When I was an Infantry Team Leader and Bradley Fighting Vehicle Gunner in Germany, I would assist my soldiers in preparation for promotion boards and soldier of the month and quarter boards.
This task would consist of quizzing soldiers on the maximum effective range of weapons systems, the proper wear of the military uniform, drill and ceremony, leadership, the chain of command, and much more.
Quizzing a young Specialist Maley on many of these areas was a rather fun experience. Much like his mentor, he was a smart ass.
"Who was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?"
Maley would answer with, "General Alphabet".
General Alphabet, or John M. Shalikashvili, a retired army general and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1993 to 1997, has a an interesting piece on the military policy against the GLBT community.
This was supposedly the case 14 years ago.
The concern among many in the military was that given the long-standing view that homosexuality was incompatible with service, letting people who were openly gay serve would lower morale, harm recruitment and undermine unit cohesion.
14 years later, it seems multiple deployments in a war that the media is calling a "Civil War" have had an adverse impact on morale, recruitment and unit cohesion.
I now believe that if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces. Our military has been stretched thin by our deployments in the Middle East, and we must welcome the service of any American who is willing and able to do the job.
Fact of the matter is...those in the GLBT community have been serving our nation despite the current policy and served just as honorably as the straight community.
I find it troubling that because of a military that is stretched thin, due to a flawed policy by our President and a lack of a GOP plan, that they NOW should reach out to gay, lesbian, bi-sexual men and women for service?
This is the same party that oppresses the GLBT community.
Will they treat this similar to immigration issues, where the government speeds up citizenship rights for immigrants that serve in Iraq?
Will they offer same sex / domestic partnet benefits to those that serve in Iraq?
I am just curious as to what is going on in Washington now...
I wholeheartedly support the GLBT community and support their desires to serve this great nation, without having to hide who they are.