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Is the Pentagon ignoring the opinion of combat troops on Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

The AP suggests the answer to that question is yes:

The Pentagon is playing down the risk of infantry and other combat arms troops causing problems if "don't ask, don't tell" is overturned.

In a first-of-its-kind survey released this week, the Pentagon found that two-thirds of the overall force predicted little impact on the military's ability to fight if gays were allowed to serve openly.

But among those who did care, most were troops performing combat arms duties. Nearly 60 percent of those in the Marine Corps and in Army combat units said they thought repealing the law would hurt their units' ability to fight on the battlefield.

Opponents of repeal, led by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., were expected to use these findings to argue that Congress shouldn't reverse the law at a time of two wars. The military's service chiefs have expressed similar concerns and are expected to testify Friday.

The study suggests an "abundance of care and preparation" is needed before changing personnel policy, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday. But he told reporters the concerns expressed by combat troops "do not present an insurmountable barrier to successful repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell.'"

...

Advocates for repeal say opposition in small pockets of the force shouldn't keep the military from moving forward.

A gay Air Force officer who runs a support group called "Outserve" and uses the pseudonym "JD Smith" said resistance within combat arms groups is likely higher because of older commanders.

And we all know that older commanders are most ignorant and backward.

Right?


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Comments (25)

The thought isn't political... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

The thought isn't politically correct - but isn't the whole idea behind having a combat arms branch of the military (as opposed to logistics, medical, supply and administrative) to kill people and break things with a maximum of efficiency and effectiveness?

Why mess with what works? Leave the combat arms specialties alone. Put gays in other areas - but the folks at the sharp edge have enough to contend with without adding in the potential for battlefield soap operas.

Gays already serve under do... (Below threshold)
Joe:

Gays already serve under don't ask don't tell (DADT) and it is unfair to those persons that they can be kicked out of the military and lose benefits just because they are gay. If a gay fellow is fighting in Afghanistan right now and serving with distinction that can all be undone just by being gay.

This is separate and different than breaking fraternization and harassment rules which could get anyone kicked out. The report just comes down to the conclusion that treating gays as they would treat any other service member should provide plenty of ways to contain any problem service members. They also are against any special treatment for gays. Specifically, not giving them protection equal to the protection of races, religions and such.

If someone is fighting for your life and liberty then you should fight for theirs too.

Get ready for special showe... (Below threshold)
TexBob:

Get ready for special showers, barracks, sexual harassment lawsuits & mandatory sensitivity training for the military.

Joe,maybe you don'... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

Joe,

maybe you don't understand the current law and Presidential order ...
you can't be kicked out of the military for being gay, period ... the military is not allowed to ask you and you don't have to say ...

That is what DADT means ...

/snickersDon't you... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

/snickers

Don't you just *love* social engineering?

If you think this is the last stop just wait. Once this is passed you can count on having their 'significant other' added to all the privileges and benefits given to married military personnel.

Used to be you found that the military was a VERY conservative place, looks like the liberals have found a way to change that to.

While watching tv news trum... (Below threshold)
OldflyerG8r:

While watching tv news trumpet the polling that shows 70% approval among active military, I did note that buried in the numbers were the contrary results among combat troops.

I mentioned to my wife, that the preponderance of the military are not deployed. Many get up from their desk jobs and go their homes each evening.

Their opinions do not count. It is the combat and deployed (as in shipboard) folks who will bear the brunt of any change. Those are the only opinions that matter.

Joe -Gays have ser... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Joe -

Gays have served (to my certain knowledge) at LEAST since 1974. By my brother's knowledge - since the early '60s. I could ask my dad about WW2, but somehow I don't feel comfortable doing that. (grin) Pre don't-ask, don't tell, you just didn't tell. At all.

I don't see a problem with it. I never have - always figured what direction someone's plumbing points isn't my business. Are they doing the job? That's the important thing.

However - the folks who make up the highest-stress parts, infantry and combat arms, do see problems in their fields. And considering the extreme conditions they live and fight in, I can see their point.

Look at things another way - imagine yourself isolated with 15 of the most tasty members of your preferred sex for about a year. You've got to work with them in a physically and emotionally demanding job, train with them to do that job, spend all your off-job time with them, even room with one of them - but under NO circumstances are you to be aroused by them or approach them sexually. EVER.

Yeah, that'll work.

The military's been used as a cultural test-tube before. Integration took a number of decades to get working right, for all the good will of the people involved.

And there've been plenty of programs where women were allowed into fields that were formerly exclusively male - with varied amounts of success and a whole lot of failure. But you find out by trying things just what doesn't work.

