General Encourages Troops to Express Views on DADT

A letter to the editor at the Stars and Stripes is attributed to LtGen Benjamin R. Mixon of Fort Shafter, Hawaii.  LtGen Benjamin R. Mixon is the three-star commanding general of US Army Pacific.  In that position, he is in charge of all US Army units in the Pacific theatre.

The General’s letter calls the proposed repeal of Don’t ask, Don’t tell, “ill-advised.”  He encourages troops to write both their elected officials and their chain of command to let their views be known, with the potential outcome of correcting the misperception in the media that the majority of the military is in favor of ending DADT.

LtGen Mixon is the highest ranking officer behind Marine Gen James Conway to disagree with President Obama’s proposed repeal of the law, and he appears to be the first to encourage average military members to make their views known.  As noted earlier, there has likely been an aversion to public comment on the policy by those who disagree with ending it, as both the Commander-in-Chief and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have supported changing the law.

Perhaps that apparent silence will slowly change.

The salient paragraphs of the General’s letter are below:

It is often stated that most servicemembers are in favor of repealing the policy. I do not believe that is accurate. I suspect many servicemembers, their families, veterans and citizens are wondering what to do to stop this ill-advised repeal of a policy that has achieved a balance between a citizen’s desire to serve and acceptable conduct.

Now is the time to write your elected officials and chain of command and express your views. If those of us who are in favor of retaining the current policy do not speak up, there is no chance to retain the current policy.

Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon
Fort Shafter, Hawaii