Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Listen to the Combat Warriors

We have all heard the headlines that 70% of armed forces soldiers surveyed say they would have no problem with openly gay soldiers serving with them. Well, that is all well and good, but it takes "desk jockeys" and frontline troops together. What do those who serve on the frontlines in combat zones have to say?
U.S. combat forces have voiced strong reservations about the effects on readiness of allowing open gays in the ranks, the Pentagon said Tuesday in a report that is likely to influence a Senate vote on whether to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, in releasing a study he ordered to meet President Obama's directive to end the ban on gays in the military, disclosed that the chiefs of the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Army disagree with the report's conclusion that the impact on combat readiness would be "low."

Nearly 60 percent of Army and Marine Corps warriors said open homosexuals in the ranks would damage war-fighting capabilities, the study found.

"For this reason, the uniformed service chiefs are less sanguine than the working group about the level of risk of repeal with regard to combat readiness," said Mr. Gates, who supports repeal, as does Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

combat troops, who live in intimate surroundings while deployed, overwhelming reported that open gays would undermine military readiness, or preparedness for combat.

Look, I appreciate all of those who serve in our Armed Forces, but we should pay close attention to those who are actually out in the mess. They are the first line, and if they are uncomfortable with it, then it is a bad idea. Period. End of story.