Military Says Goodbye Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is 60 days away from taking its place in military history. Friday, Leon Panetta was sworn in as the Secretary of Defense for the United States, taking his oath publicly is the first order of business, the next was ending the 17 year reign of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.
The policy Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was set back in 1993 during President Clinton’s term in office. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell deals with the investigation of a military service member who marries or attempts to marry someone of the same sex according to Solomon Response.org.  To understand Don’t Ask Don’t Tell break it down:

“Don’t Ask
 Commanders or appointed inquiry officials shall not ask, and members shall not be required to reveal, their sexual orientation.



Don’t Tell
 A basis for discharge exists if . . . “the member has said that he or she is a homosexual or bisexual, or made some other statement that indicates a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts…” –Solomon Response.org on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Are gays and lesbians in the military secluded?  Absolutely!  The definition of secluded by The Free Dictionary is to set or keep apart, remove from contact with others or to make private.  When it comes to homosexuality in the military, seclusion has been the biggest hurdle for individuals who are living a lie when it comes to whom they love.  But will the removal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell from the military system allow them to openly express themselves as homosexuals?  Originally Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was put into place in a time where gays, lesbians and bisexuals were less understood by society.  Now however it is 2011 and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is battling to survive, as support for the policy is dwindling as we move forward as recognizing marriages between homosexuals should be allowed in the same fashion as heterosexuals.

Charlie Mosko, a military sociologist, whom TIME regarded as the ‘architect’ of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, teamed up with Defense Secretary Les Aspin, in efforts against the Joint Chiefs of Staff to make the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell an official Pentagon Policy.  In 1994 the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy laid out specific guidelines for military service members who considered themselves gay, lesbian and or bisexual regarding what was considered appropriate behavior when representing their country.  Basically if you display affection or interest towards a member of the same sex in manners, which included holding hands, touching in public, and or gesturing i.e. an investigation could ensue that had the possibility to result in discharge.

“I don’t care who you love,” Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, said as the debate opened. “If you love this country enough to risk your life for it, you shouldn’t have to hide who you are.” –NY Times on Senate’s vote regarding Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

 

Don't Ask Don't Tell

Days since President Obama signed the repeal on Don't Ask Don't Tell according to SLDN.org

President Barack Obama supported the repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) policy on December 18, 2010 after the Senate struck down the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military.  At the conclusion of the debate President Obama gave time to the officials in the United States military to decide how they were going to handle the removal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy and its affect on military performance.

 

Don't Ask Don't Tell

Pres. Obama shakes hands with Admiral Mike Mullen regarding his speech on Don't Ask Don't Tell

The two month countdown to the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell began today as President Barack Obama endorsed the certification by his new Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta and Admiral Mike Mullen.

 

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta – hours after he takes his oath of office publicly (he was sworn in privately three weeks ago) – will certify to President Obama that letting openly gay men and women serve in uniform will not hurt military readiness, Pentagon officials said late Thursday.-TIME, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell History in 60 Days

 

September 22, 2011 Don’t Ask Don’t Tell will become another phrase on the shelf of history as America moves forward into the 21st century.  But the end of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy is receiving mixed emotions of relief and unease as it hangs over the branches of the United States military.

 

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was an ineffective policy that prevented talented, highly-skilled soldiers from honorably serving our nation,” said Senator Jack Reed, D-R.I., a former Army Ranger. I am pleased our civilian and uniformed military leadership is finally eliminating this barrier to service.- TIME Online, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell History in 60 Days

Also in TIME there was the top ten list of things that the public can expect to happen once Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has been lifted, most honorable of all; the 14,000 gay troops that were forced to leave will be permitted to rejoin the military if they so choose.

The reaction for removing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell from the military? You have extremists who believe homosexuality is a sin, but what about the intellectual individuals who look at Don’t Ask Don’t Tell from a strategic military standpoint.

The Washington Post issued a live blog with (Ret.) Col. Dave Bedey, former senior member of the faculty at the US Military Academy at West Point in efforts to show why there is concern surrounding the repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy on February 2nd, 2010. When asked by Harrisburg, PA why should anyone care if someone in the military is gay or not, Bedey had an answer based a lifetime career he formed serving the United States of America.

(Ret.) Col. Dave Bedey: The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell poses two related risks to our military effectiveness. The first, and most familiar, has to do with unit cohesion. Unit cohesion is the bond the enables combat effectiveness. It is founded on sharing a common purpose and being willing to subordinate self to the needs of the unit. The effect on unit cohesion is hard to judge-but in the profession opinion of most retired generals and admirals who have weighed in on this issue, unit cohesion would be put at risk. The second risk is to the military community-which includes military families that live together. The military community is much more conservative and attached to traditional values than is society at large. Given the President’s endorsement of full federal rights to same-sex couples, it is not unreasonable to think that this would include access to family housing on base. Our military communities ought not become embroiled in this aspect of the culture war. This will degrade our military effectiveness. Washington Post Live Blog on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

President Obama, Defense Secretary Panetta and Admiral Mullen agree as the Pentagon certifies the end of it’s 17 year policy Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. July 22, 2011 begins the 60 day countdown for Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to find its place next to laws which once supported segregation and denied women.
 

 

One Response to Military Says Goodbye Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

  1. Out Military says:

    FYI – http://OutMilitary.com is providing a supportive place for gay servicemen and women to friend, share and network in a post DADT era.

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