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Top Marine’s Views on Openly Gay Service Shared by Combat Troops

Posted By John R. Guardiano On February 28, 2010 @ 11:53 am In NewsReal Blog | No Comments

Marine Corps Commandant James T. Conway has asked a question the Big Media refuses to ask, namely: Will open homosexuality within the ranks enhance combat readiness?

The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway testified before Congress this past week in favor of the current policy, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and against openly gay military service.

This is not surprising given that Conway is a highly decorated combat Marine who has spent most of his career commanding troops — most notably as commander of the First Marine Expeditionary Force during the 2003 march to Baghdad. And, as I have reported previously here at NewsReal Blog, the Soldiers and Marines who are doing the fighting and dying on our behalf are the most opposed to openly gay military service.

Indeed, a comprehensive poll conducted by Military Times found that just 27% of military men and only 17% of our Marines favor open homosexuality within the ranks.

Our Marines and our fighting men rightly sense that if something ain’t broken, you shouldn’t try and fix it. They realize that gay men and women already serve successfully in the U.S. military, but without drawing attention to their sexual orientation and private sexual acts, and without, therefore, being disruptive.

They understand that the introduction of an overtly sexual dynamic into military units is inherently disruptive. They realize that giving lesbians and homosexuals a specially protected legal status will inevitably infringe upon the rights of cultural traditionalists and religious believers. They realize that the U.S. military’s warrior ethos and warrior culture, which sustain the combat arms, are predicated upon a shared sense of manhood to which open homosexuality is antithetical and inimical.

As General Conway explained:

My personal opinion is that unless we can strip away the emotion, the agendas, and the politics and ask [whether]… we somehow enhance the war fighting capabilities of the United States Marine Corps by allowing homosexuals to openly serve, [then] we haven’t addressed it [this issue] from the correct perspective. And, at this point, I think that the current policy works.

My best military advice to this committee, to the secretary, and to the president would be to keep the law such as it is.

General Conway’s moderate and commonsense message was echoed, albeit in more muted form, by Army Chief of Staff General George W. Casey, Jr. and Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton A. Schwartz.

GENERAL CASEY: I do have serious concerns about the impact of repeal of the law on a force that’s fully engaged in two wars and has been at war for eight-and-a-half years. We just don’t know the impacts on readiness and military effectiveness.

GENERAL SCHWARTZ: [My] strong conviction [is that] this is not the time to perturb the force, [which] is, at the moment, stretched by demands in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere without careful deliberation.

Generals Casey and Schwartz, I think, were far too tepid in their defense of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” In truth, contra Casey, we do know the long-term impact of openly gay military service on combat readiness and military effectiveness, and it is not good.

We know this because we know and understand human nature; and we know and understand recent (but much covered-up and ignored by the media) U.S. military history. We know, therefore, that the sexual dynamic and sexual allure is tremendously powerful and inherently disruptive.

Still, the military service chiefs’ caution is perhaps understandable given that they are bucking their chain of command. After all, the Commander-in-Chief, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — none of whom, insofar as I know, have ever been involved in ground combat — have all come out in favor of open homosexuality within the ranks.

But U.S. military officers have a solemn obligation to speak the truth as they know it, even when — and perhaps especially when — doing so puts them in conflict with their superiors. And that is why Generals Conway, Casey and Schwartz all spoke the truth last week to Congress.

Of course, truth telling and speaking truth to power used to be a journalist’s solemn calling as well. But that was before the Big Media sold out to the left-wing ideologues and activist-advocacy journalists who now dominate the profession.

John R. Guardiano is an Arlington, Virginia-based writer and analyst. He served as a Marine in Iraq and is still a military reservist. Follow him on Twitter. Mr. Guardiano has also written an ongoing series — “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and Don’t Even Pretend to Be Fair– about willful media bias and distortion regarding open homosexuality in the military.


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