Marine official: I don't support 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal
December 3rd, 2010
09:40 AM ET

Marine official: I don't support 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal

[Updated at 9:40 a.m.] Top Air Force officer tells Congress Air Force can accommodate repeal but disagrees with military report that short term risk on fighting in Afghanistan would be low.

Gen. Norton Scwhartz recommends delaying full implementation until 2012 to avoid impact on combat.

[Updated at 9:39 a.m.] Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos told the Senate Armed Services Committee Friday that he does not support a repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

[Posted at 9:35 a.m.] There is "strong potential for disruption at the small unit level" of combat units if the "don't ask, don't tell" policy is repealed, Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos told the Senate Armed Services Committee Friday.

Allowing openly gay and lesbian Marines to serve would "no doubt divert leadership attention away from an almost singular focus of preparing units for combat."

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Filed under: Don't Ask Don't Tell • Military
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. ladymercury

    If our nation's military can become more distracted if the person standing next to them is gay on the battlefield instead of the terrorist standing in front of them with a grenade, then we seriously have some issues when it comes to priorities.

    This is ridiculous. They make it seem as if there will be civil unrest within their units on the ground; I'm pretty sure the have more important things to worry about than if Bob is gay with Steve.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Jamie

      Amen.

      December 3, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Liam

      This.

      December 3, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Ladymercury, by your reply, I can tell you have not served one day in the military or in a combat zone ( front line, not on the FOB during your entire rotation). It will affect the cohesion at the platoon, squad, and team level. I am really tired of people making "matter of fact" statements about topics they know nothing about! The military is not like any other organization.

      December 3, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sydney

    I agree with Gen. James Amos. If they repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, it will open up another fight within the units and add a whole lot of stress to these men and women. It's simple, keep it to yourself and there won't be any problem!

    December 3, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • -__-

      It may not be considered a problem for the straight people, but it already is, and has been a problem for the gay/lesbians in the military for some time now. All these people want is to support the country the love. But for some reason, supporting the country they love means not being able to support your spouse and family if you are gay. They have no rights and thats the problem here.

      December 3, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      "Keep it to yourself and there won't be any problem"? So we can ask these gay/lesbian troops to fight and die for our freedoms, but to reward them for their sacrifice we force them to live a lie? You can die for us as long as we don't know your gay? Does that make sense to anyone else?

      December 3, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • USMC Ret.

      That's how we feel about drinking too. You can join at 17 with parental consent. You can put your life on the line for your country, but you better put down that beer son befor someone writes you up.

      December 3, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      @USMC Ret.

      Sir, are you equating choosing to have a beer with being gay? Do you suggest that one can stop being gay as easily as one can put down said beer? Or are you saying that underaged can have a beer, but they should lie about it?

      December 3, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • DADT4ever

      @Mike excuse me, i believe USMC Ret meant keep your mouth shut, it will be fine. "don't ask don't tell" don't ask gay don't answer gay. for example: i believe most of the people under 21 drink and keep it themselves or use fake ID.

      December 3, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • USMC Ret.

      It's like this Mike. If the grunts in the unit think an underage Marine should be able to drink with his buddies the unit will let him drink. If the grunts think that a guy should be able to be openly gay and serve in their unit then they will let him. If the grunts don't want gays serving openly in their unit then they won't last. That's just the way it is what they say in Washington, or what ever you read in some book won't make a difference. When I was a grunt and we got someone that we felt was bad for the unit we got rid of them. I doubt that things have changed that much since I retired. We didn't care what civilians thought then and I doubt they care still.

      December 3, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      @USMC Ret.

      Without disputing the validity of the approach you're describing it seems that you will still able to implement it after DADT is repealed. As you said "When I was a grunt and we got someone that we felt was bad for the unit we got rid of them". So what will stop you from doing that?

      Also, as far as "We didn't care what civilians thought then and I doubt they care still." With all due respect Sir, we do have civilian control of the military in this country, so you should care.

      December 3, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      @DADT4ever

      No, it will not be fine. It is already not fine. I believe the current policy (if I'm not mistaken) allows anybody (any bigot) to "raise a concern" and then the commanding officer is obligated to investigate. Keeping your mouth shut doesn't help if you are asked a yes/no question.

      December 3, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sydney

    I would agree with you but they are all human- and in the back of their minds it will always be there... so they can't ever be 100% concentrated on the task at hand. Even if they are on the battle field- when they get back to their unit they won't be able to rest easy. ( atleast not all of the men and women can)

    December 3, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. Joe

    What everyone seems to forget is that this a military matter. They are the ones overseas getting shot at, and if they say that repealing DADT is a bad idea, then its a bad idea. THEY are the ones that have to deal with the consequences, so it should be up to them. Forget all the liberal hipsters that just want everyone to get along, and the redneck armchair general who want to shoot anyone that doesnt think like they do. If you're really so upset about repealing DADT, go join the military and fight for the change from within.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      I agree 100 percent. This is a military matter. If you don't have to live with the consequence of the issue at hand, it's easy to push your own agenda, one way or another. Let the military decide. Let the COMBAT troops decide. Because honestly, that's where it really matters. They guys/gals on the line, pulling the trigger. Not us here in the comfort of our home.

