness is an inclusive society that promotes the welfare of every participant.


Re: Slavery. Please point me towards a place in the New Testament that advocates for slavery as an institution?
Off the top of my head? Ephesians 6:5-9. It doesn't advocate slavery, but that wasn't Deus Ex's claim. What this passage says is exactly what Deus Ex said: it tells slaves to obey their masters, and tells masters how to treat their slaves. It doesn't tell masters to release their slaves.


If this is the case because homosexuality is consensual and adult sexual expression, on what grounds can there be legal prohibitions on consentual adult incest (especially if the adults make themselves incapable of bearin children), polygamy, bestiality, prostitution etc.
I did address this earlier. Regarding incest, two things--one, I'm not sure such relationships can necessarily be counted as consensual given the amount of influence family members can have on each other; there are rules against fraternization in the military for reasons similar to this. Second: Abraham married his half-sister, a union God explicitly blessed. Just throwing that out there.


Why should someone not be allowed to serve their country just because of what they love (on their plate)?
Because it would inherently negatively impact combat readiness. Homosexuality does not inherently have an effect on combat readiness.


Motorfirebox -On a probably much too personal a level though, I'll ask - do you object to Christianity because you doubt its truth or because "walking the talk" might cause you change your lifestyle? Disregard if I'm crossing the line.
I don't object to Christianity at all. I think it's great--for other people. Personally, I don't care very much about whether or not God exists, so to pursue any religion beyond that basic apathy would be silly for me.

And likewise, I'm enjoying the debate.

JMA
01-01-2011, 07:41 AM
Of course, the other interpretation would be:

1) The rules are being applied even to BGs and Colonels, rather than senior officers being allowed to get away with violations. Presumably that's a good thing.

2) The increased number of disciplinary charges could be a function of lower tolerance and tightened-up unit discipline in wartime.

Moreover, none of the links above address the human resource gains of enlarging the recruit pool beyond heterosexual males, nor for that matter the larger political and normative issues around discrimination.

In any case, it is a done deal and has been for years. Given the very strong support in both the Canadian Forces and Canadian society for the full inclusions of women, gays, and lesbians in the military, there is zero chance of the policies being changed (which would be unconstitutional in any event).

Nice spin there Rex. I guess you will find some people who would buy that.

Sadly it is evident that the Canadian military has been turned into a social experiment by liberal politicians. Given the wonderful military history of Canadian forces in the past the situation today is very sad.

...and oh yes, peacetime discipline sets the standard for wartime. As does training... ever heard the expression train hard... fight easy ?

JMA
01-01-2011, 08:08 AM
Let me slap you with math.

Example:
Assumptions:

A unit has
60% heterosexual men,
30% heterosexual females,
5% homosexual males and
5% homosexual women.
Unit not deployed.
No bisexuals (would complicate math much for no gain).
Covert homosexuals did not identify each other under DADT.

Introduction of females into service meant that
60% may find a partner among 30%, while 30% may find a partner among 60%.

Introduction of gay tolerance means that
5% may find a partner among 5% (and this twice).

Sorry, but in-unit sexual tensions will likely be tiny unless homosexuals are much less choosey than heterosexuals.

Lets try again... what I say is that the introduction of women into the military has already resulted in a new set of problems in the militaries of most countries. We see data relating to heterosexual sexual offenses within the military and evidence from pregnancy rates that even at a consensual level there are the "distractions" the US generals spoke about and the competitive sexual tension that goes with it.

Adding the gay thing to the equation is just asking for more trouble IMHO.

I am less concerned about 'weak' gays being bullied in the forces as it appears to me that the type of gays who would go for the infantry would be (I believe) described as 'butch' and it is likely that the boot is likely to be on the other foot especially when (just like predator heterosexuals do to junior females) these people rise to a position where they are able coerce junior (18 year old) soldiers to submit to their wants. This has and continues to happen with male-to-female soldiers and it should be anticipated that it will with the gay variant. Only idiots would invite trouble in the back door.


I'm more concerned about stupidities of the heteros in the unit. Infantry service is for example considered to be a very 'male', 'warrior' thing - and this attracts at least some highly motivated men (and more than too much loud-mouths, of course).
Aside from recruitment issues, heterosexual males may develop stupid behaviour towards homosexual males and turn the latter into outsiders.

May happen, doesn't need to happen. It's usually a NCO job to correct stupid behaviour by stupid people, but sadly many NCOs are stupid as well.

So there is more of the tension I speak of.

Now the problem is that as most militaries have not yet got the heterosexual tensions under control there is not way they will get the tensions around gays under control either.

General Amos is correct when he said that gay servicemembers might cause a “distraction” that could result in increased injuries and deaths.

Rex Brynen
01-01-2011, 05:17 PM
Sadly it is evident that the Canadian military has been turned into a social experiment by liberal politicians. Given the wonderful military history of Canadian forces in the past the situation today is very sad.

Actually, you'll find overwhelming support for women and gays in the military within the Canadian military--and only a tiny minority who believe that, in fully reflecting Canadian values (by not discriminating on the basis of gender or sexual orientation)--the military is somehow victim of a "social experiment." Indeed, if there were to be a "social experiment" it would be to exclude these groups from full participation in national defence on the basis of the prejudices of a bygone age.

It would also make very little sense to exclude over half of the otherwise eligible national population from contributing their skills, energy, and commitment to the Canadian Forces--it would rather like fighting with one hand tied behind your back.

Brihard
01-02-2011, 03:45 AM
Nice spin there Rex. I guess you will find some people who would buy that.

Sadly it is evident that the Canadian military has been turned into a social experiment by liberal politicians. Given the wonderful military history of Canadian forces in the past the situation today is very sad.

...and oh yes, peacetime discipline sets the standard for wartime. As does training... ever heard the expression train hard... fight easy ?

I suppose I would be one of those who 'buy that'. I must respectfully disagree with how you characterize our inclusion of homosexuals in the Forces as a 'social experiment', as well as your similar objections earlier in this thread to the similar inclusion of women, particularly in combat trades.

It's not 'an experiment'. We're not trying something out to see how it goes. Rather, our (Canadian) society has grown to be simply quite accepting of homosexuals, and they have gained nearly full legal equality with others. In short, social views have informed both our constitutional system of rights and the judicial interpretation thereof, and consequently there's no longer any generalized official acceptance that simply being gay is a quality that conveys any legitimate grounds to exclude a person from serving in the military.

As a junior leader in the infantry, my primary concern (after the primacy of the mission) is that my soldiers are possessed with the ability to soldier, and that they put a full effort into doing so and into improving themselves professionally. If a soldier can soldier, I don't care much about who or what he or she does when they go home at night, so long as they comport themselves professionally and do the job. I see no percentage in excluding part of the potential pool of recruits- particularly as the labour market makes finding good people more and more time consuming and expensive. Speaking form a limited amount of experience, I've served with homosexuals both at home and overseas, and never found their sexuality to be a detriment to their ability to do the job. Likewise the women I've served with or led. Fewer women succeed in the combat trades than men, but those who can do the job have a place in my rifle section as long as they contribute to my ability to accomplish the mission.

