Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Want My Former CJCS Back

Given a choice, I prefer General Peter Pace.

Admiral Mullen just tweeted: "Stand by what I said: Allowing homosexuals to serve openly is the right thing to do. Comes down to integrity."

When I think of integrity, General Pace comes to mind instantly. He is a 'put the stars on the table' kind of man. And the SECDEF took them off the table. The other guy? Not so much. USMC principles are enduring; the other guy's - well, flexible. (As a VADM Stockdale Inspirational Leadership Award winner some years ago while a Commander (O5), Admiral Mike Mullen has run a dagger through my heart. I am bleeding out.)

When I was a whitehat in the mid 1970s, "Top" Turnage told me: "Squid, Marines are not hyphenated - there are no African American-Marines, Hispanic-Marines, Asian Pacific Islander-Marines, homosexual-Marines, or lady-Marines. I only see United States Marines. Period. A Marine is a Marine. The rest of you are .......s- well, you know what you are. You're not Marines!" Rear Admiral Doug Venlet knows what I am talking about.


Anonymous said...

Admiral Mullin should wait until he is officially retired before he starts publicly trying to prove himself to be a sensitive and progressive modern man. Integrity? I close up the Bravo Sierra flag on that statement. Time to retire and move in with General Shali. You two can play dominoes.

Anonymous said...

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was an ethical fiasco. Directing members to serve under a lie was bad for order, discipline, and morale. I personally saw at least one suicide as a direct result.

Either homosexuality is compatible with military service or it isn't. I'm of the belief that if my shipmate is doing his/her job and abiding by the regulations, their private life is of no professional concern.

Anonymous said...

If they are privately a rapist, is that okay?

Anonymous said...

"If they are privately a rapist, is that okay?"

Give me a break, they are homosexuals, not rapists. While I don't morally condone it, homosexuality is a reality. And I guarantee you serve alongside one right now without even knowing it. Allowing them to serve openly will change little in the military.

Dean Horvath CWO/USN (Ret) said...

The occasional posts I've left here over time have been either anonymous or under a not-very-clever pseudonym related to the topic at hand. I've got my reasons for minimizing my online persona, which is why I'm absent from facebook and other virtual destinations.

Not this time. The post comes under my real name. Because I've seen real friends have their lives and careers ruined by the hypocrisy of "don't ask don't tell".

The CJCS's motivations which seem to to be the main beef of the OP. I concede to not being as attuned to flag-level politics as this blog's owner, who has much more recent and direct contact with those levels of the food chain. Of course, the farther I get from my time in uniform, reading the tea leaves of flag officer behavior seems like an increasingly silly activity:-)

But back to the headline from today:

Don't ask don't tell --and the officially sanctioned rejection of homosexuals that preceded it-- are as useless as sails, hardtack and muskets in a modern military force.

The US armed forces led the way in creating a merit-based environment when segregation was still the plan of the day in America. What better way to honor that tradition by creating a new model of inclusion for our homosexual and lesbian shipmates?

I'm nearly 20 years beyond the quaint notion that the the quality of one's service is somehow diminished --or enhanced-- based on which sex they are attracted to.

Homosexuals and lesbians have been serving --and fighting-- honorably for as long as there have been men and women under arms. That they can't serve honorably while openly loving who they choose hasn't made sense to me for a long time.

The comment of anonymous at 6:38pm is rather inscrutable, and I'm trying to figure out if the poster is drawing a line directly from "homosexual to rape". During my 21 years of service, various leadership roles gave me far more unpleasant insight than I ever wanted into cases of actual and suspected rape and domestic abuse. Not one of these cases involved same-sex couples. Maybe you'd care to circle back and fill in the blanks ?

Anonymous at 6:24pm nails it. If I may: what he (or she) said.

In any professional environment: give me a trusted colleague, an inspirational leader, a trustworthy subordinate...and I don't care which set of human plumbing they choose to snuggle up against when the lights go out. Professional performance is the only thing that matters.

Anonymous said...

