Free Markets, Free People


I think it should be obvious – even to Sen. McCain – that DADT is going to be repealed at some point whether anyone likes it or not.  That repeal can be a purposeful one, implemented in a way in which the military can decide on a timeline and methodology by which to do so, or it can be by a court order that will end it immediately and not allow the military any control of the transition.

The Pentagon’s DADT study was recently published and it essentially concluded that most troops really don’t care about gays serving openly. That sentiment mirrors what most of the country feels as well.  The Pentagon report concluded that the threat to the force of repeal is “low”.

As I’ve said for years, when the dominant culture concludes sexual orientation isn’t relevant to job performance, that would eventually filter into the military.  If the Pentagon’s study is to be believed, that’s happened.

I’m reminded of one NCO who essentially boiled down the issue in a way that best reflects my feelings.  I’m paraphrasing, but he said that in the military there are two types of soldiers – those that are squared away and those that are dirt bags.  If a soldier is squared away he wants him, and he doesn’t really give a rip what his sexual orientation might be.  If he’s a dirt bag he wants him gone, and again that means straight or gay.

The top leadership in the military seems prepared to make the change.   The majority of the military, as reflected in the study’s numbers, seem prepared to make the change.  The experience of other nations, to include Israel, seem to indicate little risk in its implementation.

One of the things both sides have trotted out at various times in an effort to score political points when considering military issues  is  we should “listen to the generals”.  In this case I think that’s exactly right.  Repeal it and let them implement what is necessary to make the transition as painless as possible.  Refusing to do so leaves only the courts as an alternative.  And the courts aren’t going to give a rip about “transitions” or “time lines”, etc.  They’re going to order it stopped now.

John McCain said he was “open” to abiding by what the Pentagon study concluded.  That was apparently when he believed it would conclude something completely different than it did.  As far as I’m concerned, we’re making official something that has been the military’s dirty little secret for centuries.  That is we who have held command in the military have always pretty much done precisely what the NCO I paraphrased above said.  If you’ve been in the military for anytime at all, you’ve been in units in which gay soldiers served.  You knew it.  Everyone else knew it.  They knew you knew.  But as long as they showed up every day, in proper uniform, did their job to the utmost of their ability – i.e. “soldiered” – no one cared.

That should be the only standard by which we judge our soldiers, and we should make it the sole standard as soon as possible.



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48 Responses to DADT

  • WASHINGTON (AP) – The top uniformed officers of the Army and the Marines say letting gays serve openly in the military at a time of war would be divisive and difficult, sharply challenging a new Pentagon study that calculates the risk as low.

    So, apparently, we’re not going to listen to these generals?

    • Who is Adm Mullen and what did he say yesterday, Don2?

      • He’s the JCS Chairman; did I pass the quiz?

        If so, please take my quiz and answer which generals we should listen to since you said it’s time we listen to them?

        • Now try Adm Roughead and the USMC’s Gen. Cartwright – know who they are and where they stand? I do. And it is in support of repeal.

          You’ve given me an assertion. I’ve given you the names of flag officers who support repeal.

          • “If the law is changed, successfully implementing repeal and assimilating openly homosexual Marines into the tightly woven fabric of our combat units has strong potential for disruption at the small unit level, as it will no doubt divert leadership attention away from an almost singular focus of preparing units for combat,” the Marine commandant, Gen. James Amos, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.”

            Gen. Casey, Army Chief of Staff said changing the law now would ” another level of stress to any already stretched force” and be more difficult on the Army, particularly its combat units, than the recent Pentagon study suggests.

            Both quotes from the WSJ.

            So again, which Generals do we believe?

          • And Gen. Cartwright is a Marine General as well and supports its repeal saying he has “faith in our leadership” (talking about the Marine Corps leadership) and the “benefit derived from being a force identified by honesty and inclusivity.” Yeah, no one in an honor society would have to lie anymore. Adm Roughead, CNO says “yes” to repeal – “I assess the risk to readiness, effectiveness and cohesion of the Navy to be low.” Adm. Papp, commander of the Coast Guard says “yes” to repeal saying open service “will remove a significant barrier.” And, of course you heard from Adm. Mullen.

