Letters to the Editor

Your views in 250 words or less

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

Letter by Dean E. Wilson, Tacoma on Sep. 27, 2010 at 3:16 pm | 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.

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