Friday, February 05, 2010

Episode 7: Don't Ask, Don't Tell

All that is left until the death of the "Don't Ask - Don't Tell" is the signing ceremony.

When the U.S. military moves towards an European model that allows homosexuals to serve openly, what official, cultural, and attitude changes need to be made? What are the gains, and what is the downside of changing the policy?

Will Commanders get the correct direction and guidance for proper integration - or will they be ordered to sail into a minefield of unknown depth or density?

EagleOne, Galrahn and me will be Elaine Donnelly from the Center for Military Readiness, Marcus from the milblog SoldiersPerspective, and returning guest Claude Berube. If you want a preview of Claude's perspective on Don't Ask - Don't Tell, I encourage you to review his guest post over at USNIBlog. As usual, after our guests, our panel will discuss the events of the week and take your calls as time permits.

We're returning to our regular day and time, so set your reminders for this Sunday,
07 FEB at 1700R/2200Z/5pm EST.
Listen to Midrats on Blog Talk Radio


Vigilis said...

“There are standards in the Navy as reflected by fitness reports or other assessments. The one question we should ask is: Can this individual do the job?”

Absolutely true, and if a method can be found to preserve the principle of individual merit in manner treating all competitors for promotion and plum assignments equally without court interventions, success can be achieved.

If, on the other hand, self-identification of another minority class encourages expected allegations of unfair discrimination in promotion and assignment, only lawyers, their clients and the media will reap any success.

Some gays prefer DADT and will maintain their sexual preference as anonymously as always. These individuals have long been the high-performing, reliable shipmates and occasional friends we have all known.

It is human nature for people to seek identities conferring personal advantage, however. There can be no doubt that some openly gay individuals will seek to game the military advancement system.

If unfounded grievances are “settled” in an effort to keep things hush-hush, angry bystanders will circulate the truth, prompting more gays and even a few confused, heterosexual sailors to declare gay lifestyles and allege official acts of career discrimination.

Due to the relatively litigious mindset of our legal profession, experiences of military allies who have adopted gays serving openly hardly translate as good omens for the U.S.

Eric Palmer said...

We are dealing with political cowards. If the leadership believes strongly in this issue, make it so. However since we are in an election year it will be interesting to see how much politcal courage exists. For those that talk big but are weak on making it so, there is always a time after the 2010 election.

Philo said...

I'm amazed that you'd rather gay servicemen suffer bigotry silently and be forced to lie about their lives, than to risk a few people trying to take advantage of the system.  If only we could get the married folks to quit asking to avoid Christmas watch.  Perhaps if the military doesn't want to know about families, they should ban everyone from talking about it, that way straight people can deploy with the same situation as their gay counterparts, without any support.  Try hiding your families, it isn't easy.  If only I had a nickel for every time I stood a late night or holiday duty so a married guy could spend it with his wife and kids.

Philo said...

The best part was, I stood the crappy duty, and they made dependents pay.  Your arguments simply don't hold up.

Outlaw Mike said...

I suppose that when DADT is repealed, the USN will soon, like its British counterpart, have gay parades. You know what comes after Navy Gay Parades? Parades on Iranian Television. Jesus Christ. I can't believe this debate is gonna start in the middle of a war.

If I can see one advantage to the whole thing, it's that some taleban folks in caves in Waziristan may die from laughing when they hear the US armed forces, while behind with that AF surge, at least make progress on another front.

GBS said...

<span>"All that is left until the death of the "Don't Ask - Don't Tell" is the signing ceremony."</span>
<span>We'll see.</span>

GBS said...

Regardless of whatever shrill responses you may receive, you are correct.

DeltaBravo said...

Though to be fair, Mike, given the choice between a goat and any U.S. serviceman, you know the better choice!

sobersubmrnr said...

Yep. Most Republicans are against it, many Democrats are scared of it and Ike Skelton, Chairman of the HASC is opposed to it. In fact, I'm willing to bet that the one-year 'study' period is a delaying tactic employed by a President who made a promise he dare not keep.

Nah, I don't think so.

Cupojoe said...

I'm surprised that Phib supports repeal of this policy.
1) there will always be people who are incompatible with military service because of their homosexuality. How does one administratively separate these people. What about the first transgender sailor?

2) it's clear to me that openly gay servicemembers will become beneficiaries of the diversity industry. Gay leadership awards. Gay recruiting offices and, yes, a strong push to advance gay officers regardless of qualifications. It might be the best way to get command!

Philo said...

1) There are people that are incompatible with military service because of their heterosexuality.  To be honest, I'm not sure what you're talking about.  How could someone be incompatible with service because of their sexuality.  If you mean they are sex addicts, I've seen plenty of senior officers encouraging deviant straight sexual behavior in far off places.

2) Sounds like you don't appreciate black history month, or women in leadership awards.  They don't really mean anything.  The recruiting office comment is just off the wall.  If you believe current leadership is this broken, it's not the minorities.  Last I checked, the Service Chiefs were all white guys, along with the CJCS.  Don't blame the minorities for the systems within which they live.  I know plenty of women that don't like the women leadership awards, and I know plenty of black people that aren't fans of the minority awards.  I've served with good and bad minority service members, and there are always avenues to do the work to discharge those that aren't good workers.  If the majority hadn't treated the minority with such disdain for so long, we wouldn't need some of these protections.  Now you want to hold those protections against the minorities.  Talk about failed logic.

Philo said...

<span>"You know what comes after Navy Gay Parades? Parades on Iranian Television."</span>
Really?  How do you get from Gay to Iranian?  Is the natural leap from Straight to Russian?

Philo said...

<span>"I can't believe this debate is gonna start in the middle of a war. "</span>
-This "war" has been all that many service members know.  People associate "war" with urgency, but this war is quite drawn out, and no longer emergent.  It is how the services operate, everyday, for the foreseeable future.  The "war" is just another excuse to underestimate how our military rises to the occasion.

Philo said...

I do appreciate the insult.  You should have the courage to take on the points, instead of characterizing them as "shrill."

Vigilis said...

Philo, I too was asked to stand watches for married guys -- single men gallantly face such impositions regardless of who provides their companionship, support, etc.
I can even sympathize slightly on another issue - the Navy twice disapproved my marriage requests without ever offering an explanation. 

Philo said...

<span>"the Navy twice disapproved my marriage requests without ever offering an explanation."</span>
-I guess that must be a legacy thing, I've never heard of a marriage request.

GBS said...

I wasn't necessarily pointing at you, but if the shoe fits... 8-)

Philo said...

GBS.  Oh snap.  Nice retort on the issue.  You must have been Air Force.

GBS said... it that time of the month?

Philo said...

The time of the month where you move from personal attacks to something of substance?  I've made my position known, feel free to take issue with the argument.