The DADT controversy split amongst milbloggers

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) is about as controversial in the military as the black beret as a universal headgear. For the past two weeks a group of us milbloggers have been discussing the issuance of a formal letter on the support of the repealing of it, if the Service Chiefs determine it should be. Many big named milbloggers from websites like Blackfive, The Military Observer, This Ain’t Hell, Outside the Wire, Boston Maggie, USNI, and others have all penned their name to a letter originally drafted by Uncle Jimbo of both Blackfive and In the Crosshairs.

Many supported this letter calling for the repeal, but there are some who don’t want it repealed and hope that Congress doesn’t repeal it even if the Service Chiefs call for it. My good friend, CJ whom I partner with on the You Served Blog and Radio show and who writes at A Soldier’s Perspective drafted a letter on the other said of the aisle that calls for the the maintaining of the DADT policy. Bouhammer.com is just one of several that has sided with CJ and is signed on to stress to the military leadership and the Administration to keep DADT in place. Ironically, Uncle Jimbo (who drafted the letter to repeal DADT) has also signed on to CJ’s letter. Don’t try to understand that one, as there is no way to understand what happens in the head of that man. I love that guy, but not in a DADT kind of way. Jimbo and I have military history together which we only discovered in the last couple of years.

JOINT STATEMENT FROM OTHER MILITARY BLOGGERS 12 MAY 2010

Like all Military Bloggers, we consider the US military the greatest institution for good that has ever existed. No other organization has freed more people from oppression, done more humanitarian work or rescued more from natural disasters. We also want that to continue.

Today, it appears inevitable to us that the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and law restricting open homosexual behavior from serving will be changed. We believe that the changes resulting from the repeal or amending of this policy will cause unnecessary burdens upon the current force and readiness.

Homosexuals have always served in the US Military and in many instances were severely ostracized or worse when found out. The current policy of preventing disclosure of sexual orientation is in keeping with good order and discipline.

The service chiefs are currently studying the impact and consequences of changing the DADT policy, and how to implement it without compromising the morale, order and discipline necessary for the military to function. The study is due to be completed on Dec. 1st. We also ask Congress to withhold action until this is finished, but no longer.

We urge Congress to oppose any efforts to repeal the law and lift the policy of openly homosexual service in the military. A large number of associated concerns and costs are associated with the repeal, among them housing, legal status in various states, and moral objections from the majority of the force. The policy would also open doors to legitimate objections from polygamists and other groups who would feel discriminated against. The time is not now to consider such actions while our military is at war on more than two fronts.

We don’t believe the US Military is ready to adapt to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell without compromising its mission. We disagree with Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen about lifting the ban but will welcome any and all lawful orders that may be given as a result of any repeal. The US Military is a professional force, but would take years to adjust to these extreme changes.
C.J. Grisham – A Soldier’s Perspective andYou Served
Troy Steward – Bouhammer and You Served
Uncle J – Blackfive (yeah, awkward, huh?)
Bob Miller – Eagles Up: Talon
LL –Chromed Curses
Ponsdorf –Another Voice
Buzz Patterson – BuzzPatterson.com

Anyway, back to the topic…my position has changed on this matter after talking with quite a few soldiers about DADT. I have known several gay members of the Army while I was in. I served right along side of them. Only one of them has ever been an issue, but we quickly dealt with it. I have several gay friends and family members. Personally I don’t understand it, but hey to each his/her own. The soldiers I have served have been good soldiers for the most part. They did their job (whether out of the closet or in) and did it well. Because of those experiences I was ok with the repealing of DADT.

However as I look at how perverse and uptight this country has become with being PC and trying to accommodate every type and person, and not offend anyone I am pretty sure where things would go. What would be next after DADT was repealed? Transgenders, Bi-sexual, Bestiality? You may be saying “come on Bouhammer it would never get to that!” Really, don’t fool yourself. We used to have just gay pride day, now we have LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender) month.

Open the door to Homosexuals to serve loud and proud in the military and the ACLU would not be able to run fast enough to the courts in order to allow in every type of one of perverse fetish loving person into the military. I am not making that up or even assuming, just look at what is happening today.

So that is one of the reasons why I oppose the repealing of DADT and the other is because of the talks I have had with many soldiers. Look, if you are gay and you want to live that life yjrm don’t “tell” as the current law states. Don’t come to the platoon room, armory or CQ desk and throw your gayness in people’s faces. Just live your life.

What happens when two soldiers are assigned a barracks room or sub/ship room (not sure what those are called) and one is openly gay and one isn’t? What if the straight soldier is uncomfortable with the gay soldier in the room, ship compartment, fox hole? Who do you move and where? How do you decide who has the right to stay and who doesn’t? What happens when gays want to enroll their lover/partner in the already over-burdened and high-cost military health care system? How long until one of them wants Tricare and the Government to cover a sex-change operation for their partner?

What happens when two troops get in a fight (which happens all the time) and one is gay and one isn’t. Is that a hate crime? Is the straight soldier labeled a gay basher? Probably a better chance of that then the gay soldier being called a “straight-basher” as I am not sure that term is even in our vocabulary yet.

