Report: Troops Who Support DADT Can Find Another Job
As reported at FoxNews, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen took those who might still support DADT to task:
Military members who have a problem with a change in policy to allow gays to serve openly may find themselves looking for a new job, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Thursday.
This seems consistent with prior leadership statements that those who support the current law could “vote with their feet.” However, to be fair, it seems the Admiral was excessively paraphrased. It seems the relevant quote is actually:
“Should repeal occur, some soldiers and Marines may want separate shower facilities. Some may ask for different berthing. Some may even quit the service,” Mullen said. “We’ll deal with that.”
Mullen added that “there is no gray area” in the debate when it comes to standards of conduct in the military.
“We treat each other with respect or we find another place to work. Period,” he said.
Despite that statement, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates attempted to alleviate concerns of a mass exodus from the military by noting of such troops:
You have the reality that they can’t just up and leave.
In short, troops who disagree with DADT repeal can get out. But there won’t be a negative impact to force strength because they can’t get out.
This appears to be consistent with the DADT report’s position that troops should not be relieved of their service obligations for moral opposition to DADT repeal.
With regard to the potential for a troop loss, there was an interesting quote in support of repeal:
Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., added that the policy itself had resulted in loss of soldiers — because thousands had been tossed out for admitting they are gay and because would-be gay service members have been deterred by the policy from signing up for duty.
Senator John McCain had said more than a quarter of a million troops had indicated they might leave the military earlier than planned should DADT be repealed, and many more would be less likely to recommend to others that they join the military. By contrast, most reports indicate approximately 13,000 military members have been discharged for homosexuality.
Finally, a common canard was repeated about the issue of homosexuality and the military:
Mullen said that U.S. military members are already working on the battlefield with NATO forces from countries where being gay is not a disqualification from service.
“I don’t recall a single instance where the fact that one of them might be openly gay ever led to poor performance on the field,” he said. “Gay or straight, their troops patrolled with ours and bled with ours.”
No mainstream person or organization has suggested a homosexual has less skill in piloting an airplane, driving a tank, or shooting a gun. The question is not one of skill. The question is the impropriety of the military openly allowing conduct inconsistent with the moral character necessary for military service.
Reductions in military effectiveness, morale, and readiness have been forecast not because of homosexual skill levels, but because of the impact of both the institutionalized acceptance of homosexual conduct and the military’s admitted inability to address legitimate logistical concerns such a change in policy would create.
Dr. Richard Land recently called for the Senate to block repeal, noting that he believed repeal is “not in the nation’s best interest.” This position relates to other criticisms of the DADT report; notably, while it cites risks, nowhere does the report say what benefit there is to the military allowing homosexuals to serve openly:
“Sadly, today’s report…may be of little value to Congress, because they failed to address the central question – whether overturning the current law would enhance our nation’s ability to fight and win wars,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. “By beginning with the premise that the law would be overturned, and exploring only how to implement such a change, the conclusion that such a change would be feasible was foreordained.”
Multiple groups have now pointed out that “negative” responses far outweighed “positive” ones on every question in the survey, yet the results of the survey are said to support a “positive” change.
Reportedly, the Service Chiefs, who will testify in Congress Friday, are expected to disagree with the decision to lift the ban.