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28 May 2010

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Patrick Lang

grimgrin

A Canadian viewpoint. We appreciate your brave little army...

Your viewpoint is deeply, inherently disrespectful of the opinions of Red America, you know, flyover America where the enlisted troops who actually fight are recruited. pl

James Nawrocki

Ah, so staff corps officers can not have an opinion. Just like active duty. We are just the guys that sweep up after the elephants.
I have seen the dark side of the human behavior on active duty, and I assure you you have nothing to fear from Gay professional officers and enlisted. I enjoy reading and learning from your blog.
I think it is one of the most informative on the Internet.
I respest your first person opinions as truthful. I do not know why my my first person experiences is disrespectful or insulting. It is simply the truth, as best I know it.
I can assure you there is no preachiness in counseling a young LTJG not to commit suicide because he was about to be drummed out of the Navy for being Gay. There is a human side to this issue.

graywolf

Your thoughtful piece really highlights the base stupidity of our "leaders" - as if we needed any more proof.
Remember, politicians are the same obnoxious kids who never got over the thrill of being junior class VP.

Mike Martin, Yorktown, VA

So will gays, then, become the newest "special population?" Where a difficult minority of said population will be spring-loaded to file discrimination complaints? Will promotion board outcomes and assignments be reviewed to "make sure the demographics are right?"

graywolf

Allen Thompson:
Your 10% of the general pop. being gay is long-time disinformation.
It's more like 3-4% gay pop.

Grimgrin

You're right, my opinion is inherently disrespectful, it proceeds from a different set of assumptions and experiences, and there's really no way for me to make it respectful. You're also right in your implication that my opinion doesn't really count in this matter, as it's other people who are going to have to live with the consequences.

Considering it again, it may just be better to return to the pre-Clinton ban on homosexuals in the military until there's some kind of national consensus or compromise on the larger issue of same sex marriage. Now, saying this goes against damn near everything I believe. However the relationships of homosexual service members cannot help but become proxies for both sides of the larger debate. Using the military to try and advance a larger goal of gay rights failed quite spectacularly with don't ask don't tell, and it's likely to fail equally as spectacularly with it's repeal.

So either the government creates a double standard in the military where some relationships are excluded from official recognition, basically exchanging one (in my opinion) unjust situation for another or it gives official recognition to same sex relationships against the wishes of a large chunk of it's population and a large chunk of the people in the service. Or it manages to do both at the same time.

I don't know. I probably shouldn't even be posting this, given my track record of utterly failing to get the point of things. "If the fool would but persist in his folly he'd become wise". Hopefully that's true. Or I'm about to get banned.

Fred

Col, I think grimgrin's opinion is also disrespectful of Blue America, where this veteran was recruited from.

The Twisted Genius

I do not believe having openly gay soldiers serve in the military is a logistical problem or a military family problem. Regulations governing how one's "spouse" becomes a dependent would not be changed. If the couple has to be married, then so be it. A domestic partner doesn't cut it any more than having a long term live in girlfriend. I had to show a marriage certificate to get my wife a dependent ID card. Right now, only a few states grant same sex marriages. No marriage license/certificate, no dependent ID card. That particular issue remains our society's problem to work out. It's not the military's problem.

Our host nailed the core issue in his last comment.

"Your viewpoint is deeply, inherently disrespectful of the opinions of Red America, you know, flyover America where the enlisted troops who actually fight are recruited. pl"

There is a sizable percentage of Americans that view homosexuality as abhorrent and intolerable. I'm just guessing, but the percentage holding that view in the combat arms is probably much greater. This is the crux of the problem of inevitably having gays serve openly in our military. This is where leaders at all levels will have their hands full trying to preserve good order and discipline. Demanding obedience and teaching tolerance in addressing this one single issue will take an inordinate amount of our military leaders’ time. At some point, commanders may have to chapter out those who, although excellent soldiers in every other way, cannot or will not develop the required tolerance. Then we will see the red elites leap into hysterical action just as the blue elites did in the case of Kelly Flinn.

Jackie

TTG,
Last night I was talking to a red friend, I'm blue, he said in 1963 when he was at Ft. Hood there were gay guys there and it all worked out OK. He is the last chauvinist male I know and he had absolutely zero problem with gays. Although after JFK got killed, they locked down Ft. Hood and that still steams him.

Patrick Lang

Jackie

We have always had gays in the military. That is not an issue.