I'm curious as to your comment about the 'wonderful military history of Canadians in the past' versus 'the situation today'. I would say that the situation facing the Canadian military today is better than it has been in decades- we have a better equipped, better trained, more modernized and more combat experienced force than we've had in a long time. What is it about 'the current situation' that causes you to lament the state of our military- and what's it got to do with gays or women serving in uniform?

DVC
01-03-2011, 07:18 PM
Because it would inherently negatively impact combat readiness. Homosexuality does not inherently have an effect on combat readiness.

Motorfirebox - thanks for your thoughtful post.

Questions about your statement above. If an overweight/over fat person person can pass the PT test, how does their weight negatively effect combat readiness? If it is a health concern (contention that even otherwise fit overweight/overfat people suffer more illness or injury than people within the height weight standards), have you compared the health statistics for homosexuals (even if you factor out HIV) with those of heterosexuals? This seems to be a factor that the mainstream media has really suppressed in the current debate.

motorfirebox
01-04-2011, 02:06 AM
Motorfirebox - thanks for your thoughtful post.

Questions about your statement above. If an overweight/over fat person person can pass the PT test, how does their weight negatively effect combat readiness? If it is a health concern (contention that even otherwise fit overweight/overfat people suffer more illness or injury than people within the height weight standards), have you compared the health statistics for homosexuals (even if you factor out HIV) with those of heterosexuals? This seems to be a factor that the mainstream media has really suppressed in the current debate.
There are some problems with how the military measures healthy body weight. There are, indeed, a number of soldiers who, despite being very well-conditioned physically--able to easily pass their physical fitness tests--have to go out of their way to meet the military's standards for body shape. My understanding is that this more frequently happens with men who are above-average height with a lot of muscle mass.

Those are edge cases, though. If, by and large, soldiers who are overweight by whatever standard the military uses are, in fact, able to pass physical fitness tests designed around an honest expectancy of what a soldier needs to be able to accomplish on the battlefield, then the body shape standards are incorrect and should be adjusted. It's my understanding that that doesn't happen, usually (or, if it does, it's blamed on slipping physical fitness standards rather than incorrect standards for body shape). So if a fat soldier does pass his PT test, it's within the military's purview to demand that the soldier alter his body shape anyway. The soldier is an edge case, and there's no need for the military to accommodate edge cases.

Non-straight sexuality can't reasonably be considered an edge case at this point in time.

As for health risks, it's suspect how difficult it is to find articles on the topic that don't come from right-leaning or very right-leaning sources. One might think that's reasonable--that those darn lefties are just banding together to cover up the truth. The problem with this theory is that the only thing us lefties love more than bashing the right is bashing each other. We're our own kryptonite, and have been since before Reagan. If the evidence were any good, frankly, the health nut left would have brained the sexual freedom left with it by now.

DVC
01-04-2011, 02:30 PM
There are some problems with how the military measures healthy body weight. There are, indeed, a number of soldiers who, despite being very well-conditioned physically--able to easily pass their physical fitness tests--have to go out of their way to meet the military's standards for body shape. My understanding is that this more frequently happens with men who are above-average height with a lot of muscle mass.

Those are edge cases, though. If, by and large, soldiers who are overweight by whatever standard the military uses are, in fact, able to pass physical fitness tests designed around an honest expectancy of what a soldier needs to be able to accomplish on the battlefield, then the body shape standards are incorrect and should be adjusted. It's my understanding that that doesn't happen, usually (or, if it does, it's blamed on slipping physical fitness standards rather than incorrect standards for body shape). So if a fat soldier does pass his PT test, it's within the military's purview to demand that the soldier alter his body shape anyway. The soldier is an edge case, and there's no need for the military to accommodate edge cases.

Non-straight sexuality can't reasonably be considered an edge case at this point in time.

As for health risks, it's suspect how difficult it is to find articles on the topic that don't come from right-leaning or very right-leaning sources. One might think that's reasonable--that those darn lefties are just banding together to cover up the truth. The problem with this theory is that the only thing us lefties love more than bashing the right is bashing each other. We're our own kryptonite, and have been since before Reagan. If the evidence were any good, frankly, the health nut left would have brained the sexual freedom left with it by now.


Motorfirebox - overweight/overfat but can pass the PT test is "edge" but homosexuals in the military is not "edge"? Statistics or other evidence to support this contention?

Release on health risks from that bastion of right wing extremism, the Center for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/dstd/Press_Releases/STDGay2000.htm:)

Again, I enjoy the candid exchange.

JMA
01-04-2011, 04:13 PM
Actually, you'll find overwhelming support for women and gays in the military within the Canadian military--and only a tiny minority who believe that, in fully reflecting Canadian values (by not discriminating on the basis of gender or sexual orientation)--the military is somehow victim of a "social experiment." Indeed, if there were to be a "social experiment" it would be to exclude these groups from full participation in national defence on the basis of the prejudices of a bygone age.

It would also make very little sense to exclude over half of the otherwise eligible national population from contributing their skills, energy, and commitment to the Canadian Forces--it would rather like fighting with one hand tied behind your back.

Support for and the advisability of are two very different things.

The Canadian military is less than 5% of the strength of the US forces. ( Source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_troops) )

Also the application of troops to international operations differ markedly in that the US currently deploys around 6% of total troop strength while Canada deploys around 2.5% ( US source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_deployments) - Canadian source (http://www.comfec-cefcom.forces.gc.ca/pa-ap/ops/index-eng.asp) )

A test of overwhelming support is only proven through a secret ballot. Was one held? Doubt it. No this has been forced upon a small military who have been told FIFO. (fit in or f*** off) and I dear say that people with 5 years or so service know no different and just accept the official spin that all is well and as such they go along unthinkingly with the social experiment.

It is evident that those who have no military experience see the inclusion of these groups and minorities as a constitutional requirement regardless of any potential negative impact on the military (especially the combat arms).

So why is the military different from other captive government services which can have such policy forced upon them from a collection of expedient politicians sitting in parliament?

Let’s start here (http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/jfadt/military/ml_chap4.pdf):


The nature of military service demands compliance with orders and
authority, sometimes in situations in which life or death rests upon that
compliance. In this regard, military service is like no other employment.
Military personnel operate in a high-risk working environment that
demands teamwork, mutual support and personal reliability.

Common sense will dictate that you screw around with an environment the complexity of and the likes of which is found only in the combat arms of militaries at your peril.

The infantry is not like some government department, that can be filled with faceless bureaucrats that can be staffed according to demographics based quota systems. The infantry and combat arms are different - very different - (I would have thought this was obvious).

The past is the past and that has nothing to do with the selection and training of infantry units in today’s world. Like with any job specification the military (and not some politician) decides what it needs of soldiers to fight in infantry units, they then recruit them and train up these units – so any tying of hands behind ones back is being done to the military by expedient politicians.

The nature of combat soldiering selects out a large percentage of the male heterosexual population anyway as being physical, emotionally and otherwise unsuitable. To open the doors to all comers on the basis of filling posts or through forcing through demographic quotas and lowering physical standards does not solve the problem but merely exacerbates it. (I would have thought that was obvious)

Yes, the little goldfish bowl that the Canadian military represents with this particular social experiment will be interesting to observe. So far the information that reaches the public domain indicates that despite official spin and reassurances things are not quite so fine and dandy in the land of Canaan.