Integrate gays in the non-combat fields. See how it works - and stamp out any problems arising from that immediately. In a couple of decades, revisit the idea of putting them in the combat specialties - but listen if the people there object, and to why they're objecting.

During my service,... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:


During my service, ( 61-67) if you were gay, you didn't bother to TRY to get in. If you wanted out, claiming homosexuality was a sure exit strategy. In all honesty, I never was aware of anyone gay during my tour. Certainly could have been, but I never saw any indications.

In any case, the service is NOT an arena for social experimentation. If DADT is repealed, then look for the inevitable activist agitation in order to advance the gay agenda. You know it will happen.

Anyone who has served in a combat unit knows how bad it is to disrupt unit cohesion, for ANY reason. I don't want to sound like an elitist, but in this case, you've had to have been there to understand.

Well, for one thing, the re... (Below threshold)
xyzpdq:

Well, for one thing, the repeal of DADT will also save some additional funding. We will no longer need separate facilities for men and women either. If a straight male shouldn't be concerned about a gay male checking him out, then a female shouldn't be concerned about a male doing the same.....

As soon as I heard this pol... (Below threshold)
Weegie:

As soon as I heard this poll result, my first question was, "And what are the poll results from the combat arms / deployed groups?"

I immediately expected there to be a much lower level of acceptance of openly homosexual troops in those areas, and sure enough, I was right.

Though I never was in a combat arms MOS, I did know people who were, and I thoroughly understand their reasons

And the biggest proponents of allowing openly homosexual troops to serve are people who would never consider joining the military in the first place, who think it beneath them, and who just do not understand, at any level, the uniqueness of the military.

Did any of you believe this... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Did any of you believe this "study" would show anything different? How many remember the buffoon Casey's comments about "diversity" after the Ft. Hood shooting?

Where are the real General and Flag Officers? Long gone I suspect.


Seems it gets down to the n... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Seems it gets down to the nitty-gritty. The REMF's don't have a problem with gays - probably because they live a pretty good life. Combat arms on the other hand, where you actually live ass-to-elbow with others, that's the problem area.

But don't forget, this is just the warm-up for gays. Those living in states that recognize gay 'marriage' will start demanding allotment checks, base housing and medical care. Soon as that happens, gays stationed in other states will also start demanding 'equal treatment'.

Gates is a fool if he thinks repealing DADT will immediately end the problem.

irongrampa - same when I w... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

irongrampa - same when I was in. The folks who WERE gay but wanted to serve ended up either getting out, or getting married to someone who's persuasion ran opposite theirs as camoflage. Lot of marriages made in tech school, and I imagine a lot of divorces once they reached their first duty stations...

I don't think most people w... (Below threshold)
Wordygirl:

I don't think most people would be as concerned about gays in the military if not for the fact that "treating them the same as other troops" will never be good enough. Quicker than you can shake a stick, there will be demands for special treatment, recognition of gay marriage, etc.

Whatever our opinions about... (Below threshold)
BlueNight:

Whatever our opinions about homosexuality in general, about gay marriage, about portrayal in the media, the fact remains: a large portion of straight men have an instant negative reaction to the thought of homosexuality. It's the same instinct (natural or cultural) that shudders at the thought of beastiality, or of intercourse with an amputee or an ugly woman: I DON'T WANT THAT.

A large portion, I said; there are websites devoted to each and every one of the other things I mentioned, but most men shun such sites and shudder at the thought.

Let's suppose the DADT policy is dropped. Now, when in combat, one soldier pushes up next to another out of necessity in a firefight. If one knows the other is gay, that instant of distraction could result in both being killed by enemy fire. There are also many men, usually the most manly of men, who are willing to take nature's law (as they perceive it) into their own hands, and cause friendly fire. (Yes, the instinct IS that strong.)

I'm not saying that's how it should be; I'm saying that's how it is. DADT is in place to allow our military to avoid triggering that instinct.

BlueNight is correct.... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

BlueNight is correct.

When I was in, I didn't notice any gays if there were any because I didn't have to think about it. Now the combat troops have to think about it. Don't forget, the combat troops that are against this isn't just checking off a form. They are saying if they come in openly, we go out. Most do not believe that homosexuality is the norm. Most believe that homosexuals shouldn't be beaten or mocked. There is a huge difference between the two. And here we are, telling young men and women that it doesn't matter what you think, just go out there and put your life at risk while we social engineer the military. This is disgusting and if passed, you will see a huge drop in enlistments. ww

These are the same argument... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

These are the same arguments used to preclude integrated troops, then it was with women in blurred areas of combat, now it is gays or lesbians. Funny how arguably the best military percapita in the world, the IDF since its inception in 1948, prides itself on having the best combat soldiers based on ability, irrespective whether they are gay, stright,women, men black, brown or white. And they are certainly in a life or death struggle. How do they do it and we can't?