      December 3, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • LT

      Well said, Joe. I enjoy reading the opinions of civilians who tend to know what is best for our troops yet they lack a personal point of reference. I don't come to where they work and tell them how to mop. It's not my lane.

      December 3, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Who is this "THEY" your talking about? This article states that Gen. Amos does not support it, but the survey they took of our military troops revealed that 70% of them don't care. So if it was left up to our troops, like you say it should be, then they have made their opinion clear. I would think that they are more worried about coming home in one piece than whether or not their gay/lesbian squadmate is trying to "sleep" with them.

      December 3, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • USMC Ret.

      Jason, it also says that 60% of the infatry doesn't support the change. What most people don't understand is the infantry makes up only 10% of the military, but does 90% of the fighting. Having said that the units that don't suport the change are the units that are impacted the most.

      December 3, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • LT

      Jason, the THEY is those of us that actually do the fighting. I have to tell you that this 70% figure released this week is bogus. It's about half that at best. Dont believe me? Look at Army Times polls from this Summer. The real issue is you have two camps in the military. Combat Arms and Support units. The vast majority of Combat Arms do not want this in any shape or form. The support side is more open to the idea. The support side is more of your 9 to 5 crowd who wouldn't be as affected by this. The Combat Arms side would be because we are the crowd in the proverbial foxholes. It is hard to articulate the importance of unit cohesion and morale in these units. We still don't allow females in Combat Arms Units either because of the potential for "distractions.". Think about it.

      December 3, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. @Jason

    All troops are living this lie you speak of. All of them are told by priests and preachers that they go to war and die for "God and Country". If they are gay or not doesn't really matter.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • DADT4ever

      Please God forgive me because Jason brought u in. i love America and all religion even i'm non-religious.gay grunts keep their mouth shut for country isn't it reason good enough for God to forgive them and other reason, few gay grunts keep their mouth shut for the rest of the grunts isn't it good enough for God to forgive them. God bless the USA.

      December 3, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. NamVetNavy

    ain't right, reckon.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. Thomas

    I dont think its the 70% that didnt care thats the issue. Its the other 30%, nearly 1 out of 3 that will concern the military. Sooner or later some gay boy will be laughed at, taunted and placed 'beneath' everyone else. Oh, not in the open, of course. But behind closed doors when the CO isnt around, it'll happen. Same as in the civilian sector. It may take some time but wait and see. One day some gay boy will off himself and his blood will be on the militarys hands, they'll say. Ok so no longer being a service member, maybe my opinion doesn't matter. Im just sayin'. Sooner or later, it will happen. No matter WHAT thier little survey said.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • AreWeReallyThatBackwards?

      Sure it might happen that a gay man mare be persecuted, already has happened. However, I will borrow a page from the civil rights movement and say that the risks are far less than the rewards. We have a history in this country of playing "concern troll" and wanting to protect minority groups (gays, women, racial minorites, etc) from the "harsh reprisals" of some close minded people by continuing to keep them segregated/closeted. Invariably, these groups yell back that they'd rather risk reprisals to live and be who they are, then be confined/help back. So, yes, in the beginning some people may be hurt/taunted, but just like in the civil rights movement the lynchings gradually stopped, the police dogs and fire-hoses gradually were beaten back with perseverance.

      December 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristine

      "Protecting" someone against their own will isn't protection, it's tyranny. Let the gays handle themselves, it's not as if being gay suddenly makes them unable to protect themselves, especially in the military where they'll have had the same training as whatever idiot is trying to harm them. The risk is worth the reward, just as the other reply to you said, and it's wrong to assume they want or need protection. All that does is let the hateful bigot win.

      December 3, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. AreWeReallyThatBackwards?

    There are already SEVERAL other nations that have openly gay personnel serving and they seem to be just fine with it! When will the military get it? Didn't we have these same "concerns" with desegregation and that actually went very well once the military stopped trying so hard to create obstacles (and there was a need to replenish troops). I say we've wasted too much time and diverted too much attention away from the real issues the military has to deal with, all to placate a bunch of behind-the-times upper-echelon types who's mindsets are set in a bygone era.

