Nathan Sass

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? Don’t Care.

In Military Policy, Politics on March 25, 2010 at 6:00 AM

The Pentagon announced today new guidelines associated with the enforcement of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. The new rules discourage the use of hearsay and overheard statements, and raise the level of officer that can initiate and inquiry under the policy.

It also ensures that traditionally confidential communications with clergy, attorneys, therapists and other medical professionals are off limits for the purposes of enforcing the policy.

At the risk of damaging my reputation among the liberals as a racist, sexist, bigoted, homophobe right wing hate monger and at the same time risking my credentials as a conservative, I have but one question.

Why does this even matter?

So G.I. Joe likes G.I. Jim instead of G.I. Jane. So what? Does that really have an impact on his ability to shoot straight and rush headlong into a fight, disregarding his personal safety?

In today’s military there is a great deal of co-ed integration. Men and women serve together in almost every branch in all but selected and specific areas (Special Forces, for example) for good reason, and we still seem to be able to field a pretty effective fighting force.  Yes, the instances of pregnancy while on active deployment are increased. And when such an event occurs, there are repercussions.

The traditional argument is that gays openly serving in the armed forces hurts morale and reduces readiness. Hogwash. I fail to see how being gay in a unit is markedly different from the co-ed arrangements we have today, and it’s associated effects. Unless, of course, you are alleging that every soldier is a virulent homophobe, which I seriously doubt.

The whole debate is stupid, and truly not reflective of the best traditions of America. These are men and women who, I would hope, are serving their country out of deep sense of commitment and duty, and not just to make a political statement. They are willing to pay the ultimate price in defense of us all.

And because they prefer to date someone of the same gender, we are going to say “no thank you”?  That’s crazy.

As long as a gay man or woman is serving for the right reasons, and not to make a political statement, I think we should just say “thank you” and leave it at that.

The rules for fraternization and the general code of conduct must still apply, and those willing to serve openly cannot then whine about being razzed for their sexual orientation, either. Entering the military must be done with the understanding that they will use anything, absolutely anything, to break you down in order to remake you. 

You will be singled out because you are short, wear glasses, are fat, are from some rural backwater or from some big city, your religion, your race and anything else they can use to get you to react. And that’s the point. Its done, not out of hate of any of those things, but to destroy any previous affiliations you may have had and build a single affiliation between you and your unit, your military, and your country.

So here’s my solution. Enforce the rules already in place for fraternization, don’t give special protections from razzing, hazing, or anything of the sort, provided it is no different from all the other forms it currently takes, and otherwise leave it alone. No whining about being called names, and at the same time no “special” levels of hazing.

The Tuskegee Airmen were once thought inferior and a detriment to discipline, too. They sure shut everyone up about all those things. Now we have fully integrated armed forces and they are the best in the world, bar none.

As long as we do not change the mission statement of the US Military from the current one devoted to victory and dominance into something softer, more PC and more about social engineering, we will always have the best in the world, because the best in the world volunteer to serve, gay or straight.



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