General Boykin Voices Opposition to DADT Repeal

LtGen William Boykin (USA, Ret) has reportedly said that no one can prove the repeal of the policy known as “Don’t ask, don’t tell” will improve military readiness; as a result, credence must be given to those who say it will detract from unit cohesion and morale.

“Cohesion, camaraderie, [and] brotherhood [are] just as important as the weapons that are used by those military units,” Boykin contends. “When you destroy the integrity of that cohesion, you are in fact degrading the readiness of the military — and there is no question that it will destroy the cohesion within the military.”

He also repeats the accurate but often dismissed point that the military routinely discriminates against people who might still be willing to serve their country: 

He goes on to argue that serving in the military is not a constitutional right, and he points out that people have always been picked over when it comes to deciding who is allowed to join. “The military has always discriminated [with regard to] physical limitations, not finishing high school, [and] felony convictions,” the retired Army officer explains. “You have no ‘right’ to serve in the military.”


  • The cohesion argument is basically saying American soldiers are unprofessional. They put their hatred of the gay above their dedication to their military objectives.

    And the picking people who are not physically fit argument is stupid, since fitness is a determinant of being able to do the job in question. Being sexually attracted to people of the same gender is not related to ability to do a job.

  • Being sexually attracted to people of the same gender is not related to ability to do a job.

    You’re still creating strawmen. No one here said any such thing.

  • Then comparing sexuality to physical fitness is retarded, since one is related to doing the job and one is not.

  • Don,

    What line of business are you in? I’m just trying to see if there is a way to use what you are familiar with to attempt to describe the military culture.

  • Is the military culture based on bigotry? Is that what you are saying?

  • Bigotry, maybe. Promotes a culture of exclusion…most definitely:

    In the late 90’s the Defense Department acknowledged that in 1993 it covered up a $1.3 million RAND study that showed gays could be readily absorbed into the armed forces without jeopardizing military effectiveness. . . . RAND’s findings were conveniently ignored when they didn’t agree with the tradition/Military culture of “combat, masculine-warrrior”. . . . Another $1.3 million in tax money wasted. RAND’s report was not released until the news media persistently asked for the report to compare it to the military’s internal report; led by senior military officers (all men), reported widespread hostility (but no study performed) toward gays and recommended no policy change…but ultimately led to DADT.

  • Don,

    You dodge a simple question with an accusation of moral superiority? I’m going to make the assumption that you advocate tolerance, yet you are willing to accuse without learning. Impressive cognitive dissonance.

    have a reference for said report?

  • I am not interested in a discussion about myself.

  • Don,

    Alright, then I’ll just make assumptions about you. You support tolerance, except when the person has standards. But standards aren’t acceptable to you, because it goes against the idea that one person should judge another. Of course that is what you are doing to the military in general and servicemembers specifically.

    after thinking about your comment on ‘culture of exclusion’ I have to say the military already has a culture of high standards and a keen sense of people who do not live up to those standards. Fighter pilots are even more notorious for ‘eating their young’ and showing little, if any, mercy to those pilots who are viewed as incompetent.
    Most of this is from the training received: you have different skills, but the point of basic training is to break someone down and remold them into the military pattern. The process of losing yourself to conform to the military standard is difficult and there are some who complete the training but aren’t assimilated. I think that is what happened in the accused Wikileaks leaker. I don’t think that removal bill would help the assimilation process, mainly because it lumps homosexuality action in with things like race. (for the record I recognize the difference between the desire to do it and the actual action).

  • Dealer,
    Nope. I am perfectly happy to support tolerance no matter what a person’s standards are. If your standards are that you think homosexual sex is immoral, or if you think that mixed race marriage is immoral, or if you think that eating pork is immoral then I say to “Good luck, and I hope those standards make you happy. I hope you have a long and fulfilling life without gay sex/marriage to Selma Hayek/bacon sandwiches. At no point will I try to prevent you living up to those standards for your own life. I will defend to the death your right to live your life according to the standards you set for yourself.

  • And as for judging the US military, the only judgement I would make on the US military is that they are AT LEAST as professional as the militaries of the UK, Israel, Denmark and France and thus AT LEAST as capable of performing their missions while gay people serve alongside them as the militaries of those countries.