Do we really need this distraction at this time? Yes, gays are serving today, everyone knows it, and most of us in service have a good idea who they are - we don't ask, we don't pursue. Frankly I'm not worried about them, I am worried about the practicality of implementing a policy DURING WAR TIME! There was considerable churn in the waters when women were allowed on combat ships, a similar churn while we face a protracted war hampered by political decisions is the last thing we need.
From a practicality stand-point, how does a ship divide berthings? Male Hetero, Female Hetero, Male Homosexual, Female Homosexual... I mean we do keep the male/female berthings separate to prevent inappropriate contact between the sexes. Doesn't the same justifications apply when we allow homosexuals, or other sexual preferences.
The services have a number of ethics driven regulations. Adultery comes to mind. How often are members charged? The few that I have seen were a result of actions that impacted good order and discipline (sleeping with another service member's spouse). It isn't a pretty solution, but it keeps the problems at bay.
Bottom line - gays are serving now, but not one of the services needs the distraction of heated debate or of concerned soldiers, airman, sailors while we fight a global war!

Anon @ 6:24 said...

To Anon @ 9:46: You admit that there are gays in the service, that most people know who they are, and you imply that it's not a problem. So why do we suddenly need segregated berthing? Sounds like things are working fine already.

Anonymous said...

For anon. at 9:46pm:
The armed forces under Truman sent the desegregation of the armed forces into motion in the period between 1945-1953. By October 1953, the Army assessed that 95% of it's African American soldiers were serving in integrated units.

This (eventually under the umbrella of Executive Order 9981) take place during the Korean War.

The discussions about berthing, about unit cohesion, about the demands of stressful working conditions in close quarters, about fomenting an environment of conversion and seduction are red herrings (and if they’re not…then we better revisit the idea of women serving at sea while we’re at it, because it’s surely not the gays and lesbians that get them pregnant while underway).

Separate-sex berthing hardly prevents "inappropriate contact" between sexes (people young and old find plenty of workarounds for that); its a necessary concession to modesty.

Anonymous said...

Some excellent comments and references are available @


Anonymous said...

If a behavior is acceptable then everyone should be able to do it. If everyone did it then there wouldn't be anyone. Unacceptable - regardless

Anonymous said...

I disagree. I'll take Admiral Mullen over General Pace any day. There's a reason Pace only served two years as Chairman.

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

"I disagree. I'll take Admiral Mullen over General Pace any day. There's a reason Pace only served two years as Chairman."

Anonymous, Don't keep us in suspense. What's the reason?

General Quarters said...

Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.
-- Winston Churchill

Age old debate. Let's move on. Sexual orientation ain't nobody's "bidnet" and should neither be a topic of official conversation nor discipline, unless it is forced or unwanted contact. Neither should any sailor flaunt or publicize his sexual orientation, nor make sexual advances toward shipmates; its uncouth and falls into the same taboo categories as politics and religion for discussion at mess.

Old Guy 1610 said...

The main point is being missed. There are opinions on both sides that are probably not likely to change, but the individual opinions, including Adm Mullin's should not be what decisions are based on. Decisions should be made on what is best for the services. Contrary to what the president said, no one, imi NO ONE has a "right" to serve. It is a privledge that does not extend to every citizen. There are also larger issues at stake. Why is this issue so important to some? Do they care that much about the small numbers of gays who want to serve? Do they care that much about military issues? Of course not. They care because the act of the federal government changing this policy and recognizing gay relationships creates a massive amount of secondary effects. So, the issue is much larger than an individual person that you may have known and felt was treated unfairly.
About 10 minutes of thinking about this leads to some basic questions. 1. Will the DoD recognize gay marriage laws in the states that have them? 2. If so, will gay couples then get base housing and other married benefits?3. Will legal unions be recognized were marriage laws don't exist? 4. Will "significant others" or gay's spouses get access to DoD medical care? Think about that issue. The Center for Disease Control has some really startling stats about health care required by gay individuals. The rates of serious illness in the gay population is many times that of heterosexual people. Not just Aids and HIV, but many critical diseases brought on by the gay lifestyle (hepatitus, and various cancers). Also, alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicide rates are much higher in the gay population. These are facts. What is not known is what would the effect of these health issues be on the readiness of the force and on the DoD health systems. The third order effect could also be the armed forces become an attractive haven for gays because of free health care and other benefits which would compound the strain on the DoD health care system.
So, what is the answer... I don't know. But I am concerned that the leadership doesn't appear to be even asking the right questions. This is not a civil rights issues. This is a readiness issue and a behavior (and the consequences of the behavior) issue.

General Quarters said...

