Letters to the Editor

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MILITARY: ‘Don’t ask’ a flawed concept from the start

Letter by Dean E. Wilson, Tacoma on Sep. 27, 2010 at 3:16 pm with 16 Comments »
September 28, 2010 9:20 am

As a 20-year Army officer, I applaud the decision to overturn the great absurdity of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” The whole concept was a silly compromise to reality in the first place.

The opposition to gays in the service was always that homosexuality would be detrimental to good order, discipline and morale. However the basic concept of DADT was to acknowledge that homosexuals could, in fact, serve and function well in the armed forces (and exist in similar numbers to those in civilian pursuits) but only so long as they did not “reveal” their sexual orientation.

Quite obviously, that would be very difficult to do for any period in a service environment. Even most commanders would probably choose to ignore such rumors if it meant having to boot out a dedicated and effective service member.

It also created the untenable situation where, on one hand, a person with a grudge could blackmail or put a gay member under duress by threatening to report him or her to higher authority. On the other hand, gay members who wanted to avoid a hardship tour or cut their service obligation short could choose to “reveal” their homosexuality – or claim it even if they weren’t gay.

It’s long past due that we put aside the charade of DADT and allow gays to serve openly like so many other countries have done successfully, and cease a silly practice that actually works against good order, discipline and morale.

Leave a comment Comments → 16
  1. the3rdpigshouse says:

    I question your claim to 20 years of military service! I also refute your rediculous position that gays do not represent a problem for good order, discipline, & morale! You either sat in an office for 20 years with no interaction with the other members of your unit or you are the most naive 20 year individual I ever encountered!!

  2. Sumner401 says:

    Great letter, as always, Mr. Wilson!

  3. iamjimbo says:

    How about a little trivia?

    What president supported DADT by signing it into law?

    Hint: the same one that supported sending U.S. jobs overseas by signing NAFTA into law.

    Kooky huh?

  4. dewilson says:

    3rdpig – FYI, I served 20 years in the Army Signal Corps in both tactical units and higher headquarters, with 3 overseas tours and my final one here at Fort Lewis. As a Signal Unit commander I had both male and female soldiers. Four or five of those were rumored to be gay, but with the exception of one, were all exemplary soldiers. The exception had other disciplinary problems not related to her sexuality. Kindly share with us your military background and experience with gays in the armed services.

    iamj – You are absolutley right. President Clinton signed both DADT and NAFTA into law. He also signed the law that repealed the Glass-Steagall Act. All huge mistakes. As was his liasion with Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones, et al.

  5. eagle_beak says:

    i appreciated reading your letter Mr. Wilson and I understand your responding to the one commentor’s question with common sense and dignity.
    it is time to move on from all that.

    God bless America and help us keep our country great!

  6. dewilson says:

    Thanks eagle_beak. I know we have different opinions, but I appreciate that we can debate them with mutual respect.

    May Providence find the way to keep America great!

  7. OldLefty says:

    dewilson – you have made a great point. A couple of years ago, Lt. Watada should have just said “I’m homosexual” and BINGO – he’s outta here!

    Instead he took the high road and honestly said “I disagree with the president and this war”

  8. OldLefty says:

    jimbo – how about a little more trivia? Who was the soldier that took on the army for discharging him for being homosexual, even though he told them upon induction? Who was president when he was inducted?

  9. iamjimbo says:

    Apples and tiddly winks oldy… apples and tiddly winks…

    I don’t know… who?

  10. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Dean & dewilson – I am exstatic that you two are no longer on active duty (if you ever were). The military does not function as effectively in units with known gays in the ranks – period! My experience – 22+ years active – 12 years out of the U.S. – instrumental in having gays discharged from active duty!!

  11. I can’t be absolutely positive about the number, but it seems that the percentage of gays estimated to be in the military is somewhere around 2-3%. Why all of the fuss about this small group of confused individuals? Are we going to flush the worlds best military down the drain for a relatively small number of people who when they enlisted, knew the rules and accepted them. There seems to be more at play here than bending over (no pun intended) for a few people.

  12. dewilson says:

    3rdpig – You are a bit cryptic about your military experience. Care to expand on your responsibilities and your experience with regard to the detrimental impact of homosexuals on good order and discipline?

    frosty – The estimate for the general population is that approx. 10% are homosexual. Approx. 10-12% are African-Americans and other minority groups have smaller percentages. What, in your estimation, is your percentage threshold at which minority groups (race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or military experience) should accure the inalienable rights and privileges guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States of America?

  13. the3rdpigshouse says:

    dewilson – if you have to ask regarding the detrimental impacts, that is a reflection of your limited association with the active duty military community!

  14. ij – you are correct in pointing out how Clinton was a huge disappointment for the Left.

    DADT was his attempt at providing himself some sort of face-saving when his initial attempts to get rid of all sexual orientation bias from the military were savaged by the Right. A thoroughly flawed compromise from a pseudo-liberal triangulator trying to appease conservatives and liberals at the same time.

  15. 3PH – your non-response to dew is telling. So is your claim that you were the scourge of Homosexual service members.

  16. JungleBoy says:

    Let’s see… the Commanders of all branches of the military have yet to decide whether or not elimination of DADT is a wise move, and yet a wee little Captain in the Army Signals Corp is able to emphatically state that DADT is silly. Something doesn’t add up, folks.

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