It would be more honest and mature for Canada to see the introduction of females/gays/intersex persons as a work in progress rather than a successful model they can hold out as an example to the world.

JMA
01-04-2011, 04:21 PM
I'm curious as to your comment about the 'wonderful military history of Canadians in the past' versus 'the situation today'. I would say that the situation facing the Canadian military today is better than it has been in decades- we have a better equipped, better trained, more modernized and more combat experienced force than we've had in a long time. What is it about 'the current situation' that causes you to lament the state of our military- and what's it got to do with gays or women serving in uniform?

See my response to Rex in the main.

Perhaps you should start with Report of the Somalia Commission of Inquiry (http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/reports-rapports/som/index-eng.asp). Then start to read through stuff which is available on the Net. You say you are serving so you should be able to lay your hands on material which is not open source. I suggest (with some sadness) that there were and still remain serious problems within the Canadian military which can't be wished away.

BTW who told you the modern Canadian army is better than it was in the past?

Rex Brynen
01-04-2011, 05:39 PM
Perhaps you should start with Report of the Somalia Commission of Inquiry (http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/reports-rapports/som/index-eng.asp).

You may have set a new standard for muddying the waters, JMA :D

The Somali Affair (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somalia_Affair)--in which a few Canadian soldiers beat and killed a Somalia teen--took place in 1993, before women served in the infantry, and only a year after gays were allowed to openly serve. I doubt that there were any openly gay men in the Canadian Airborne Regiment at the time.

If you read the actual report, you'll see that poor pre-deployment discipline, racism, and an excessively macho attitudes in the field led to most of the mistakes and abuse that occurred at the time.

It had nothing at all to do, of course with women or gays in the military. Indeed, the word homosexual only appears twice in the five volumes of the report. In both cases, it is simply highlighting that poor predeployment cultural awareness training led some soldiers to believe that casual Somali male physical contact (touching during conversation to emphasize a point, holding hands) was an outward sign of homosexuality--which, as anyone who knows Somalia would know, is not the case. Again, this had nothing to do with the incidents, and rather was being offered as evidence of the Regiment's weak preparation for the mission.

Indeed, given that excessive macho behaviour was partly at the root of Canada's Somalia problem, it seems logical that more women on deployment might have made the operation more effective, not less.

As a result of the inquiry--and to send the signal that abuse and racist behaviour was unacceptable in the Canadian Armed Forces--the entire Canadian Airborne Regiment was disbanded.

Next you'll be telling us that the decline in pirates is causing global warming (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster#Pirates_and_global_warmin g)....

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d1/PiratesVsTemp_English.jpg/800px-PiratesVsTemp_English.jpg

selil
01-04-2011, 07:47 PM
Next you'll be telling us that the decline in pirates is causing global warming (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster#Pirates_and_global_warmin g)....

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d1/PiratesVsTemp_English.jpg/800px-PiratesVsTemp_English.jpg

Ok, I need a source for that graph. That is awesome bit of sunspots and miniskirts stats.

Brihard
01-04-2011, 10:57 PM
See my response to Rex in the main.

Perhaps you should start with Report of the Somalia Commission of Inquiry (http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/reports-rapports/som/index-eng.asp). Then start to read through stuff which is available on the Net. You say you are serving so you should be able to lay your hands on material which is not open source. I suggest (with some sadness) that there were and still remain serious problems within the Canadian military which can't be wished away.

BTW who told you the modern Canadian army is better than it was in the past?

Rex has already done a good job of detailing the irrelevance of your reference to the Somalia inquiry. I'll not duplicate his effort.

Of course there are problems- there always are. No military is exempt from that. We have far too large a bureaucracy for the combat force we have. We've recently sent one man to jail for screwing around with his weapon over in KAF and accidentally shooting a section mate dead. We've just cashiered one of our captains for putting two rounds into a Taliban who was bleeding to death. We have a navy and an air force plagued by old equipment. We have infantry battalions that are undermanned because the headquarters bloat and the growth of CANSOFCOM has eaten into our authorized manning levels. We have a field army out in the bases that values fitness, and a uniformed bureaucracy here in Ottawa that seems to wedge some of the fattest sacks of crap imaginable into (tailored) uniforms while the really *good* officers sent on headquarters postings do their best to get out of Ottawa and back to their units ASAP, despite the good they could do in reforming the bureaucracy if they were given more ability to do so against an inert, entrenched, very political system.

None of this is attributable to an outbreak of 'the gay' in the C.F. You've not listened to what I've said; this is not a social experiment. It's simple: every Canadian has the opportunity to volunteer to serve, so long as they're fit enough, smart/educated enough, have a clean enough history, and aren't drug users. Gender, sexual preference, race, colour, religion etc don't matter so long as an individual can do the job.

There is no argument I've seen yet raised objecting to homosexuals in the military that stands the test of reason. Most of the same arguments have been used in the past to exclude coloured people from combat units. The white soldiers wouldn't feel comfortable, or whatever other nonsense has been brought up. The only novel argument against gays in the forces is 'ew, icky', although few will come right out and say it- it's always some 'other' soldiers who might be uncomfortable by the thought of having to go to ground next to someone who might be homosexual.

To try to pass those of us with relatively short spans of service under our belts (seven years in my case) as 'unthinkingly going along' with something imposed is, frankly, bull#### and a bit pathetic. It's a transparent attempt to simply negate my views on the subject by casting me as someone who 'doesn't know' because I've not been in enough or am not applying a critical enough eye to the issue.

You're wrong. We think very much about everything that affects our efficacy. Perhaps you're not able to conceive of the fact that, well, a lot of us just really don't care. Maybe it's a generational thing, but someone being gay doesn't bother me, nor many of my peers. Some might find it a bit uncomfortable, but it doesn't affect the ability of either party to do the job. There are any number of reasons I may not want to work with another soldier- they might not be as fit as I think they should be. They could be the really awkward social reject who's annoying to hang out with. They might just be assholes or otherwise disgusting people. I'm professional enough to shelve all that and do the job, and I expect the same of my troops.

There is nothing about homosexuality that makes it any more inherently objectionable to a person who applies their sense of reason to their professional interactions with others.

You refer to a 'constitutional inclusion of these groups and minorities'. That's incorrect. There's no quota system- I don't get assigned my token gay, chick, and minority when I take command of my section. What it is, is a refusal to ex[i/]clude people on grounds that have no rational connection to their ability to do the job. Our constitution provides, in effect, equality of [i]opportunity, not necessarily equality of result. Any person (subject to limitations based on bona fide occupational requirements, such as those detailed earlier) can volunteer to serve, and if they've got what it takes to get in and to make it.


A test of overwhelming support is only proven through a secret ballot. Was one held? Doubt it.