The dumbing down continues.... (Below threshold)
914:

The dumbing down continues.

Resistance mainly... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Resistance mainly comes from old servicemen, like those on this blog. I assume servicewomen young or old, aren't concerned. Old veterans led by John McCain may have trouble with the concept of gays in the military or anywhere else. McCain, who seems to be suffering from premature dementia, said yestarday. "The Secretary of Defense, (Robert Gates), is a political appointee who's never been in the military".

What's the sense of correcting McCain.. as you said 914? Can you imagine McCain and Palin. in the White House? The gaffes would be coming every minute, for four years.

"Can you imagine McCain and... (Below threshold)
914:

"Can you imagine McCain and Palin. in the White House? The gaffes would be coming every minute, for four years."


Just so the economy is growing and our liberties are not fucked with. They can commit all the gaffes they want.

my bad, wrong <a href="http... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

my bad, wrong link

McCain

I'm paying attention to the commandant of the Marine Corps," he said. "I'm paying attention to the other three service chiefs who have serious concerns. They are the four guys who are directly in charge. In all due respect, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is not directly in charge of the troops. The Secretary of Defense is a political appointee who's never been in the military. And the president, obviously, has had no background or experience in the military whatsoever. It was a campaign pledge to the gay and lesbian community."

In truth, McCain is paying attention only to those who agree with him and his bias, irrespective of their military experience, or level of command, or whether they are Commander-in-Chief.

Our armed forces is the wro... (Below threshold)
inge:

Our armed forces is the wrong way of experimenting social engineering-it would cause nothing but enormous problems for soldiers to put up with open gay activities-remember the PFC manning stealing data to pay back his disdain because of 'don't ask, don't tell.
I believe that progressives won't be satisfied with just that, but rather come up with more pervert demands of our military.
I believe, many of our armed forces would get out of the services, if they being forced to accept this twisted experiment.
Gates, and Mullen need to go!

I believe, many of our a... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I believe, many of our armed forces would get out of the services, if they being forced to accept this twisted experiment.
Gates, and Mullen need to go!

What no civil war, inge? Have courage, I'm sure Palin or another tea party candidate- if they got elected as President will repeal this 'twisted experiment', perhaps even consider repealing other military 'social engineering' projects, considered even more provocative and radical at the time?

In a study from July 1947, four of five enlisted men told the Army that they would oppose blacks serving in their units even if whites and blacks didn't share housing or food facilities.

Troops also offered dire predictions for what would happen if whites and black units were forced to serve together.

"For sure, all the GIs will quit the Army or buck like hell to get out," a 20-year-old Army private first class told the surveyors. The service members were quoted anonymously in the 1947 study.

Added another 19-year-old soldier: "If the Negro and the whites were mixed, there would be a civil war among the troops. There would be a lot of useless bloodshed if this happens."

But President Harry S. Truman issued a 1948 order on equal treatment of blacks in the services anyway -- paving the way for integration during the Korean War. None of these doomsday scenarios came true.

Truman had more courage than Obama,(that isn't hard), and I don't know how you justify Dadt constitutionlly any more than segregation or discimination of blacks in the US forces, as we did for so many years.

S. Crickmore said "These... (Below threshold)
TexBob:

S. Crickmore said "These are the same arguments used to preclude integrated troops, then it was with women in blurred areas of combat, now it is gays or lesbians."

Sorry Steve, but you cannot equate gender or skin color to abnormal or unnatural behavior.

Protected status based on behavior is ridiculous and it is going to open up a huge can of worms in our litigious culture.

The homo agenda is working hard to destroy the institution of marriage, infect kindergartners that their behavior is normal, and now infect the military with their "special status" based on "behavior" that people can claim whether it is true or not.

The current system works. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

It is not behavior, it is s... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

It is not behavior, it is sexual orientation. A California judge has already ruled it unconstitutional. It is being appealed by the Attorney-General. It is broke, for the hundreds or thousands of linguists and specialists we have lost, and the many had their careers and lives ruined. It actually might improve it; women might feel less threatened. You are aware there is a lot of sexual harassment in the forces. There should be zero telerance for this behavior, if you are worried about behavior, which you should be.




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