            You have one real dissenter (Amos) and two wishy-washy maybes (Casey and Schwartz – Schwartz isn’t rally against it, he just wants to defer it to 2012).

            All of them, every last one, when asked if they they could manage the implementation if the law is repealed said “yes”.

            So listening to the generals, the majority say it should repealed and they unanimously agree they could implement the transition if it is done.

          • Implementing a law and whether it’s a good idea are two different things.
            For you to equate the two seems rather disengenuous.

            All we know is the two Generals who have the most people intensive forces are saying, at the very least, don’t do this now (in the case of the Army) or ever, in the case of the Marine Corps.

            Further, for these two officers to publicly so state their disagreement, is remarkable.   All of us with military experience know that public statements/comments on policy are staffed, re staffed, re re staffed etc etc.  For them to say ‘we disagree with the Chairman and SECDEF is something that should give anyone pause.

            Additionally, the ‘survey’ showed a marked disagreement between combat arms forces and combat support/combat service support forces over changing the current DADT.

          • Why is it anymore disingenuous for me than you to claim otherwise? It’s an opinion isn’t it? I base mine on 28 years experience in the service and a libertarian belief in equal individual rights for all. I’m not sure why that seems to come as a surprise to some here every time I bring this up.

            And no, it’s not remarkable for them to say what they said. It’s not remarkable at all. It’s how officers are taught to behave. Argue like hell for your point, be honest and forthright in answering questions, but when the boss says “this is how its going to be”, salute, say yessir and carry out the order. And that’s precisely what each of the chiefs said they’d do if the decision to repeal the law was made. All of them – every single one.

          • Really? The Marines, from top to bottom, are fighting this tooth & nail.

          • Not General Cartwright.

          • “All of them, every last one, when asked if they they could manage the implementation if the law is repealed said “yes”.”

            Well of course they did. If they had said no they would have been informed, politely no doubt, that there was no further need for their services.

          • Is that a fact? Or was it just an honest answer to a direct question?

          • Bruce, your equating managing the implementation with (1) it should be implemented and (2) whether the implementation results in success, whatever that is.

            That’s just downright soddy thinking.

          • They’re separate issues Don. The first is based in the premise that it is going to happen and the preferable way to do that is with a plan and over time. The second – whether or not it will be a success – is based in the premise that the service chiefs know what they’re talking about – and I think they do.

          • Indeed and if you look at both quotes I posted the CinCs don’t think it should be done, implemented.

            You’re equating a ‘we’ll do if we have to’ with a ‘yes, we think it should be done.’

  • How willingly you submit to the extortion of judicial fiat, Bruce.

    Any other issues where you plan on using that as an argument?

    • I support doing away with the policy Martin. So that’s not submission to the “extortion of judicial fiat”. It’s a recognition of the reality of the alternatives (a court has already ordered it stopped and been stayed, for the moment, by a higher court) and recommending the better of the two for the institution of the military. DADT is a joke and a dumb law. Always has been – but I prefer the military be given the opportunity to work the repeal as they find it necessary to do vs. being told it’s over today by a court.

      • You’re first argument in the first paragraph is essentially ‘let us go willingly under the judicial gun before a judge pulls the trigger.’

        It’s right in the Constitution that the Congress makes the rules for the military, and I don’t think that means that it devolves to either Robert Gates or the courts.

        • No, that’s not my first argument. My first argument is for repeal – always has been.

          That said, who said “the Constitution says what I say it says”?

          That’s where we are. That’s reality – something it is usually advisable to deal with in situations such as this. The courts are already involved, so it’s not a matter of wondering if they actually will become involved and hoping they won’t.

          • No, that’s not where we are. The very idea that the courts can order the military what to do is contemptuous of constitutional order. If the Obama administration wants to try to wave this through the courts, let it try.

            And your first argument for repeal, above, is the judicial extortion argument. (Unless you want to consider “it’s going to happen anyway” an argument.)

          • You can deny it until the cows come home McP, but there’s a court decision on stay right now to allow Congress to deal with the situation if they will.

            And my argument above is an extension of the repeal argument I’ve made here many times, so my first argument is for repeal.

