DADT, “Military Readiness”, and Other Absurdities

Greetings. I’m sure most of you have heard that the Supreme Court decided to NOT lift the ban on DADT on Friday…shoot. The attention now turns back to Congress to repeal DADT as it looks like it’s going to take a few years in the courts. Nobody ever said justice is quick and efficient.

Well, let’s rewind a bit. The main argument coming from DADT supporters (like John McCain, that old rascal), is that the military just isn’t ready for such a big change yet (ignoring the fact that gays are already in the military, but I digress). They need time to study it. They need to ask the troops what they think about it. Now, wait a minute…since when does the military care to ask  their troops what they think? Were the troops asked what their thoughts were about invading Iraq? Were they asked if they think waterboarding is a legitimate means of interrogation? Of course not. Did the Pentagon conduct a survey to find out if the white troops were okay serving with black troops? Heck no, Truman signed an executive order desegregating our troops in 1948, basically saying “do your job, deal with it”.  All of the sudden, the Pentagon cares about how the troops “feel” when it comes to gays. Why? I say overt homophobia, but what do I know.

Well,  early reports of that Pentagon study show that:

“More than 70 percent of respondents to a survey sent to active-duty and reserve troops over the summer said the effect of repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy would be positive, mixed or nonexistent, said two sources familiar with the document. The survey results led the report’s authors to conclude that objections to openly gay colleagues would drop once troops were able to live and serve alongside them.”

That should be the end of the story. That last line is interesting, that the objections would drop once gay troops were accepted…um, no kidding. I submit this to the Pentagon: the troops will be okay serving with gays you order them to. Why? Because  it is their duty to follow orders. I would question, in many ways, any soldier that cannot perform his or her duty because someone in their ranks is openly gay.

Supporters of DADT have failed thus far to provide any SHRED of evidence that allow gays to serve openly in the military will negatively affect the “readiness” of the military. They raise  vague concerns about it, but the burden of proof is on them to provide the evidence. Why would someone else being gay affect readiness anyway (“Guys, I can’t aim my rifle straight because Private Thompson is gay.”). The Pentagon study (which I agrue was unnecessary to begin with) reveals this to be a load of crock anyway.

I just find it sad that it’s a hotly contended issue in this country. The UK already let gays serve in the military over a decade ago. Some in their military, too, were opposed to gay people serving, and some threatened to resign over it. What happened after all the thus? Nothing, really. Somehow, in allowing gay people to serve, their military is just as effective as it was before. What a stunning revelation, their troops did their job and they dealt with it. I didn’t hear anybody in this country complain when British troops (with gays!) fought alongside us in Iraq.

Time to move into the 21st century, America. We are involved in two wars right now (even though combat operations are over in Iraq, officially, unofficially, it’s still a bloody mess over there), and supporters of DADT want to keep turning away able and willing people from serving their country. That, ladies and gentlemen, is not only mind-numbingly stupid, but also un-American.


David the Intern


About MetroDC PFLAG

Our Mission:Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays promotes the equality and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons, their families and friends through: Support to cope with an adverse society Education to enlighten an ill-informed public Advocacy to end discrimination.
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