They probably locked down everything for a few days. That had nothing to do with gays. pl

optimax

Every straight has a touch of gay. Gaywolf is right, I feel about 3-4% gay.

The Twisted Genius

Jackie,

The first time I became personally aware of gays in the Army was at Fort Jackson in 1986. I commanded a 300 person company of permanent party. There were several gay male and female soldiers in my company. They were great soldiers. I had no problem with them. Fort Jackson was a tightly run straight laced post when I was there. A permanent party soldier could get in serious trouble for smoking a cigarette on Post or doing anything that could be construed as unprofessional. Yet, I never heard of any problems dealing with homosexuality. It just seemed to be a non-problem at the time. It never surfaced in my time in Infantry or Special Forces either.. except for the mahoos down on Hotel Street in Honolulu. One of my naive young troops almost took a walk on on the wild side one night. The platoon just had a good laugh about it. No fear, no hate, just a good laugh.

Patrick Lang

optimax

To paraphrase "the most interesting man in the word" (2Xs) If I had a gay side I wouldn't be afraid to express it.

But, as long as Aphrodite is out there somewhere... Or, Hope Devereux...

Hey! I'm old --- 70 on Monday. pl

J

Colonel,

What I'm curious is how they're going to work out the clearances factor. And the subject of hostile honey-traps, will have to be broached.

PeterE

Your comments on admitting gay men and lesbian women into the military can be generalized. Suppose that all military are white Southerners and that Congress passes a law admitting white Northerners into the military. It would be the end of civilization as we know it! Officers who neither know nor care who Stonewall Jackson was, who frown when someone talks about the War of Northern Aggression. Southern families living in the same community with families that won't attend prayer breakfasts or aren't even Christian. Why some of those Northerners might even favor integrating the armed services. What will happen to the Southern military way of iife?

optimax

Col.,
Congratulations, Memorial Day is most apropriate. My birthday was once again this year on Mother's Day. That is apropriate in all meanings, or so I've been told.

Iexpress my gayness with Hawaiian shirts, the male Mumu.

walrus

Happy birthday for Monday Col. Lang! Seventy years young!

Jackie

Col.,
An early "Happy Birthday" to you and may you have many more.

Allen Thomson


graywolf:

If you go back and look, I said "at most 10%," being aware of the other, smaller, estimates also out there.

So is the military number 1%, 3%, 10% or what? Recognizing, of course, that such statistics are difficult to collect.

Patrick Lang

PeterE

There is no "Southern Military Way of Life." You are about a century behind the times.

In any event I did not say that openly gay soldiers would destroy military society. pl

LeaNder

Isn't 31 a wonderful number for birthdays? It's mine too, two month earlier.

But dear Colonel, may I politely express my wonder about how you can consider James Nawrocki's point of view as an personal insult to you? Maybe you can try to explain?

Patrick Lang

Leander

I will not be spoken down to by a military lawyer. pl

PeterE

Colonel, My example of an all Southern white military was meant to be imaginary. I could have used integration instead as an historical example. If I have understood you correctly, admitting gay and lesbian people may increase gross costs. That may be right; but surely their admission may also increase benefits.

LeaNder

Fair enough. But I don't think he spoke down to you.
While you seem to interpret "professional" as directed towards you, it didn't feel like that to me at all, much more it felt like an abstract defense strategy and stood for reason versus diverse some admittedly very old myths. Women on ships = misfortune?

Does the Navy have different rules than other parts of the military. Is it the conservative center?

Maybe someone can tell me, what "openly gay" could mean in the military. Obviously earlier generations knew about their comrades inclinations. Or does this only mean they do not need to fear repression anymore. The can as easily talk about their specific joys and troubes, a "normal" soldier can talk about his upcoming marriage, the birth of his first child, the troubles with his son, daughter.

The aspect I think NW's comment brings into the discussion is, to what extend and in what contexts can the comrade's sexual preference be misused for not so noble intentions. Admittedly I would be very curious what his specific cases looked like. Were these guys outed and for what reason?

*****************************

Concerning the "hostile honey-traps" comment by J. above. I know I am repeating myself: You can choose them according to orientation male or female. No? What's the difference?


href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%BCnter_Kie%C3%9Fling

In 1983 Kießling was secretly accused of homosexuality, which, in his position, was regarded as a security risk and led to his premature retirement. The allegations were later found to be without foundation and he was rehabilitated, being briefly reinstated before retiring with full honours.

Dick.

Why not have openly gay regiments? Or would that be discriminatory?

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