Tag Archives: Mike Mullen

Pres. Obama told Generals to Support DADT Repeal or Resign

Buzzfeed obtained a video of Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp speaking to US Coast Guard Academy cadets on January 8th. In it, he recounts a meeting with President Obama in 2010, in which the President told the “5 service chiefs” to support his plan for repeal of the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — or get out:

Papp revealed that Obama was unwilling to compromise with service leaders over DADT during a meeting in 2010. “We were called into the Oval Office and President Obama looked all five service chiefs in the eye and said, ‘This is what I want to do.’ I cannot divulge everything he said to us, that’s private communications within the Oval Office, but if we didn’t agree with it — if any of us didn’t agree with it — we all had the opportunity to resign our commissions and go do other things,” he said.

The context of the answer was a question from cadets about  Continue reading

The Moral Truth of Military Values

Col. Jim Dryjanski of the National War College wrote a commentary in July entitled “Strengthening our core.”  It began with a reference to the charges of sexual misconduct at Lackland AFB, TX, but broadened the discussion to moral strength and failure across the force:

We can expect some necessary actions to be taken, but will disciplinary action or the implementation of recommendations from various independent top-down strategic reviews be sufficient? Probably not, if we as Airmen don’t recognize the moral battle being waged or fail to act from the grassroots-level to strengthen our core.

It is fascinating — and heartening — to see a military commentary recognize that examples of ethical misconduct are a symptom of the moral climate in the US military.

Col Dryjanski asks if “Integrity, Service, Excellence” — the Air Force core values — are “only words:”  Continue reading

House Committee to Debate Troops Religious Expression

Update: The committee passed the religious freedom legislation as amendments to the NDAA.  The legislation has the support of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.


The House Armed Services Committee is going to debate the Military Religious Freedom Act, which the Air Force Times says US Rep Todd Akin (R-Mo) will let troops and chaplains “openly oppose gays.”

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., is specifically aiming to protect religious freedom by allowing service members and chaplains to openly oppose gay and lesbian lifestyles and the presence of gay Continue reading

DADT: Obama Certifies Repeal, Critiques, and Questions

Below:

  • President Obama has certified appeal; September 20th marks DADT end
  • ADF “stands ready to defend” servicemembers with faith, service conflict
  • Pakistan protests US support for homosexuals, even with DADT repealed
  • Washington Times notes “smoking gun,” Executive Branch misled Congress
  • Mixon says military “not ready” for DADT repeal, critics silenced
  • US military now used to “attack” Defense of Marriage Act
  • Multiple-marriage group seeks same respect as homosexuals

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Gates Tells Marines They Can’t Resign over DADT

In an unusual display of public candor (given the current environment on opposition to DADT repeal), a US Marine directly asked Secretary of Defense Robert Gates if those with moral opposition to homosexuality could resign:

“Sir, we joined the Marine Corps because the Marine Corps has a set of standards and values that is better than that of the civilian sector. And we have gone and changed those values and repealed the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy,” the sergeant told Gates during the question and answer session.

“We have not given the Marines a chance to decide whether they wish to continue serving under that. Is there going to be an option for those Marines that no longer wish to serve due to the fact their moral values have not changed?” he asked.

Despite Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen’s prior statements that those who disagreed could vote with their feet, Gates had a fairly blunt answer to the enlisted Marine:  Continue reading

Military Academies Line Up Graduation Speakers

The US military academies appear to have hammered out their graduation speakers for this year:

The top military leadership speaks at the military academy graduations on a rotating basis.  For those keeping count, Obama has already spoken at Annapolis, West Point, and now the Coast Guard academy, so if tradition holds he will address USAFA next year.

The US Military and Islamic Headscarves, at USAFA

The previously noted “controversy” over female American Soldiers wearing a headscarf resembling the Islamic hijab has resurfaced with gusto.

A Chicago Tribune opinion piece written by Kyndra Miller Rotunda, a former JAG, displayed a bit of ignorance when the author said  Continue reading

DADT: Gay dating at USAFA, Amos on Marine Moral Compass, More

Below is an update on ongoing issues with respect to the planned repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Included below:

  • Polis says USAFA should hire gay Chaplain, welcome same-sex dating
  • Virginia’s proposal to institute its own DADT for its National Guard
  • Transgender appeals for equal treatment following repeal
  • Hunter’s Restore Military Readiness Act of 2011
  • King’s combat unit DADT repeal exemption
  • Repeal training to begin shortly
  • Video message from General Amos on repeal

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President Obama to Speak at National Prayer Breakfast

Update: The nearly 2 hour Prayer Breakfast is available on C-SPAN video.

According to the Christian Post, President Obama will speak today at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.  He previously did the same last year; Admiral Mullen also attended last year.

Astronaut Mark Kelly, husband to wounded Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords, will reportedly deliver the closing prayer.

Obama is Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces; Kelly is a US Navy Captain.  Military members have routinely taken part in prayer functions every year on bases around the world, just as they will this year in places like Fort Jackson, SC.

The military’s defense of their religious freedom ensures their continued ability to do so, despite the unConstitutional demands of those who would take away the rights of the troops.

Admiral Mullen: Quality of Work, Personal Conduct Most Important

In a topic related to the prior “moral compass” discussion (in fact, the NDU speech was specifically cited), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen recently said

What I really think it comes down to is accountability. Within the military, we need to be constantly asking ourselves, “Am I holding myself and those I am responsible for to the highest standards?”

Ultimately, our quality of work and our personal conduct will say far more about who we are and what we stand for than any other thing we do.

So, are “quality of work” and “personal conduct” the defining icons of what the military stands for?

If so, what governs “personal conduct” in the US military?

Admiral Mullen Cites Need for “True Compass”

In a recent address at the National Defense University, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said this in response to a question about whether the “tolerance…has changed regarding ethics” in the military:

We have to have a true compass ethically. We have to have a true compass morally. We have to have a true compass inside our profession.

He’s right, of course.  No one has ever debated the need for a moral standard by which military members must live and serve.  The question, however, has been what defines the truth of that ”true compass.”  “True” implies Continue reading

DADT Roundup: News and Updates

Summary of recent articles/news on the potential change to the law banning homosexuals from serving in the US military.  Below:

  • Oliver North on “who they are” vs “what they do.”
  • North again asking will DADT repeal improve the military?
  • The “no effect” of repeal compared with gender integration: A Navy commander fired.
  • Secretary Gates addresses the possibility of de facto repeal of DADT within the military.
  • CSM Marvin Hill, Petraeus’ top enlisted Soldier, reportedly “pushes” against the law.
  • Congress prioritizes DADT repeal higher than the parent Defense Authorization Act
  • Calls for Senator McCain to do the “right” thing…but how do you define “right?”

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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:  Continue reading

SecDef Distributes Holiday Message

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates issued his annual holiday message this past week.  As is often tradition when mentioning the military and this “holiday season,” he cited George Washington’s Christmas crossing of the Delaware in 1776:

On Christmas Night, December 25, 1776, General George Washington and his band of 2,400 men crossed the icy Delaware River, won victories against British and German troops, and stirred new hope into the struggle for freedom and liberty…  Continue reading

Marine General Opposes DADT Repeal

Update: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen expressed “surprise” that General Amos aired his views opposing the administration’s push to end DADT, rather than keeping those comments private.

The Associated Press reports General James Amos, newly installed Commandant of the Marine Corps, has continued his predecessor’s opposition to a repeal of the policy known as “Don’t ask, Don’t tell.”  (Nearly simultaneously, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates called for repeal “quickly.”)

The article notes one unique aspect of the MarinesContinue reading