    I've worked as a consultant for the military for a number of years, and in talking to troops in various branches, it's very clear that they are all aware that there are gay people serving with them (and most of them could care less). Rather than playing the "what if" game, why don't we just start on a unit-by-unit basis and see how repealing DADT works? Start with some non-combat units and gradually phase the new policy into combat units (pretty much the same tactic being employed with women in the military, gradually being integrated into more and more combat roles over time). My guess is that the "results" will be a whole lot of nothing, as in no appreciable change in unit cohesion.

    December 3, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. DADT4ever

    honestly, the civilian life in California, people act like they r ok with being gay but most of the people voted yes to banned gay marriage. I also heard there are a lot of anonymous heroes in civilian life. Back in military, do most of the gay troops really want the right to openly gay? do most of the their families, relatives, friends, neighbors, children, fellows, leaders, people and people's kids around them proud of them and support them to being gay? if repeal DADT, who will response for the safety of gay troops in and out in the U.S. and oversea? who will response for gay troops attack people in and out military in the U.S. and oversea? how many young men 27 or under will volunteer and willing to go war with openly gay troops? how many troops will quit because of openly gays troops? it's not a simply thing as u can see the problems i just bring up. i believe there will be more and more problems coming up if repeal DADT.

    December 3, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristine

      Who will be responsible for the safety of the gay troops? The gay troops will be, of course. And whether it's troops quitting because they can't handle openly gay people, or openly gay people being discharged simply for having spoken up in some way, the military might lose people. If you have to pick one side, why not make it the side that allows people to fight and die honorably as themselves, rather than hide and fear the consequences if anyone discovers they've got a boyfriend at home instead of a girlfriend?

      December 3, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jim Brieske

    This is nothing but an issue that has become politicized by this Obama Administration. Fools set upon destroying everything that is important to our country's well being. We do not need gay people in our military. They can go find some other place to work in which being killed is not an issue.
    The last thing men need is gays near them in a battle zone. God does not condone men "being together". And basically while in the battle zone one is nearest the edge of being sent to God.
    jim

    December 3, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristine

      "We do not need gay people in our military"? Really? Please join us in the 21st century.

      December 3, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Thomas

    @ Kristine. If you were commenting on my comment, I wasn't trying to say that anyone should be protected against thier will. It just seems to me that bigotry and hate are and quite probebly always will be a part of the human mindset. We see evidence of this daily. As such, I dont think it matters whether its a military issue or not. It is a human issue. And an ugly one at that, I agree. And I think the fear of high ranking officers is they know the kinds of things that are going to happen and so are saying now probebly isnt the best time to throw the extra issues on the militarys plate. And, being a man who supports the military 100%, I have to believe that they know what they're talking about.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristine

      Okay, but what about all the military people who completely /do/ support the repeal and believe nothing bad will come of it? I'd rather side with the people working towards honesty and dignity. There will always be bigots, but I don't believe this will have a serious impact on anything. I think people who are anti-gay are trying to make it sound like the whole military will fall apart simply to scare people out of voting for the repeal.

      December 3, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. USMC Ret.

    I used to work for a chief warrant who would tell us this story about one of their Marines that would constantly fall asleep on O.P. observation post. The NCOs decided to do something about him befor someone got killed. They took him out to the op site and handed him two grenades one in each hand. They removed the safety pins to both grenades and said they would be back in four hours. Don't fall asleep Marine or you'll die. Now I'm just a dumb jar head grunt but I would guess that was a violation of his civil right. Now I'm not comparing gay people to someone who sleeps on post. I'm just saying when the NCOs make a descision that they feel is best for their men/unit NOTHING will stop them from executing that descision.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristine

      What about what's best for the gay people in their unit? They don't have to care what's best for them? Because I can promise you getting sent home over who they love is not what's best for them.

      December 3, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jason

    Gotta go but just wanted to say that is was refreshing to come to this board and actually have thought out discussions with out people resorting to thoughtless talking points, name calling and personal attacks. Thank you everyone and have a good day.

    December 3, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Glen

    The United States Marines: The few. The proud. The too chicken to defend America if they have to do it fighting next to a gay dude.

    December 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristine

      Haha I love that 🙂

      December 3, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • USMC Ret.

      Yeah that's pretty funny. Here's a little grunt humor for you. A junior Marine failed to follow simple instructions and properly clean his carpet so the NCOs rolled him up in it. They beat the carpet with him in it. Not following simple instructions will get you and others killed when it matters. This isn't a game to us. You want to be cute Glen go ahead.

      December 3, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Why dont you join the military glen? too chicken? afraid to stand up with the real men? they are the ones dying for you everyday, so why dont we give them what they want(NO OPENLY SERVING GAYS!!!!!!) and dont diss on the marines, without them, you could be dead

      December 6, 2010 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  15. Anthony

    Repeal it already its not like gays are going to freak out and start attacking straight soldiers or have a giant parade. It will just take away the stress of thinking they'll be discharged at any moment

    December 3, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
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