We exist to protect democracy, not practice it. My troops don't get a say in the orders I write. We don't pick the missions we deploy on. We don't staff our military by referendum, and bona fide occupational requirements aren't dictated by the shallow preferences of other soldiers. Again- at one point in time I've no doubt that a majority of soldiers would have secretly voted against letting women in. Earlier still, against blacks or natives. Preferences of that nature are irrelevant to the question at hand. You either accept that your fellow Canadian is a professional serving their country, or you don't. If not, you'd best be able to point to why that's the case- and if you fail to do so, the problem probably isn't him (or her).

The proof, of course, is ultimately in the pudding- and our years of fighting with distinction in Kanadahar seems to suggest things are going quite well overall. Had any substantial issues arisen to have indicated that there were significant problems with women or homosexuals serving, you wouldn't have had to go as far back as the Somalia inquiry to dredge up a link that you can argue supports your view now, would you?

JMA
01-05-2011, 08:59 AM
You may have set a new standard for muddying the waters, JMA :D

No just responding to Brihard's comment on how improved the Canadian military is now as compared to the past. I suggest that when one reads some of the 1,000 pages of the Somalia Report one gets the impression that more than just the CAF should have been disbanded.


The Somali Affair (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somalia_Affair)--in which a few Canadian soldiers beat and killed a Somalia teen--took place in 1993, before women served in the infantry, and only a year after gays were allowed to openly serve. I doubt that there were any openly gay men in the Canadian Airborne Regiment at the time.

In fact "... the Somalia Inquiry cited problems in the leadership of the Canadian Forces." That is why I responded with the Somlia Report in response to Brihard's comment that the modern Canadian military is much improved on the performance of the past forces. His contention is clearly is not correct.


If you read the actual report, you'll see that poor pre-deployment discipline, racism, and an excessively macho attitudes in the field led to most of the mistakes and abuse that occurred at the time.

Too selective in your choice of problems the inquiry found. This is what the report found:


The failure was profoundly one of leadership. (my emphasis) Although in this report we have identified some individual failings - primarily in relation to the pre-deployment phase of the mission - the failings that we have recounted in the greatest detail have been those that concern organizational or group responsibility for institutional or systemic shortcomings. The CF and DND leaders to whom this applies are those who occupied the upper tier of their organizations during the relevant periods. The cadre of senior leaders who were responsible for the Somalia mission and its aftermath must bear responsibility for shortcomings in the organization they oversaw.

So we are back to Napoleon who said..."There are no bad soldiers, only bad officers."


It had nothing at all to do, of course with women or gays in the military. Indeed, the word homosexual only appears twice in the five volumes of the report. In both cases, it is simply highlighting that poor predeployment cultural awareness training led some soldiers to believe that casual Somali male physical contact (touching during conversation to emphasize a point, holding hands) was an outward sign of homosexuality--which, as anyone who knows Somalia would know, is not the case. Again, this had nothing to do with the incidents, and rather was being offered as evidence of the Regiment's weak preparation for the mission.

Agreed... but (as you know) that was not my point. My point (in posting a reference to the Somali Inquiry) was in response to Brihard's statement that the modern Canadian army is better now than it ever was. From all the evidence that contention is pure nonsense.

...oh yes and on the African males holding hands... that the Canadian troops were so ill informed on such an obvious matter leads one to wonder what else their officers failed to brief them on? RoE?


Indeed, given that excessive macho behaviour was partly at the root of Canada's Somalia problem, it seems logical that more women on deployment might have made the operation more effective, not less.

No Rex the report made it clear... at the heart of the problem was a profound failure in leadership.

So your comment re more women is laughable...


As a result of the inquiry--and to send the signal that abuse and racist behaviour was unacceptable in the Canadian Armed Forces--the entire Canadian Airborne Regiment was disbanded.

Only the CAF? I suggest the military got off lightly.


Next you'll be telling us that (snip)

No I won't Rex... because I don't need to throw a distraction to get a few laughs and take the eye of the real issue of my response to Brihard and that was that I question his contention that the modern Canadian army is better now than it has ever been.

JMA
01-05-2011, 09:54 AM
Rex has already done a good job of detailing the irrelevance of your reference to the Somalia inquiry. I'll not duplicate his effort.

No he didn't... he tried to make light of a very serious situation.

You said: "I would say that the situation facing the Canadian military today is better than it has been in decades..." If you are talking about post-Korea then you may have a point because it was all downhill from Korea and probably bottomed out in Somalia. Prior to Korea apart from the Terrace Mutiny (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrace_Mutiny) the Canadians stood back for no one.


Of course there are problems- there always are.

Yes you list them and it shows that all is not as fine and dandy as some would like the world to believe. I don't want to rub it in as much of the stuff is available online and tells a sorry tale of the current Canadian military.

[snip]


None of this is attributable to an outbreak of 'the gay' in the C.F. You've not listened to what I've said; this is not a social experiment. It's simple: every Canadian has the opportunity to volunteer to serve, so long as they're fit enough, smart/educated enough, have a clean enough history, and aren't drug users. Gender, sexual preference, race, colour, religion etc don't matter so long as an individual can do the job.

Actually you said two things. One was as you mention above and then the comment about the Canadian forces being better now in many years before.

Well the question is what defines "so long as an individual can do the job"? This has been discussed but not answers. You have an answer?

Also as much as racists are rejected for the distraction they cause (and correctly so) should not thought be given to distractions other minorities may cause with the resultant loss of cohesion to the infantry in a combat setting?


There is no argument I've seen yet raised objecting to homosexuals in the military that stands the test of reason.

You are entitled to you opinion. It is your opinion and by no means a universal truth... you do realise that don't you?

[rant snipped]


There is nothing about homosexuality that makes it any more inherently objectionable to a person who applies their sense of reason to their professional interactions with others.

You are missing the point. My position is not a judgement of gays it (like for women) is a statement on the potential for the distractions occurring which Gen Amos (USMC) speaks of. You closer to understanding the argument now?


You refer to a 'constitutional inclusion of these groups and minorities'. That's incorrect. There's no quota system- I don't get assigned my token gay, chick, and minority when I take command of my section. What it is, is a refusal to ex[i/]clude people on grounds that have no rational connection to their ability to do the job. Our constitution provides, in effect, equality of [i]opportunity, not necessarily equality of result. Any person (subject to limitations based on bona fide occupational requirements, such as those detailed earlier) can volunteer to serve, and if they've got what it takes to get in and to make it.

You miss the point again. My position is that women and gays in infantry sections/platoons/companies in combat create the kind of distractions Gen Amos speaks of and as such should they apply to join be politely directed to an area of service (not necessarily in the military) where the distractions they cause do not offset any potential benefit they may bring through their service.


We exist to protect democracy, not practice it. My troops don't get a say in the orders I write. We don't pick the missions we deploy on. We don't staff our military by referendum, and bona fide occupational requirements aren't dictated by the shallow preferences of other soldiers. Again- at one point in time I've no doubt that a majority of soldiers would have secretly voted against letting women in. Earlier still, against blacks or natives. Preferences of that nature are irrelevant to the question at hand. You either accept that your fellow Canadian is a professional serving their country, or you don't. If not, you'd best be able to point to why that's the case- and if you fail to do so, the problem probably isn't him (or her).

