Friday, June 25, 2010

A Bridge Too Far

Tried to run

Tried to hide

Break on through

to the other side

--Break on Through
, The Doors

Well I'm not the world's most physical guy

But when she squeezed me tight

she nearly broke my spine

Oh my Lola, lo-lo-lo-lo Lola

, The kinks

All men are created equal

--U.S. Constitution


Unit cohesion and morale issues are the usual arguments given for banning gays in the military, but those who take that position never explain how forcing gays to serve while in the closet improves unit cohesion.

Ranger doubts that unit cohesion is even relevant as the concept is unquantifiable, and the argument is usually delivered in an emotional, knee-jerk fashion. Surely open service would be less detrimental to morale than open-ended wars absent identifiable objectives. What is morale, anyway?

Don't Ask, Don't Tell will eventually be repealed, and the military must accept this fact. However, the typical soldierly passive-aggression will reign, and the military will stonewall any gay that identifies himself as such. This comment applies primarily to the males, as lesbian personnel have always been accepted as long as they were buff and gruff, and acted like men.

Open gay service has always been the prerogative of females; the problem has been in accepting the males. It is doubtful that most gay male soldiers can even be identified as such since gays gravitating to the military will seldom be the swishy-type. Yet these are the gays that scare the chain of command.

Nobody cares about the leather-dominant gays since these personnel will present as het males. However, there is a weakness in the male psyche that feels threatened in the face of its anima. Why would a man secure in his masculinity be threatened by a gay man

Further, why do those men often behave threatened by Ranger, who is not gay and has done the "manly things"? Why are they angered by his defense of gays?

Men are afraid their status as man would be diminished if a gay were to also perform at the same level. To be a Ranger or Special Forces is to be apart from the gender-integrated Army. It is the last bastion of masculinity in any aspect of our society.

Even if a gay soldier performs at the extremities of manhood -- more extreme than being, say, a pro football player -- his alternate sexual orientation would not be accepted. Why, when that man is performing the very same tasks as his hetero brothers? One's sexual orientation should be constitutionally protected as a right of privacy.

Even when DADT is repealed, it would be detrimental for any male in the combat arms to declare an alternate sexual orientation as the threat of less than superior EER's and OER's would loom. These would be oblique attacks that are the classic career-killers.

Can one believe that a DA promotion board would select an openly serving gay as a CSM or General Officer? DADT can be rescinded, but the institutional Army mindset will persevere.

It will be the same as when blacks were integrated into the Army by Executive Order. It took many years for a black to be promoted to General Officer. Did any black oficers win a CMH [MOH] in the Korean War? The first black West Point grad (Flipper) was drummed out of the service on trumped-up charges. The same will be the fate of gay men proclaiming their sexuality; the Army knows how to drag its feet when faced with an unpopular policy, regardless of congressional dictate.

Gays seeking a career in the Army would be well-advised to "don't tell", even when legislation deletes DADT. Regulations will not change attitudes.

For that, a societal shift in necessary. Until we integrate all members, there will always be a fracture line.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

So....let me see if I've got this straight...uhhh...I mean right...differences in sexual orientation are really...sorta of... kinda like... differences in eye or hair color...so that basically, being "gay" is not significant to anything and should be accepted up and down the ranks as being nothing more than a freely chosen or genetically predestined alternative lifestyle (as it is almost everywhere in the modern "enlightened" civilian world) ... isn't that the thrust of this post? I couldn't disagree more...Hackworth opined at some point that homosexuals were essentially a third sex whose first and strongest loyalty was always to themselves...in my strictly civiian experience, he was right on the money.


Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 8:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

This is the beauty of America-we all have the right to be wrong.
What kind of society sends women into combat, but won't allow homosexuals to openly serve?
Hackworth in mho was a hack, and i know a lot about him that i will never print , as it would serve no useful purpose.
In short he's not an oracle.
I'm glad that you are still with us.
I have some stuff coming up that i'm sure you'll like.

Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 9:20:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Coming back at ya,
Your description of Homosexuals got to me, or rather your conclusion that they are first and foremost loyal only to themselves.
Is it possible that you have gays confused with our political leaders.?
Why do you accept their obvious enlightened self interest , but deny the same to gays?
This seems contradictory.
We support an asshole called Kharzai who has no national loyalty, and of whom all agree his allegiance goes first to his family, then to his tribe etc... so i don't understand why gays should get lesser consideration.
Did the Bushes put family interests above the public interest?
Don't heteros put their interests above those of others?
Just sayin'

Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 9:38:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ranger -

Your comparison is fair as far as it goes. Generally speaking, all men do operate according to their own self-interest and all men have faults. However, some are much more self-interested than others and their faults much more grevious. To stretch an analogy just a bit -- all dogs can bite, but some are toy poddles and others are pit bulls...so things can be very much the same in some respects and very much different in others...all at the same time.

For a complete history of the homosexual ethos from Greek and Roman times to today, see "The Rite of Sodomy" by Randy Engel -- 1,200 pages plus footnotes. / GSJ

Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 4:31:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also of interest ... "The Pink Swastika" by Scott Lively and Kevin Abrams -- addresses the prevalence of homosexuality in the Nazi party...

Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 4:35:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Hackworth ... I obviously don't know what you do about him ... but it seems to me his habit was to give direct answers and opinions when asked questions ... hence, I think his opinion on homosexuals in the military was derived simply and directly from his own experiences in the U.S. Army...and thus is worth taking seriously even discounting Hackworth's own
faults... /GSJ

Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 4:49:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Grant said...

The only thing keeping any joes in the barracks right now is DADT and a ban on gay marriage.

Think about it... If, suddenly, it's OK to be gay, and you can get married to your battle buddy and draw BAH, how many single soldiers will be left?

I'm not really joking, either. I saw a lot of guys go through a lot more trouble to get a lot less when I was in.

Generally, however, I think you hit the nail on the head with the general gist of the argument, which is that no matter what the rules officially say, the military is a place where they can be broken to some degree at will, and I like the term "passive aggressive" to describe it.

"We aren't breaking a rule, however, the end result is the same as if we had, but there is nobody to appeal to. Except, of course, the chain of command who screwed you over in the first place."

Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 5:57:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Hackworth left the service around 1970 and that is a long time ago.
His thoughts on gays are antiquated.
You didn't address my issue concerning women in the service. Why can they serve and not gays. Women in service are often very sexually active and free and easy. Why is this ok for womwn but not gays??
Do you have any reference books for gays in the Republican party?
We both better quit this exchange since it is a bridge too far.

Monday, June 28, 2010 at 9:40:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Labrys said...

I actually think some education on the fact that sexual orientation has jack to do with other aspects of life would help. Or perhaps there is a way to ask male troops whose inferiority complexes are challenged by god-of-war type gays if they ever heard of Alexander the Great, and if they think his armies conquered merely in competition with him?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at 12:38:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Mad Celt said...

I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.
When I took this creed into my heart and mind in 1990, I knew I was gay. My service to our country had nothing to do with my sexual orientation, my political opinions, my religious beliefs, my neuroses, chemical imbalances or any other damn thing having to do with SELF. I gave my body and mind to the U.S. Army (and thereby to the USA and the Constitution)...to serve and protect and uphold. I still do. PERIOD.

Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 1:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Thanks for being a friend,

Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 3:58:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Well-said, and I believe you speak for many of your comrades.

Friday, July 2, 2010 at 12:53:00 PM GMT-5  

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