Skip to comments.Study: Military Gays Don't Undermine Unit Cohesion (MEGA-BARF ALERT)
Posted on 07/07/2008 8:16:52 PM PDT by markomalley
Congress should repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law because the presence of gays in the military is unlikely to undermine the ability to fight and win, according to a new study released by a California-based research center.
The study was conducted by four retired military officers, including the three-star Air Force lieutenant general who in early 1993 was tasked with implementing President Clinton's policy that the military stop questioning recruits on their sexual orientation.
"Evidence shows that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly is unlikely to pose any significant risk to morale, good order, discipline or cohesion," the officers states.
To support its contention, the panel points to the British and Israeli militaries, where it says gay people serve openly without hurting the effectiveness of combat operations.
Undermining unit cohesion was a determining factor when Congress passed the 1993 law, intended to keep the military from asking recruits their sexual orientation. In turn, service members can't say they are gay or bisexual, engage in homosexual activity or marry a member of the same sex.
Supporters of the ban contend there is still no empirical evidence that allowing gays to serve openly won't hurt combat effectiveness.
"The issue is trust and confidence" among members of a unit, said Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis, who retired in 1993 after working on the issue for the Army. When some people with a different sexual orientation are "in a close combat environment, it results in a lack of trust," he said.
The study was sponsored by the Michael D. Palm Center at the University of California at Santa Barbara, which said it picked the panel members to portray a bipartisan representation of the different service branches.
According to its Web site, the Palm Center "is committed to keeping researchers, journalists and the general public informed of the latest developments in the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy debate." Palm himself was "a staunch supporter of civil rights in the gay community," the site says.
Two of the officers on the panel have endorsed Democratic candidates since leaving the military - Army Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, who supports Barack Obama, and Marine Corps Gen. Hugh Aitken, who backed Clinton in 1996.
Air Force Lt. Gen. Robert Minter Alexander, a Republican, was assigned in 1993 to a high-level panel established by the Defense Department to examine the issue of gays in the military. At one point, he signed an order that prohibited the military from asking a recruit's sexual orientation.
Alexander said at the time he was simply trying to carry out the president's orders and not take a position. But he now believes the law should be repealed because it assumes the existence of gays in the military is disruptive to units even though cultural attitudes are changing.
Further, the Defense Department and not Congress should be in charge of regulating sexual misconduct within the military, he said.
"Who else can better judge whether it's a threat to good order and discipline?" Alexander asked.
Navy Vice Adm. Jack Shanahan said he had no opinion on the issue when he joined the panel, having never confronted it in his 35-year military career. A self-described Republican who opposes the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war, Shanahan said he was struck by the loss of personal integrity required by individuals to carry out "don't ask, don't tell."
"Everyone was living a big lie - the homosexuals were trying to hide their sexual orientation and the commanders were looking the other way because they didn't want to disrupt operations by trying to enforce the law," he said.
the existence of gays in the military is disruptive to units
I couldn’t agree more!
Then it would follow that if homos and lesbos can live, shower and bunk with the objects of their sexual desires it is only fair that normal men and women be allowed to live together in co-ed hetero barracks.
Or should heteros, homos and lesbos all live together in one commingled mass?
Or should they be separated according to which sex they lust after?
Homos would bunk with the normal chicks where they can all sit around giggling and chatting about make up, panties, falsies and studly dudes.
Lesbos would bunk with normal males and they can all sit around scratching themselves, breaking wind, and talking about guns, big V-8's, engine oil and hot chicks.
Oh wow,that solves it for sure.What the hell would some college kid know about unit cohesion?In college you can choose who your room mates are.In the service it is not the case.
The biggest problem with the military and gays is that once the military starts to socially engineer something, it goes 100% overboard. In some cases, like with racial integration, it was probably necessary. In other cases, like trying to convince people that a girl who does 30 push ups in two minutes is as fit (and as valuable in combat) as a guy who does 55, the military goes deep into make believe.
But you have to believe the party line and repeat the party line, or you'll never get promoted, and you'll never be a good Soldier.