Again you miss the point. My comment re the holding of a secret ballot was in response to Rex's contention that "you'll find overwhelming support for women and gays in the military". Unless you have a secret means of testing this the contention is laughable. How was this arrived at? After a propaganda session with the unit political commissar a show of hands was called for? Blanket unsubstantiated statements like that made by Rex are a joke... you do see that, don't you?


The proof, of course, is ultimately in the pudding- and our years of fighting with distinction in Kanadahar seems to suggest things are going quite well overall. Had any substantial issues arisen to have indicated that there were significant problems with women or homosexuals serving, you wouldn't have had to go as far back as the Somalia inquiry to dredge up a link that you can argue supports your view now, would you?

Quite well? The Canadians used to be able to hold their heads up high and be up there with the best.

... and remember that a force of 2,800 odd with the odd female and openly gay person is merely and interesting case study for the US which has 50 times that number deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. And of course the little Canadian army is merely 5% the size of the US military... and as such is merely an interesting social experiment to be observed.

Brihard
01-05-2011, 04:34 PM
No just responding to Brihard's comment on how improved the Canadian military is now as compared to the past. I suggest that when one reads some of the 1,000 pages of the Somalia Report one gets the impression that more than just the CAF should have been disbanded.

In fact "... the Somalia Inquiry cited problems in the leadership of the Canadian Forces." That is why I responded with the Somlia Report in response to Brihard's comment that the modern Canadian military is much improved on the performance of the past forces. His contention is clearly is not correct.

Too selective in your choice of problems the inquiry found. This is what the report found:

So we are back to Napoleon who said..."There are no bad soldiers, only bad officers."

Agreed... but (as you know) that was not my point. My point (in posting a reference to the Somali Inquiry) was in response to Brihard's statement that the modern Canadian army is better now than it ever was. From all the evidence that contention is pure nonsense.

...oh yes and on the African males holding hands... that the Canadian troops were so ill informed on such an obvious matter leads one to wonder what else their officers failed to brief them on? RoE?

No Rex the report made it clear... at the heart of the problem was a profound failure in leadership.

So your comment re more women is laughable...

Only the CAF? I suggest the military got off lightly.

No I won't Rex... because I don't need to throw a distraction to get a few laughs and take the eye of the real issue of my response to Brihard and that was that I question his contention that the modern Canadian army is better now than it has ever been.

At no point did I say that our army is 'better than it has ever been', so you're arguing a strawman of your own construction. My exact words were "the situation facing the Canadian military today is better than it has been in decades", and I stand by that. I will agree with you on a single point- Somalia was most definitely a 'low point', but it was not the low point. It was early on in roughly a decade of time that formed a plateau of low capability and morale within the C.F.

The situation in 1993 is not indicative of the situation in 2010. Our current chief of defence staff and chief of land staff had not even commanded battalions yet. Most of our current battalion and brigade commanders were very junior officers. If you honestly think that you can take 1993 as a metric for the current state of our armed forces, you clearly have an ill-attuned ear to the ground on Canada's national defense.

Our military has undergone both literally and figuratively a generational change since the early 1990s. At that point in time we'd hit pretty close to rock bottom- a period colloquially known as the 'decade of darkness' where we were eviscerated materially by the peace dividend, had our public image shattered by Somalia, had many of our best take early retirement force reduction plans. We crawled out of that in the late '90s/early '00s. The wholesale change in military culture - particularly the culture of leadership has been more recent, with Afghanistan as the raw fuel and General Rick Hillier as the catalyst. His book 'A Soldier First' is excellent, and is essential to understanding the changes that have undergone the CF both materially and in our culture. I unreservedly state that our military is better focused and better equipped than it's been since the end of the Cold War, and that our leadership is significantly better than it has been since earlier still. I will reccomend that if you have an earnest interest in the modern Canadian military at all, that book should be at the top of your list. Leaving that, we will now get back to the subject at hand.


distractions

This seems to be the main thrust of your argument, most of the rest of it failing tests of reason or logic. That soldiers will be 'distracted' by the possible presence of gays or women in their midst.

As I stated earlier, I've worked with a number of people I didn't like to a variety of reasons, each one in and of itself as distracting as any other thing might be. I sucked it up and dealt with it. The 'distractions' argument is fundamentally no more sound than, again, the argument raised against letting blacks into the military, and then into the combat units.

I'll tell you the same thing I would tell my soldiers: deal with it. If, while doing the job, you are unable to focus yourself on being a member of my infantry section for no better reason than the personal life of the person next to you, then you have no business in my team. We have soldiers deployed overseas facing impending divorces at home. Sick family members. Kids who are getting in trouble. Hell, friends getting killed from time to time during the length of their tour. Soldiers have proven themselves remarkably good at shoving distractions aside and carrying on. There are more than enough people capable of doing so that if someone can't, tough cookies for them. A soldier who cannot compartmentalize themselves enough while on the job to focus wholly and solely on the mission at hand, the commander's intent, and the bigger picture within which he fits frankly lacks, in my opinion, the emotional maturity to be worth the risk. A soldier who cannot focus on their job is a liability. Shall I kick the black guy out of my section because my closet racist finds him 'distracting' or unpleasant to be around? No. So why would I any more cater to homophobes?

You ask 'What defines the ability to do the job'?

You have abundant experience in the combat arms as part of a small unit and as a leader. You don't need to ask me that- but since you have, I'd say some things such as the ability to carry and fire a rifle or other small arm accurately, to respond calmly and decisively under stress, to carry a heavy load on bad ground in crappy weather, to communicate clearly and proactively, to navigate by day or night, to know the job of the man or woman beside you, to know, as best as you're able, the job of the next two people in the chain of command, to maintain and employ your weapons with a great degree of speed or skill, to exercise sound judgement ('strategic corporal'), to appreciate to some extent the myriad factors influencing contemporary operations (cultural, religious, etc), to be possessed of a high degree of physical fitness and motivation, to be willing to take over and lead when your boss goes down... I could go on, but I think you get the point.

I see not one of these that inherently excludes any human being motivated to serve who is possessed of normal physical and intellectual abilities, and somewhat above normal drive to serve their country.

There is frequent talk from your side of this debate about 'distraction' and 'cohesion', but it's always relying on a select number of quotes or anecdotes form a small number of high ranks who've weighed in on the subject. I contrast this with discussions I've had with other people on other sites, currently or recently serving NCOs or officers. The prevailing opinion I see is 'whatever'. Most of those I speak to on this - Americans included - care much more about their soldiers accomplishing the mission.

As I've said, perhaps it's a generational thing. I'm 24. More people my age just don't seem to care if someone's gay, and as we're increasingly fleshing out the ranks of the military, perhaps it's inevitable. Military composition typically lags but does track social trends. But at the end of the day, I have a section of soldiers to lead and command, and any soldier who can meet my expectations and contribute to the accomplishment of the mission has a place in my section.

DVC
01-05-2011, 07:27 PM
We're mired in details and wording of the implications of DADT and haven't, IMHO, answered two key strategic questions:

1. Is it proper for a society or military to regulate or prohibit adult, consentual sexual behavior?

2. What is the basis of individuals rights and law? The U.S. Declaration of Independence states the source of rights is: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." and similarly the source of law is "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" Are human rights endowed by a "Creator" or just what society decides they are? Likewise is law just based on the tastes and feeling of a society at a particular time or are they or should they be based on "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" ?