I see a lot of disruption in morale and unit cohesiveness if DADT was repealed. Do we need that right now in the current wars we find ourselves in? If a platoon is out on a combat outpost overlooking the Pakistan border, do you need that added element of distraction added into the mix of all the other stresses they are facing?

How long until a straight soldier files a lawsuit to allow co-ed barrack rooms? I mean if you are going to allow a person live with another person he/she is sexually attracted to of the same sex, then why not let opposite sexes live together. What is the difference? NONE!! Will we one day have the communal barracks and showers in the military like we saw in the movie “Starship Troopers”? Is our country and military ready for that? I am sure many young soldiers would read that statement and say to themselves “HELL YEAH” but that is not the big brain talking.

DADT is a federal law and not something the President can erase with a stroke of a pen. It is not an easy answer, as there is no silver bullet to mitigate many of the risks I have listed. I have not even listed them all.

If you are a parent and your son/daughter joins the military, ask yourself how you would feel if your child was roomed with a gay person. Lots of drinking and partying happens in the military, would you be afraid to think about your child partying it up, passing out and then waking to find themselves being spooned by their “buddy”.

It is predictably ironic that when the statement was released the other day by the milbloggers in support of repealing it that the generally military-hating and ultra-liberal website the Huffington Post (I refer to it as HuffPo) wrote a story about the milbloggers calling for the repeal. However they don’t point out that all the milbloggers really called for was that Congress repeal the law only if that is what the Service Chiefs recommend.

We ask Congress to withhold action until it is finished, but no longer. If the report calls for the repeal of the DADT policy, we urge Congress to listen to the service chiefs and act in accordance with the recommendations of that study.

The HuffPo’s quick posting of their article was really nothing more than a “see those ultra conservative milbloggers think like we do”. At least what is the way I read it when I checked out their site.

Now I am sure I may have ticked off some people with this post. That was not my intent, just as it was not my intent to convince you to think like I do. I am merely stating the facts and some of the considerations I have that led me to the decision I made. If you support my way of thinking or not, so be it. If you think that it should be repealed that is your choice, a wrong one in my opinion, but your choice. There have been a lot of choices made by the American people in the last 18 months that I think many are starting to regret now. So I ask you to consider carefully all the facts and input before deciding which way to go on this matter.

It is not as easy as two dudes kissing each other at a military ball being ok. It is about all the second and third order effects that will happen as a result of this law being repealed. It is about our military focusing its energies on this topic right now and how to integrate LGBTs into the military ranks, barracks, housing, healthcare system when we are trying to fight some intense and bloody wars.


2 thoughts on “The DADT controversy split amongst milbloggers”

  1. Bouhammer –

    I know this post is 3 weeks old, but I just saw it and wanted to share a few thoughts with you. You strike me as a very thoughtful person who is genuinely concerned about secondary and tertiary effects of repealing DADT. I respect that. And if repeal really would detract from mission readiness, then I would be the first to agree with you.

    However, you seem to have bought into a bunch of red herrings that have been promoted by the opponents. Repealing DADT means one thing and one thing only: the statutory ban on service by openly gay Americans ends. At that point, it is up to the Pentagon to determine whether gays should continue to be banned by DoD regulation, not banned at all, or allowed to serve with limitations. In other words, the military decides, not politicians from 17 years ago.

    The only thing at issue here is the right of gay people to serve. Repealing the ban does not constitute an anti-discrimination law that would affect housing, or any other benefit. It doesn’t have one bit of impact on the legal status of gay relationships or access to VA care. And it does not create “hate crimes” out of brawls, nor does it have anything to do with criminal law.

    You seem to have been sold a bill of goods that simply allowing qualified gay soldiers to serve and contribute their talents requires all sorts of accommodations and changes. That is simply not true. You can make things up in order to justify your opposition, but your imaginings are not based in fact or law.

    Finally, with regard to your concern about drunken spooning and the like: that will get you kicked out or disciplined now, and it would get you kicked out or disciplined after repeal. As you know, there are gay people serving now, and there has not been an epidemic of drunk spooning. Since it would continue to be a punishable offense, there is no reason to assume that it would become a problem just because out gay soldiers were serving. In any event, it is unfair to ban patriotic soldiers who have never and would never violate regulations based on hypothetical musings about hypothetical drunk gays. People are responsible for their own actions, not hypotheticals meant to tar a whole group. (

    Bottom line: if these people can do the job – and no one is arguing that they can’t – then they should be allowed to serve. Repealing DADT means supporting meritocracy. Banning people that you know can do the job is the very sort of politicization and social engineering that shouldn’t go on in a time of war.

    Thanks for letting me share and I hope that you give further consideration to this issue.

    1. David I have not been sold anything. My opinions and views are mine alone based on my experiences, observations and knowledge. I stand behind what I said and am predicting some of this will happen after this is fully repealed. I will look forward to you coming back on and telling me I was right. Also, I know of two incidents while I was on active duty of gay soldiers trying to take advantage of and essentially rape other straight soldiers who were passed out drunk. It was in units of mine and both parties were people I knew. Yes they got in trouble, but it still happened and scarred the victims just like it does a female when she is raped.

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