Living in Baghdad, I get to watch a lot of AFN. Every other AFN commerical is mushy feel-good liberal talking point. I'm a live and let live guy, but I'm not really down with having to be brainwashed into the pro-gay agenda every time I go to the chow hall. The troops would get it worse, as they'd have mandatory meetings every quarter to explore gay issues, the same way the do with gender and race now.
The racial integration attempts have done a vast amount of good. The gender integration has done some good, insofar as the parts of it that are grounded in reality. Homosexual integration would probably turn off (so to speak) a lot of people who don't care if others are gay, but aren't looking to spend a career in a vocally pro-gay organization.
That last sentence is the key. If homosexuality is allowed in the military, it will have the media and legal authority of military behind it in full force. It will affect everything from promotions to punishment to what words troops are allowed to use.
Michael D. Palm was a gifted educator, musician, athlete, business person, and dear friend to all who knew him. Michael, a staunch supporter of civil rights in the gay community, died of complications from AIDS in Telluride in August 1998. Michael's values reflect those of the Center named in his honor - intellectual curiosity and service.
Pretty close. All military members are periodically tested for HIV. If they test positive...goodbye.
A few points...
The increased probability of blood-borne diseases on the battlefield is a real bad idea. US military members are legendary for risking their own lives to pull a buddy out of the line of fire and literally bathe in the injured member's blood. Do we really want to increase the hazard even more? Do we want soldiers/marines/etc to think twice...thrice...when others are bleeding to death?
Death among gays from HIV is disproportionately higher than for non-gays. Since most die at a relatively early age, it is also a high probability that many will contract HIV while on active duty, then spend the rest of their days in VA hospital suffering a long and very expensive death. Call me cold, but I would much rather see the scarce resources of the VA and what is left of military medical facilities reserved for the combat injured.
As someone said earlier, the military is not a social club. It is deadly serious business. If you want to join the military, then don't be gay. End of story.
I was serving when Clinton attempted to lift the ban on gays. The hostility among military members that I had contact with...was impressive to say the least.
We have worldwide terrorism, $4 and going higher gas, and a very shaky economy, but somehow don’t ask, don’t tell is a major priority.
That would bring a whole new meaning to the joke that submarines are "long, hard, and full of seamen." And I'm not talking about a particularly nice meaning.
Guess what. You can be straight and be HIV positive too.
I say keep the don’t ask, don’t tell. Uphold the fraternization rules and gays should be able to serve.
Being in college and being unfazed by homosexuality is worlds apart from being in the military and having to deal with it in a totally real world manner.
“Make your buddy smile” is a completely different atmosphere than “Dude, you’re invading my space”.
The average life span among homosexual men is about 20 years shorter then heterosexual men. This is because homosexual men are prone to other diseases including “Gay-Bowel Syndrome.”
Michael D. Palm’s values reflect those of the Center named in his honor - he supported queers in everything they desire.
-24 year Navy man stationed on seven different ships.
End “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and watch the “sexual discrimination” and all kinds of other lawsuits start rolling in against the military. The four buffoons on this panel are obviously braindead and have no idea what would lie ahead for the military if their wishes, yes their wishes came true.
The military's not worried about exploding blood flying across the battlefield. They test often for HIV, and have a very good handle on who has what. Anyone deploying that pops positive for HIV during their SRP (medical testing) isn't going into combat. That testing is what reduces the risk, not whether or not gay troops are open or hidden. That whole line of reasoning shows a dim understanding of HIV is transmitted and how the military operates.
(A far, far greater medial concern is contact with bleeding foreign nationals than bleeding American troops.)
If the generals cared about this, you'd hear it. They care about unit cohesion, enlistment/reenlistment rates, and turning the Army into a pro-gay megaphone.
Those brave men... of the Pink Beret.
“We have worldwide terrorism, $4 and going higher gas, and a very shaky economy, but somehow dont ask, dont tell is a major priority.”
“don’t ask don’t tell” is working because the gays still can’t flaunt it. Serving openly is something completely different. I remember when don’t ask don’t tell was made policy and I said then that it won’t be enough for the gay activists. That it was only a matter of time before they’d want to be completely out in the open and accepted in the military. They won’t be happy until they are living in base housing units with their adopted children and going to squadron functions holding hands. In which case the traditional, heterosexuals will leave the military en masse and not join in the first place.
Haven’t homosexuals been in the military forever?