Get the strategy right and the tactics will follow?

jmm99
01-05-2011, 10:00 PM
on the two questions:


1. Is it proper for a society or military to regulate or prohibit adult, consentual sexual behavior?

Yes. E.g., a prohibition vs male-female fornication on the sidewalks of Hancock's 200 block. Gee, maybe even a prohibition vs male-male and female-female "fornication" on the same sidewalks.


2. What is the basis of individual's rights and law?

In the US: "We the People of the United States ... do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Always start with the People and Their Constitution.

Where you go from there, to establish a constitutional basis for gay rights, is not one of my priorities. I'd suggest that, so far as as "original understanding constitutional theory" is concerned, gay rights are definitely out there amongst the constitutional "umbras" and "penumbras".

Regards

Mike

motorfirebox
01-05-2011, 10:08 PM
Motorfirebox - overweight/overfat but can pass the PT test is "edge" but homosexuals in the military is not "edge"? Statistics or other evidence to support this contention?

Release on health risks from that bastion of right wing extremism, the Center for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/dstd/Press_Releases/STDGay2000.htm:)

Again, I enjoy the candid exchange.
I don't think it's edge, no. That opinion is based on my definition of the term "edge", though, so I won't bother trying to defend it.

But it doesn't matter, frankly. There is an inherent reason to try to keep soldiers fit, and both the fitness tests and the BMI standards are attempts to reach that goal. If there are edge cases where the fitness tests and BMI standards conspire against a particular soldier, well, there are ways to deal with that and one of those ways is to remove the soldier from service. But being an 'edge case' is not enough reason to boot somebody from the military. I doubt there are many, say, six-foot Filipinos who speak fluent German and were born and raised in Wisconsin. I certainly don't know any, much less any who want to serve in the military. Should we keep such soldiers out, just because there aren't many of them? I don't see any reason to do so, and this logic applies to gay soldiers as well. There is not an inherent reason to keep gay soldiers out of the military, which means there's no reason to keep gay soldiers out regardless of how many of them there are.

The military's standards for body shape occasionally screw up and exclude people who are fit for combat. The fact that the military screws up in one area is not carte blanche to screw up anywhere else. (This is probably what I should have said to your first post about BMI/fitness.)

DVC
01-06-2011, 01:59 AM
on the two questions:



Yes. E.g., a prohibition vs male-female fornication on the sidewalks of Hancock's 200 block. Gee, maybe even a prohibition vs male-male and female-female "fornication" on the same sidewalks.



In the US: "We the People of the United States ... do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Always start with the People and Their Constitution.

Where you go from there, to establish a constitutional basis for gay r'ights, is not one of my priorities. I'd suggest that, so far as as "original understanding constitutional theory" is concerned, gay rights are definitely out there amongst the constitutional "umbras" and "penumbras".

Regards

Mike

Not sure where Hancock's 200 block is, but it must be an "interesting" place.
Sex in a public place would seem to be close to the ultimate expression of one's identity, if that is determined by whom one has sex with. After all, there is no conclusive data that sex in public causes physical harm and do we really want servicemembers to have to hide who they love in order to serve their country?


I would propose that the Declaration of Independence's Preamble is best understood as establishing the basis and purpose of human government. The Constitution builds on that and in a government by the people, of people, for the people, is best understood as the contract between each and every citizen and each and every other citizen on how the federal government was to operate.

It seems many of the Founders had a very dim view of homosexual behavior, then called sodomy or buggery. Hard to see them acknowledging it as a basic human right or anything but a disqualification for military service http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=101. If it is in the penumbra of Constitutional rights, it is so far in the penumbra as to make it in a different galaxy from the intellectual space or worldview that the Founders operated in.

DVC
01-06-2011, 02:14 AM
I don't think it's edge, no. That opinion is based on my definition of the term "edge", though, so I won't bother trying to defend it.

But it doesn't matter, frankly. There is an inherent reason to try to keep soldiers fit, and both the fitness tests and the BMI standards are attempts to reach that goal. If there are edge cases where the fitness tests and BMI standards conspire against a particular soldier, well, there are ways to deal with that and one of those ways is to remove the soldier from service. But being an 'edge case' is not enough reason to boot somebody from the military. I doubt there are many, say, six-foot Filipinos who speak fluent German and were born and raised in Wisconsin. I certainly don't know any, much less any who want to serve in the military. Should we keep such soldiers out, just because there aren't many of them? I don't see any reason to do so, and this logic applies to gay soldiers as well. There is not an inherent reason to keep gay soldiers out of the military, which means there's no reason to keep gay soldiers out regardless of how many of them there are.

The military's standards for body shape occasionally screw up and exclude people who are fit for combat. The fact that the military screws up in one area is not carte blanche to screw up anywhere else. (This is probably what I should have said to your first post about BMI/fitness.)

Motorfirebox - let me restate my contention. I think there is reason to believe that common homosexual behaviors pose at least as great a health risk as overeating. I think the CDC report points to the dangers of homosexual behavior. Yet soldiers are discharged for overeating but homosexuality has become more or less a protected behavior in the military. The mainstream media does not cover the health problems associated with homosexual behavior because it deosn't fit with the cause celeb that affirmation of homosexuality has become for the media/Hollywood.

Deus Ex
01-06-2011, 03:03 AM
Not sure where Hancock's 200 block is, but it must be an "interesting" place.
Sex in a public place would seem to be close to the ultimate expression of one's identity, if that is determined by whom one has sex with. After all, there is no conclusive data that sex in public causes physical harm and do we really want servicemembers to have to hide who they love in order to serve their country?


I would propose that the Declaration of Independence's Preamble is best understood as establishing the basis and purpose of human government. The Constitution builds on that and in a government by the people, of people, for the people, is best understood as the contract between each and every citizen and each and every other citizen on how the federal government was to operate.

It seems many of the Founders had a very dim view of homosexual behavior, then called sodomy or buggery. Hard to see them acknowledging it as a basic human right or anything but a disqualification for military service http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=101. If it is in the penumbra of Constitutional rights, it is so far in the penumbra as to make it in a different galaxy from the intellectual space or worldview that the Founders operated in.

The original Constitution allowed slavery. Please don't mire this debate in the inconsequential views the Founders had regarding homosexuality. Women also couldn't vote according to our Founders. Should our entire modern civilization revert back to what the Founders thought? Of course not. Your argument is absurd.

selil
01-06-2011, 03:35 AM
Motorfirebox - let me restate my contention. I think there is reason to believe that common homosexual behaviors pose at least as great a health risk as overeating. I think the CDC report points to the dangers of homosexual behavior.

Actually the CDC report doesn't say that at all. It says that better HIV drugs have caused a lack of safe sex (risk taking behaviors). There is no contention that homosexuality is causal, it is the studied group not the causal element. The CDC report is not really research but a survey of other research (common). If you dig into that other research you will find that there are caveats all over the place that similar results are found in heterosexual populations and the issue is education not homosexuality.

