General Mixon Retires, Reiterates Stance on DADT

US Army LtGen Benjamin Mixon, who was publicly dressed down by the Secretary of Defense when he encouraged members of the military to voice their concerns over the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” has retired.  Now he says the Obama administration is in a “rush to repeal” DADT that may actually be damaging to the military.

Perhaps more enlightening is his candor over the public statement he made, and the very public response by the Defense Secretary: 

Gen. Mixon said the response of the top brass had a chilling effect on discussion of the issue within the military.

“After folks saw the reaction to my letter, there was no chance of anyone else speaking up,” he said. “It sent a message.”

Senior leaders would ultimately marvel at how little push back they were getting from their troops when they discussed repeal in open meetings.  It would seem General Mixon thinks that was a natural result of his public rebuke.

Mixon also says the military “training” program on DADT repeal leaves “at least as many questions as answers.”  The questions repeatedly asked in training sessions, as well as the Navy’s recent approval of gay marriages (rescinded within hours of becoming public) seem to bear that out.

On a related topic, former Representative Patrick Murphy wrote a guest column at Stars and Stripes (the same paper that started Mixon’s controversy) pleading that the US not “turn the clock back on repeal.”  Murphy, an Army veteran, sponsored the DADT repeal legislation in the House; he lost his bid for reelection last year.  He notes the efforts by the current Congress to curtail or undo some of that legislation.  The Military Times contends those efforts may be too late.