Old Guy 1610 asks many good questions which I agree must be asked and openly discussed. I think he might be missing a larger issue or two, himself. If we make such data based arguments (Metrics, men! Metrics! If you can't quantify it, you shouldn't be doing it!) against entire categories of people, we could certainly concoct some fact-based persuasive doozies to exclude members of any minority group, eg did you know that black males, 6 % of the general population, commit 58% of violent crimes? That's a security risk. What about Native-Americans? OMG! They are so unhealthy! Those people are riddled with alcoholism, diabetes, obesity, and tobacco addiction. Their average lifespan is only 58 years, on par with sub-Saharan Africa! Force readiness issue! And so on....
Should we disqualify members of these groups on the basis of readiness and privilege to serve?

Liberal Political Correctness has a vice grip on even the most conservative of minds. All these race, gender, and sex categories that we love to discuss incessantly are bureaucratic artificialities, figments of ambitious political minds. They're fake.

The basic unit of any group is the individual person. How 'bout we simply evaluate ALL people as individual human beings on their personal merits and the strength of their character? Those of any race, gender, sexual orientation, or tighty-whitey wearers, with weak health, weak minds, and weak morals are, and always have been, unfit to serve.

Nutz said...

Ok, this hits a little close to home so I feel that I am uniquely qualified to comment on Obama's latest push to repeal the 'Don't ask don't tell"rules in the Military.

1. Personal Experience: As a young platoon leader, I had a poorly performing soldier who wanted to get out of the Army in a big way. A line that he used when he spoke with the command, IE the company commander and myself is, "I am gay!' Was he using this avenue as an easy way out? Was he really gay? A little investigating proved that there were no homosexual tendencies reported by his friends, peers and work mates. However who is going to admit that they too are "gay" to support a friend, a poorly performing one. If the booger is being "flicked", step aside so it does not land on you. How do you correct, train, discipline some one if they now say you are prejudicial towards them on account of their proclaimed sexual orientation. Easy, I treat em all the same! Work hard, play hard, follow the rules the best you can. If you cant meet the established "minimum" then you probably are not doing something right.

2. I personally know a couple of homosexuals. If you did not out right ask, " Hey are you a homosexual?" you would never know their sexual orientation.

Which leads to the point of sexuality, don't parade your tendencies and no one will know or care.

Read here: "Don't ask don't tell!"

Homosexuals catch bullets just as efficiently as the straight guys. If I had a bullet stuck in my chest, I don't give a crap, straight, gay, purple, bestiality obsessed, who is going to drag me to safety and patch me up. Just as long as they can do the job. That is the key: can one perform the job effectively? Can a 98lb woman drag a 220lb man in combat gear from a burning truck? I digressed a little on that with the women in the military, a different story and a different point of view for a different time.

Anonymous said...

I say let the fags serve! They can catch bullet like the next person...just don't be flamboyant about it...who cares who you have sex with? Just keep it to yourself...Power to the Fags!

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid we're dancing around the 700lb gorilla in the room.

For many of those against lifting the ban, this is more about Deuteronomy than Duty.

A significant group of our fellow Americans consider homosexuals mortal sinners who are buggering away all chance of redemption and believe that these sinners should not be allowed to mix with our heroes in uniform.

Onward Christian Soldiers --- unless of course you like other christian soldiers a little too much.

Anonymous said...

"Onward Christian Soldiers" are you out of your mind? Religion should have absolutely NOTHING to do with who serves in the military...do we say that atheists should not serve? How about people that do not go to church but are good people? What about the CAPT that just got busted for trying to pick up a hooker? Is he a good Christian boy or better yet a Christian Soldier ?

If you can do the job and do it well, who cares if you are gay or not...I have a few straight Sailor that work for me who are proverbial "dirtybags" and pretty much a waste of government tax money...I'd gladly trade them in for a few hard working gay persons who work hard, look good in uniform, and live by the our Navy's core values of "Honor, Courage, and Commitment."

Gay, Lesbian, Black, White, Jewish, Christan, African, Mexican, etc....we need to get rid of these hyphenated names for Americans and just let our sons and daughters of America wear the cloth of our nation regardless of Sex, Race, Creed, Nationality, or Sexual Orientation.

Anonymous said...

Captain, what exactly do you have against Mullen? I agree with his thoughts about repealing the ban on homosexuals serving. It's time to move forward.

Anonymous said...

USMC Infantry 79-06
OIF 5-6

Anonymous said...

In the 50s it was the Blacks, in the 80 and 90s it was women...it's long past due that we allow gays to serve their country....if you think that they are not already serving you are blind!