Your contention would have to be that sex is as great a risk as overeating. Regardless of sexual preference and that isn't going to stand up either. Go ahead and try and recruit in a volunteer military and state NOBODY is allowed to ever have sex until they retire. I think they call that marriage.

JMA
01-06-2011, 11:39 AM
At no point did I say that our army is 'better than it has ever been', so you're arguing a strawman of your own construction. My exact words were "the situation facing the Canadian military today is better than it has been in decades", and I stand by that.

And I ask you the question (which you ignored) once again:

"BTW who told you the modern Canadian army is better than it was in the past?"

But we have now pegged the time frame which you cite as being as at the end of the cold war. That brings up the date as 1991 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_War).


I will agree with you on a single point- Somalia was most definitely a 'low point', but it was not the low point. It was early on in roughly a decade of time that formed a plateau of low capability and morale within the C.F.

End of Cold War = 1991
Canadian Military bottoms out = 1993

Sorry the Canadian military must have been on the downward spiral some years before the end of the Cold War.

Hint: probable cause is the crappy peacekeeping operations post Korea the Canadian military got involved in. Look through the list here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Canadian_Peacekeeping_Missions).

So I see it that WW2 and Korea were kind of high points for the Canadian military for which the nation should be justly proud. But from 1953/5 its been mainly downhill to hit an all time low point in the early 90s. The virtual collapse of the Canadian military gave the politicians the opportunity (which they seized gleefully with both hands) to socially engineer the military in the vision of political liberals. What improvements have been made? How does one measure the improvement made since the Somali low point, I don't know.

I can tell you is that when climbing out of the rubble of a humiliating disaster the tendency is to overcompensate and talk ones own achievements and competence up.

I can understand too that one can offer a veneer of success to outsiders while internally accepting privately that there is much work to do and a long way to go.

You said: "we have a better equipped, better trained, more modernized and more combat experienced force than we've had in a long time"

And I ask... but the problems were a leadership meltdown and chronic systemic failure... so throwing modern equipment at the military does not address the underlying problem.

I come back to my quote from Napoleon: "There are no bad soldiers, only bad officers."

There is evidence that the officer problem in the Canadian military is far from solved. Stats from 2006/7 indicate that of the summary trials fully 8% involved officers (with 4% for sgts to warrant officers). It is clear that a serious problem relating to the Canadian officer corps still exists. Yes there is some effort being made to fix it... but it hints of a problem at selection level prior to officer training. Perhaps the selection is designed to produce officers who fit the demographics of the nation rather than those with the potential to be effective officers? Go sniff around there and maybe you will find the answer.


The situation in 1993 is not indicative of the situation in 2010. Our current chief of defence staff and chief of land staff had not even commanded battalions yet. Most of our current battalion and brigade commanders were very junior officers. If you honestly think that you can take 1993 as a metric for the current state of our armed forces, you clearly have an ill-attuned ear to the ground on Canada's national defense.

Our military has undergone both literally and figuratively a generational change since the early 1990s. At that point in time we'd hit pretty close to rock bottom- a period colloquially known as the 'decade of darkness' where we were eviscerated materially by the peace dividend, had our public image shattered by Somalia, had many of our best take early retirement force reduction plans. We crawled out of that in the late '90s/early '00s. The wholesale change in military culture - particularly the culture of leadership has been more recent, with Afghanistan as the raw fuel and General Rick Hillier as the catalyst. His book 'A Soldier First' is excellent, and is essential to understanding the changes that have undergone the CF both materially and in our culture. I unreservedly state that our military is better focused and better equipped than it's been since the end of the Cold War, and that our leadership is significantly better than it has been since earlier still. I will reccomend that if you have an earnest interest in the modern Canadian military at all, that book should be at the top of your list. Leaving that, we will now get back to the subject at hand.

The bad news is (and you better believe it) that the Decade of Darkness is not over yet.

Hillier may will have set the military on a new course whether that course has been sustained and refined by those following him remains to be seen.

and you unreservedly state and I ask yet again who told you?

JMA
01-06-2011, 11:40 AM
This seems to be the main thrust of your argument, most of the rest of it failing tests of reason or logic. That soldiers will be 'distracted' by the possible presence of gays or women in their midst.

heh heh heh... fails the test of reason and logic you should have added IMHO to that statement. But to dismiss something out of hand gets you off having to address those issues I suppose. Someone will buy that approach I guess... sorry I don't.


As I stated earlier, I've worked with a number of people I didn't like to a variety of reasons, each one in and of itself as distracting as any other thing might be. I sucked it up and dealt with it. The 'distractions' argument is fundamentally no more sound than, again, the argument raised against letting blacks into the military, and then into the combat units.

So we just keep adding distractions and if the troops complain we just tell them to suck it up, right?


I'll tell you the same thing I would tell my soldiers: deal with it.

OK, so we are back to leadership again and sadly it seems to be a problem among the other ranks as well.

Gen Bill Slim made an address to West Point in 1953. A quote from it is:


You will soon have bars on your shoulders; I’ve got things on mine that you’ve never seen before - but they both mean that we are officers. We have no business to set ourselves up as officers unless we know more about the job in hand than the men we are leading. If you command a small unit, like a platoon, you ought to be able to do anything you ask any man in it to do better than he can. Know the bolts and nuts of your job, but above all know your men. When you command a platoon you ought to know each man in it better than his own mother does. You must know which man responds to encouragement, which to reasoning, and which needs a good kick in the pants. Know your men.

Telling your soldiers to deal with it is a leadership cop out. In my time I had to act against NCOs who for one or other reason had been promoted beyond the level of their competence. Never a pleasant task. I watched how my sections and later platoons operated to see two things. One, if the commanders/leaders we up to it and two, what I could expect from that particular group in combat. Certainly one does not put a dysfunctional, lacking in cohesion callsign up front in a critical attack or whatever.

So what am I learning about the modern Canadian Army's leadership doctrine?
Is "suck-it-up" and "deal-with-it" the way junior leaders lead their men?

Look PM me your email and I will email you by return that wonderful Brit Army publication on leadership they hand out at Sandhurst. Its called Serve to Lead. Outstanding, read, re-read and digest.

Thereafter get your hands on Sydney Jary's book "18 Platoon" form your library or buy it here (http://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=18+Platton&x=0&y=0). Buy it, read it, then leave it lying around in the hope your platoon commander will pick it up and read it.


If, while doing the job, you are unable to focus yourself on being a member of my infantry section for no better reason than the personal life of the person next to you, then you have no business in my team. We have soldiers deployed overseas facing impending divorces at home. Sick family members. Kids who are getting in trouble. Hell, friends getting killed from time to time during the length of their tour. Soldiers have proven themselves remarkably good at shoving distractions aside and carrying on. There are more than enough people capable of doing so that if someone can't, tough cookies for them. A soldier who cannot compartmentalize themselves enough while on the job to focus wholly and solely on the mission at hand, the commander's intent, and the bigger picture within which he fits frankly lacks, in my opinion, the emotional maturity to be worth the risk. A soldier who cannot focus on their job is a liability. Shall I kick the black guy out of my section because my closet racist finds him 'distracting' or unpleasant to be around? No. So why would I any more cater to homophobes?