  • This issue is simply a Trojan horse.  this isn’t the end, it’s the beginning.  If gays can openly serve in the military, why can’t they have spouses?  Why can’t they have spouses and (subsidized) housing?  Survivor benefits?  Adoption “rights”?  Government paid-for sexual reassignment surgery?
    How about when a straight person wants to pursue a sexual harassment claim, what CO in his (or her) right mind will fully prosecute, when every ACLU lawyer from here to Timbuktu will be all over the news and TV about the injustice and outright homophobia of it all.
    I guarantee you this b.s. will happen, to operational units in the field or out to sea, further weakening operational capability and unit morale.

    • Are you serious? The UCMJ isn’t going to change one whit when it comes to those sorts of charges. Sexual harassment is sexual harassment – regardless of the gender of those doing the harassing. I would have zero qualms or problems pursuing those charges against any soldier in my command if the charge was legitimate.

      As to your other questions (other than the last one), why can’t they? What single right of yours if violated if they do?

      As to the last one it’s a lifeboat scenario at best. Why in the world would a person seek out service in the military for such a procedure? It’s a non-issue.

      • It’s a “non-issue” also because sexual reassignment sugery is something those who are transgendered seek.  Gays are quite happy with our biological genders, thank you.  Even if DADT repeal goes through the prohibition against transgendered folks remains in place mainly for medical reasons.  So there will be no “government funding” of such surgery at least within DoD.  Obamacare is another matter no doubt unless it can be killed next year. 

        • “So there will be no “government funding” of such surgery at least within DoD.”

          Just like abortions, right? 

          • While I strongly support the Hyde Amendment, having an abortion doesn’t disqualify one from military service.  Getting a sex-change operation does for largely medical reasons.   DoD is not about to fund something that will get you booted from the service.

  • Frankly, I don’t give a rat’s hindquarters what the generals think. They are not the ones who have to live in the situation. As for enforcing sexual harassment regulations, it is to laugh.
    I base my opinions on  actually living in close quarters with gay soldiers (although I cannot be 100% certain they were actually gay)  ,eating, sleeping and defecating cheek to cheek and otherwise getting up close and personal 24/7/365.

  • CRASH: Joint Chiefs To Volunteer Force: “Screw You!”

    Adm. Mike Mullens must think there are scads of “tiger kitties” in America, just waiting to sign up to fill combat arms slots.  He’s going to need them after telling serving volunteer soldiers, sailors, and airmen they need to shut up or ship out.

    The military isn’t doing away with “Don’t ask-Don’t tell”.  They are just flipping it on its head.  Actually, it is worse.

  • But the Joint Chiefs are ignoring the expressed views of their real war-fighters, and they are doing it out of political correctness.  It WILL cost us in terms of our defense.  It WILL undermine what we used to call Unit Freaking Integrity, which is enormously important. Like the EXTREMELY poor experience of women serving on combat vessels, this will be largely covered up.

    Flag-rank officers (Generals and Admirals) are ESSENTIALLY political animals who happen to also know something (we hope) about military matters.  These Chiefs are given over to PC at the expense of our national security, and they need to be set straight by the people they serve…but especially those who volunteer to serve at the point of the spear.

    • Right – I’m sure you have the inside line on all of that, don’t you?

      From the study:

      For example, when those in the overall military were asked about the experience of working with someone they believed to be gay or lesbian, 92% stated that their unit’s ‘ability to work together,’ was ‘very good,’ ‘good’ or ‘neither good nor poor.’ Meanwhile, in response to the same question, the percentage is 89% for those in Army combat arms units and 84% for those in Marine combat arms units—all very high percentages.

      From testimony:

      As one special operations fighter told the Committee, “We have a gay guy [in the unit]. He’s big, he’s mean, and he kills lots of bad guys. No one cared that he was gay.”


      • Wow.  I am freaking amazed, McQ.
        You attack me.  (No, I am not claiming inside karmic understanding.  But you sure seem to be…)
        Next, you recite to a study, whose bias is so obvious it hurts.
        And then you give us a hand-picked anecdote.   Are there gay personnel in the military?  Well, duh…  Do many of them serve very well…IN THE CURRENT SYSTEM…???  Seems like.  Is their gayness a bar to any of that?  NO.   Not within the perimeters of the system.
        All while IGNORING the results of the survey among the war-fighters, as opposed to the REPs.
        You aren’t even ATTEMPTING to deal with this rationally.

