Tag Archives: robert gates

Former SecDef Robert Gates to Lead Boy Scouts

A few weeks ago the Boy Scouts of America announced that former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates would become the organization’s president next year.  The Associated Press noted

Gates helped oversee the end of the military’s ‘‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’’ policy banning openly gay soldiers. The organization he will help lead has faced its own issues with gays in its ranks. The Boy Scouts, in a process guided by the national executive board, opened its ranks earlier this year to gay Scouts, but not gay leaders.

Homosexual advocates “praised Gates’ appointment.”

Also at FoxNews.

Former Chief of Staff on the Need for a Moral Compass

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General (Retired) Peter Pace recently spoke at Principia College on a variety of topics, including global security and the need for individuals to stand by their moral compass:

[Pace] warned that everyone should set their own moral compass and stick to it, whether on the battlefield, in a business situation or in their personal lives.

“Your integrity is sacrosanct,” Pace said. “It’s Continue reading

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 And we have gone and changed those values and repealed the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy,” the sergeant told Gates during the question and answer session.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

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:  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.

Operation Odyssey Dawn: What’s in a Name?

A variety of people from both sides of the political spectrum have made implications of similarity between President Barack Obama’s decision to use military force in Libya and decisions by prior President George W. Bush.

There’s even the second-guessing of the name.

Few people might remember the original name for what eventually became Operation Enduring Freedom was actually Operation Infinite Justice.  After reported outcry Continue reading

America Joins Conflict in Libya: Operation Odyssey Dawn

The United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1973 authorizing “all necessary means” except an invasion to enforce a no-fly zone and “protect civilians” in Libya.  China, Russia, Germany, Brazil and India abstained from the vote.  The UN Security Council:

Authorizes Member States…to take all necessary measures…to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya…while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory.

Establish[es] a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians;

Authorizes Member States…to take all necessary measures to enforce compliance with the ban on flights…

Fighter pilots and other American military members around the world are undoubtedly preparing for their eventual role in this conflict, which, like virtually every other conflict since Korea, remains politically controversial.  (For example, The Washington Times quotes then-candidate and Senator Barack Obama apparently contradicting his current actions as President.)

Ironically, Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi tried to paint this latest conflict as a Christian crusade against Muslims:  Continue reading

DADT: Gates Plans for Repeal, Wilson Plans to Reinstate

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has said he hopes policy changes necessary for DADT repeal will be accomplished “within a matter of a very few weeks” so “the real challenge” can begin:

“My hope is that it can be done within a matter of a very few weeks so that we can then move on to what is the real challenge, which is providing training to 2.2 million people,” Gates said…

Commanders will provide all troops with some sort of education 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?”

Continue reading

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

DADT Survey Doesn’t Say What You Think It Says…

…or maybe it does.  The report, entitled Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, was released yesterday (available here, or at the DoD DADT website).  The following is a list of highlights from the report.

Statistics and Questions

As noted previously, fun with numbers will likely allow both sides of the DADT debate to cite the report in favor of their position.

For example, one of the most frequently cited statistics (as here and here) is the statement that

When asked about how having a Service member in their immediate unit who said he or she is gay would affect the unit’s ability to “work together to get the job done,” 70% of Service members predicted it would have a positive, mixed, or no effect.

However, using precisely the same numbers, one could also say

When asked about how having a Service member in their immediate unit who said he or she is gay would affect the unit’s ability to “work together to get the job done,” 62% of Service members predicted it would have a negative or mixed effect.

Obviously, the second statement holds quite a different meaning than the first – yet both are entirely accurate.

One of the main disconnects is that many reports have conflated 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

Survey: Military Majority Backs DADT Repeal, Chaplains Protest

Despite General Conway’s prior anecdotal evidence, several news outlets have reported on “leaked” details of the Department of Defense’s study on the repeal of the policy known as “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”  Reportedly, “a majority…would not object” to the service of open homosexuals.

The reports also indicated “some…but not a majority — objected strongly” and “said they would quit the military if the policy changed.”

Notably, whether or not personnel “objected” was not supposed to be the intent of the DoD study.  Secretary of Defense Robert Gates repeatedly said the study was to determine how best to implement repeal, not determine whether to repeal.

Meanwhile, the previously reported response of retired Chaplains was Continue reading

SecDef Opposes Court Injunction of DADT

According to an official DoD news release, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates reiterated his position that the status of the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is one for Congress to decide.  Gates said:

I feel very strongly that this is an action that needs to be taken by the Congress, and that it is an action that requires careful preparation and a lot of training. We have a lot of revision of regulations that has to be done.

At the same time, Gates repeated his former statements that the DoD review Continue reading