You got to read that book and Serve to Lead.Trust me, you need all the help you can get. I'll tell who are the first that should go... the bad leaders. Not reassigned (as someone told me the other day) but straight out the door (or down a rank or two).

A word from Sydney Jary:


Unlike characters in novels and films, most men react nervously to real battle conditions. Discipline and regimental pride are supports but, in decisive moments of great danger, the grip of the leader on the led is paramount. Infantry section and platoon commanders must possess the minds and hearts of their soldiers. Strength of character is not enough. Successful leadership in battle, although complex and intangible, always seemed to me to depend on two factors. Firstly, soldiers must have confidence in their leaders’ professional ability and, secondly, they must trust them as men. It helps, too, if a leader has the reputation of being lucky.

JMA
01-06-2011, 11:41 AM
You ask 'What defines the ability to do the job'?

Yes I did because that seems to be (shall we say) flexible, depending on the desired outcome.

Its kind of like lowering the physical fitness standards to allow women to pass and thereby enter the service. And that is often justified by saying that maybe the standards were too high anyway.

Then the next one is where (like the Canadian military) there is a recruiting problem. Then everything, every standard becomes negotiable. (this ringing any bells with you?)


You have abundant experience in the combat arms as part of a small unit and as a leader. You don't need to ask me that- but since you have, I'd say some things such as the ability to carry and fire a rifle or other small arm accurately, to respond calmly and decisively under stress, to carry a heavy load on bad ground in crappy weather, to communicate clearly and proactively, to navigate by day or night, to know the job of the man or woman beside you, to know, as best as you're able, the job of the next two people in the chain of command, to maintain and employ your weapons with a great degree of speed or skill, to exercise sound judgement ('strategic corporal'), to appreciate to some extent the myriad factors influencing contemporary operations (cultural, religious, etc), to be possessed of a high degree of physical fitness and motivation, to be willing to take over and lead when your boss goes down... I could go on, but I think you get the point.

I would say that it is determined by an assessment against a standardised set of tests which are applied equally and evenly across the unit as a whole.

Then we have factors which even though the person may pass all the standardised tests may possess personality/character traits and hold certain views and/or beliefs or indulge in certain behaviour that would adversely affect the performance and cohesion of the unit.

Then there are issues relating to rank and command which maybe beyond what we are talking about here.


I see not one of these that inherently excludes any human being motivated to serve who is possessed of normal physical and intellectual abilities, and somewhat above normal drive to serve their country.

I agree pass all the tests and then don't bring more problems to the party than benefits.


There is frequent talk from your side of this debate about 'distraction' and 'cohesion',

No, I spoke of the introduction of sexual tension and suggested that this was a better way of explaining why women and gays should not serve (at least) in combat units. Gen Amos (USMC) spoke of distractions.


... but it's always relying on a select number of quotes or anecdotes form a small number of high ranks who've weighed in on the subject.

Its just me and my quoting gen Amos and my suggestions of a better way he should have explained it to the Senate committee. He is about my age (so he may be losing it a bit) and may be in need of a few good staff officers.

Have you noted that no body has been able to say that the introduction of females and gays has not or will not introduce sexual tension to the detriment of the cohesion and performance of the combat unit.


I contrast this with discussions I've had with other people on other sites, currently or recently serving NCOs or officers. The prevailing opinion I see is 'whatever'. Most of those I speak to on this - Americans included - care much more about their soldiers accomplishing the mission.

Well yes. Its a done deal for better or worse. That does not make it right/better or whatever.

Yes I know the "whatever" types. How do you interpret a "whatever" response? He doesn't understand what is being discussed, even if he did he doesn't have the smarts to analyse it, and having enough trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time is just going to go with the flow. Gomer Pyle style.


As I've said, perhaps it's a generational thing. I'm 24. More people my age just don't seem to care if someone's gay, and as we're increasingly fleshing out the ranks of the military, perhaps it's inevitable. Military composition typically lags but does track social trends. But at the end of the day, I have a section of soldiers to lead and command, and any soldier who can meet my expectations and contribute to the accomplishment of the mission has a place in my section.

There you go again... this is not about being gay... or being a woman... it is about the introduction of sexual tension into a combat unit and the negative impact on cohesion and operational performance within the unit.

General Amos is correct when he said that gay servicemembers might cause a “distraction” that could result in increased injuries and deaths.

Brihard
01-06-2011, 01:42 PM
You've said what you have to say, I've said what I have to say. Since you've chosen to interpret my words in such a way as to permit you to come after me personally based on what you perceive as my 'poor leadership' I see no percentage in continuing this. We shall have to agree to disagree.

Have a good day.

Steve Blair
01-06-2011, 02:49 PM
This thread is rapidly failing the signal to noise ratio test. Suggest folks take a step back, breathe, and come back when they can all behave. There is valid discussion here, but personal attacks will not be tolerated. Everyone needs to keep that in mind.

DVC
01-06-2011, 04:40 PM
The original Constitution allowed slavery. Please don't mire this debate in the inconsequential views the Founders had regarding homosexuality. Women also couldn't vote according to our Founders. Should our entire modern civilization revert back to what the Founders thought? Of course not. Your argument is absurd.

Good morning to you too, Deus Ex. The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments abolished the evil of slavery. The 19th Amendment established the vote for women. What amendment has made homosexual behavior normal and natural in the sight of the law or codified a changed view of this behavior from that held by the Founders and by extension their constituents?

Again the Constitution is the contract between each and every citizen and each and every other citizen on how we will be governed at the federal level. The contract has provisions for changing the contract. These changes are called amendments. Changes made to a contract, or to the clear understanding of a contract, made outside of the provisions for changing the contract enshrined in the contract, are wrong.

DVC
01-06-2011, 04:51 PM
Actually the CDC report doesn't say that at all. It says that better HIV drugs have caused a lack of safe sex (risk taking behaviors). There is no contention that homosexuality is causal, it is the studied group not the causal element. The CDC report is not really research but a survey of other research (common). If you dig into that other research you will find that there are caveats all over the place that similar results are found in heterosexual populations and the issue is education not homosexuality.

Your contention would have to be that sex is as great a risk as overeating. Regardless of sexual preference and that isn't going to stand up either. Go ahead and try and recruit in a volunteer military and state NOBODY is allowed to ever have sex until they retire. I think they call that marriage.

Selil - let me restate my contention-common homosexual behaviors carry health risks greater than overeating or being overweight. Overweight is a cause for discharge while homosexual behavior soon will not be.

Re: what the CDC release says. A quote:
However, this trend began to reverse as gonorrhea rates among MSM in the county increased from 225 cases per 100,000 in 1997 to at least 475 cases per 100,000 in 1999. By comparison, in 1999 the gonorrhea rate in the remainder of the county's population was approximately 44 to 49 cases per 100,000. The researchers identified a similar trend for cases of chlamydia among MSM in the county.

Understand this is a sampling of one county (King County, Washington) for the year 1999 and math was never my strong suite. That said it looks like Men who have Sex with Men (MSM in CDC terminology) had 10x the rate of gonorrhea that the rest of the population had. Or do you have a different interpretation of this data?