        • Ah, so I’m not dealing with it rationally, but you are? Heh …

          The study pretty much reflects the same attitude as society in the matter. Wonder of wonder that has now filtered into the military.

          The current system/law is one imposed by Congress on one of the few honor societies in the US. It requires people lie to maintain/do their jobs as they think they should. Officers and NCOs have to look the other way or refuse to enforce it if they want to keep a soldier who they know is gay but is a good soldier. Great for the integrity quotient there, Rags.

          Unlike you, I’m a libertarian, which means I believe in liberty for all. I certainly don’t limit it based on who someone happens to love (or the color of their skin or their ideology, however much I may despise it, etc.). In fact, in terms of liberty, who you love is irrelevant. The first question I ask myself in such situations is what effect would repealing such law have on my rights. The answer is absolutely none. My rights aren’t violated in the least. Neither are the rights of any soldier on active duty, in the Guard and reserves.

          Finally the results of the survey I posted deal directly with the “war-fighters”. That’s why I posted it. Additionally, I bring 28 years as an infantry officer (that’s usually considered a “war fighter” where I come from) and the experience in infantry units such as the 82nd Airborne Division with my opinion. I talk to officers and NCOs even today. The paraphrase I used in the post is from an NCO I know. I’ve talked at length with members of my son’s unit, just back from Afghanistan. They substantially validate the survey, i.e. it is a non-issue.

          And you?

          • Please, let’s leave your arrogance at the door, shall we.
            I believe in liberty, as well as do you.  I’m not as “pure” (i.e., simplistic) in my approach.
            Your depiction of the current system is a distortion.  It is NOT a “lie” to hold one’s cards to their vest.
            You prefer to quote with approval SOME generals…MANY of whom are clearly PC infested pukes…while also preferring to leave out the EXPRESSED views of the war-fighters.  That seems dishonest, to me.
            I am agnostic on the subject of gays in the military.   I have always deferred to the people in the military.  The combat arms seem to have spoken, and you seem to want  to tell them…like Mullens…to STFU.  How is that different or better than DADT?
            From my piece…

            Now, I find nothing to bar openly gay men and women from serving in many military positions.  REPs (Rear Echelon Pukes) are actually the majority of the military, not war-fighters.  For every killer, you have LOTS of support people in uniform (thanks to all of them, BTW).  Even pilots could be “skippy as they wanna be” as far as I’m concerned.  REPs don’t tend to live anything like the kind of lives of the real killers.


          • I’m not leaving anything “at the door” regardless of how you try to characterize it in order to waive it away. And who the hell are you to call anyone a “rear echelon puke”?

            Address the quote I put up on combat arms units and the very high percentage that said it essentially was no big deal that gays were in their unit. Not how you’d like it to read, but how it read. 84% of Marine combat units and 89% of Army combat units essentially said “no big deal” when asked about how gay soldiers they knew of in their units effected that unit’s proficiency. That to me is the key point – we’re not talking theory now. We’re talking about how they assessed the actual thing that opponents seem to think will cause their morale and esprit to disappear. And the vast majority said it ain’t no big deal.

            Here it is again:

            For example, when those in the overall military were asked about the experience of working with someone they believed to be gay or lesbian, 92% stated that their unit’s ‘ability to work together,’ was ‘very good,’ ‘good’ or ‘neither good nor poor.’ Meanwhile, in response to the same question, the percentage is 89% for those in Army combat arms units and 84% for those in Marine combat arms units—all very high percentages.

            And I love your “argument” – well see, the combat arms are really just as small portion of the military BUT it seems “the combat arms have spoken”. Well, yes, they have – see above.

            I have a question for you that’s relevant to your new standard for deciding how this should work – are combat engineers not “combat arms”? The army says they’re not. They don’t have combat arms MOSs. But they’re the guys out there doing counter IED route clearance every day and sometimes getting blown up. How about medics? They definitely don’t hold a combat arms MOS. Or the transportation guys, running IED infested roads everyday? MPs? You know, the guys and gals who escort those convoys? Non-combat MOSs. EOD? An Apache pilot? Nope. Oh, wait, I forgot – “rear echelon pukes” in your vocabulary. They don’t freakin’ count. But thanks to all of them, right?

            The point of course is all of those people are “war fighters”. While there may only be a small portion of the military that are the “killers” in your words, they all fight the war. But apparently your new arbitrary line is to give more credence to “killers” than what you consider “rear echelon pukes”, and so you shade your “rationalization” for keeping what the majority of the military has said it doesn’t want or need anymore by claiming that nonsense as your basis for opposition – and then have to temerity to call me “irrational?”


            And I noticed you ignored the testimony from one of the “killers”. Let’s try it again:

            From testimony:

            As one special operations fighter told the Committee, “We have a gay guy [in the unit]. He’s big, he’s mean, and he kills lots of bad guys. No one cared that he was gay.”

            Full of crap? Outlier? Not representative? Or does it pretty well reflect the same thing the survey says – to include combat arms?

          • Geez, McQ.
            I didn’t make up REPs.  It is a common military term.
            And I make no attempt to define it.  I’d agree, in fact, with your points about the muddle of MOSs that are defined by the military as “non-combat”…for the most part.  Kinda depends on the facts, does it not?
            Is a IP at Ft. Rucker a “war-fighter”?  Maybe not in that posting.  Is a base MP at Ft. Sam Houston in combat?  Is a procurement Spc. 4 in DC?
            Are the conditions of their service, billeting, or free-time lives the same…even similar to people in combat theaters?  Are all those MOSs the same in a given combat theater?
            That  does not disparage what they do.  As you will note if you read what I wrote with less hyperventilation.
            Which, on this topic, seems to be too much for you.
            And, yeah, I DO think we need to listen to the MAJORITY (and even the minority) of people who VOLUNTEER in the combat arms, instead of telling them to STFU.

          • You know Rags, like many military specific terms you have to earn the right to use ’em.

            And yes, they’re all ‘war fighters’. Just like the kid who flies the boom on KC10 at 3am over the Persian Gulf gassing up a sortie of F15 Strike Eagles is a war fighter. No KC10 and no kid on the boom, no F15s on the target. And that SP4 in DC doing procurement – check out the ordnance that Strike Eagle is carrying – he got it there. War fighting is a team effort – all the way back to the IP at Rucker. They call combat arms the tip of the spear. Well guess what, the tip doesn’t do crap without the rest of the spear.

            As for hyperventilation – I saw nothing in my writing that appears any more hyperventilated than yours. And whining about “red fogs” and “hyperventilation” doesn’t do a thing to enhance or better your arguments. That’s teenage yahoo groups nonsense and it doesn’t impress me in the least.

            And your rather peculiar way of attempting to define “who counts” is, well, fairly funny. Is the issue of gays being able to open serve going to be any different in Germany than in Ft. Sam Houston — or Kandahar Air Base for that matter? Of course not — that’s why they surveyed the “military” all of it – everywhere – not just the “killers”. The fact that you really don’t like the results doesn’t change them – so you’re into rationalization by way of marginalizing those who don’t support the outcome you prefer.

            Finally – no one is telling the “combat arms” to STFU. They’ve spoken. And 89% of the Army and 84% of the Marines in combat arms said “no big deal”. You keep avoiding that. That’s a majority where I come from.

          • McQ, you’ve lost any objectivity you ever had on this topic.
            See one FATAL flaw of the survey you love so much?
            I do.
            In what environment were the questions asked, and answered?

          • Heh…
            And I noticed you ignored the testimony from one of the “killers”. Let’s try it again:
            From testimony:
            As one special operations fighter told the Committee, “We have a gay guy [in the unit]. He’s big, he’s mean, and he kills lots of bad guys. No one cared that he was gay.”
            Full of crap? Outlier? Not representative? Or does it pretty well reflect the same thing the survey says – to include combat arms?

            Actually, I noted that it proves that gay folks SUCCESSFULLY serve now.  But you can’t even seem to read what folks are writing through that red fog.

          • Yes they do successfully serve – and the dirty little secret is they’re successfully serving as known gays.

            That’s kind of the point, isn’t it Rags?

          • Yeah.  Mine.
            Don’t fix what ain’t broke.
            Under DADT, it is APPARENT that IN THAT ENVIRONMENT, gay people are tolerated just fine.
            Which is what the survey REPORTS, and why it is FATALLY FLAWED.

          • Well, hell, Bruce…
            I guess you’ll never have any credibility if you use legal or scientific terms in posts in the future, since you maintain that nobody but you (and other career military types) get to use terms (accurately, in context) in common coinage.
            “War-fighters” is another one.  I didn’t make it up, and I used it as it is used in the military.
            Your sanctimonious, wonderfully expansive definition needs to include civilian mess workers and clerks, too, since they support the larger effort.  Crips…
            Like I said; you are bleeding credibility here, and it ain’t getting you anywhere.
            Increasingly, you are just being a putz.  (I’m not Jewish, either, so maybe I can’t use that term.)

  • Obama evidentally forgot the Coast Guard is part of our service branches….strictly bush leagues is what he is

  • When will we see the real issue discussed, instead of all of the false flag nonsense about second class citizens, fairness and general “feelings.”
    Our military is there to fight AND WIN wars, not serve as a lab for social engineering experiments.
    There is no supporting evidence that repeal of DADT will IMPROVE war-fighting capability.
    If the homosexuals had some particular skill set that would improve our chances in battle, then it would be prudent to encourage their participation in the ranks; but they don’t.
    What has been forgotten amongst the past decades of talk about “equal opportunity” is that our military branches MUST be selective, in order to recruit and promote the best warriors. When they forced the military to have quotas for blacks, that weakened our forces; when they forced the military to increase the participation of women in the ranks, that too, weakened our forces. These  steps weakened our forces because Blacks or Women were given preferential recruiting and promotion quotas. Most citizens do not know that when a promotion board is held for our military, that the records are separated by gender and minority group, so that a specified quota of those groups will always be promoted; WITHOUT regard to actual MERIT.
    The, now disgraced, Colin Powell (“these pictures show weapons of mass destruction” – turned out to be water tankers) has spoken many times that had it not been for the Army’s minority quotas, he would not have made it past Lieutenant.
    If, instead of quotas, our military was given the mandate to recruit and promote, only on MERIT, we would dramatically strengthen all of our service branches. Women and minorities would still be welcomed to apply, but they would be admitted to the ranks on their own merit, not to satisfy some race or gender quota. MERIT must be our only basis for recruiting and promotion.
    The last thing that we need, is to create, yet another politically protected minority group in our military, who will be the subject of yet another set of quotas for hiring and promotion.

    • What a load of crap. Forcing our military to take blacks “weakened” our military?

      That’s not only wrong but an abjectly stupid and demonstrably false statement.

      Today we have the finest military in the world and that’s acknowledged by everyone and every nation. And it reached that level with both blacks and women as integral parts of it as well as having a positive impact on its current state. And oh, by the way, we’ve had gays in it since the Revolution. This isn’t about some social experiment – it’s about acknowledging what exists and growing up.

      Thanks for stopping by but if this is what you consider a “good argument”, don’t bother coming back.

  • Yes, what a load of crap…McQ.
    Read what he wrote, not what you want him to have written to make it easy to attack.
    Good grief, but you are leaving a lot of your creds on the floor over this.
    Having women on combat vessels has been terribly stupid.  Putting them on subs WILL weaken the forces.  You seem perfectly willing to suspend critical thought on these issues…along with any nod to human experience.
    As your anecdote PROVES, and as everyone here knows…gay people have, DO, and WILL serve in the military. OBVIOUSLY, they serve successfully, too.
    Duh.   Again.

  • So, with all this hullaboo, has anyone asked Congress if they are going to change the UCMJ?  Article 125 will force gays to still “hide” their lifestyle.  When Congress changes that law, then gays will be allowed to “openly” serve.  Otherwise,  there will be  a lot of chaste service members……