posted on Jan, 12 2011 @ 11:06 AM
I'll no doubt get flack for this post, but I'm going to post it anyway.
I'm a US Army veteran. I was in for 6 years, and I've been out for 9. I have experience with the things I'm about to entail about why allowing gays
in the military to be open about their orientation is a bad thing.
1. Barracks life. You have a bunch of kids working and living together 24 hours a day. Most of them are between 18 and 25. In combat units, they're
all male. Testosterone runs high in the military, much like it does in professional sports. Now add alcohol to that, which is very prevalent in
military barracks. You have fights, it happens, and they're usually over the dumbest things you can think of. Guess what's going to happen when some
straight drunk soldier gets belligerent with, and punches, some gay soldier? He's going to be accused of targeting the guy because of his
orientation. Now it's a hate crime, when in fact he was just drunk and would've punched him no matter what.
2. Corrective action. When a soldier does wrong, their NCOs correct them. Sometimes that means a counseling statement, sometimes it means corrective
training such as push-ups or, for example, bringing a razor and shaving cream in a bag with them to formation for a week because they forgot to shave
one morning. What's going to happen when a gay soldier who's a screw-up gets tired of doing corrective training? He's going to file a complaint on
his NCO saying he's being treated unfairly because of his orientation, when in fact he's just a screw-up and is being treated like all screw-ups.
3. Promotions. Through E4, promotions are made by the chain of command and the criteria include time in service, time in grade and, when a waiver is
given for TIS and/or TIG, merit. E-5 and E-6, in the Army at least, are accomplished by going before a promotion board, attending a leadership school
and attaining a certain number of promotion 'points' which are based on certain things such as fitness scores, education, marksmanship training and
others. E-7 and above are made at the congressional level. As for those waivers I mentioned for E-4 and below, units get waiver allocations each
month. This tells them how many soldiers they can promote using the waiver for TIS or TIG. Let's say 3 soldiers are submitted to the unit commander
for a waiver promotion from E-2 to E-3. The waiver allocation comes down and there's only 1 allocation that month. What most commanders will do is
get those soldiers' counseling files from their first line supervisors, pull their fitness test records and their marksmanship range scores. The
soldier who has the best combination of counseling file, PT score and marksmanship is the one who'll end up with the waiver. Guess what's going to
happen, in this scenario, if the 2 E-2s who don't get the waiver are gay and the E-2 who does get it is straight? Again, complaints because the gay
soldiers feel they're discriminated against.
So you're probably thinking, none of this matters because the investigation will clear anyone who isn't doing wrong from any wrongdoing. Truthfully,
it might, but that's not the point. Complaints like these are a morale killer and are extremely destructive to unit cohesion. Not only that, EO
representatives are taken away from their regular job (EO is an additional duty in the Army, not a full-time job), and others have to cover for them
while their doing any investigation, which further drags down morale because others are being overworked. Supervisors start to fear the complaints by
the minority, and thus become guilty of reverse discrimination against the others, further reducing morale. Soldiers start to resent each other, and
they're having to do more than someone else because their leaders are afraid of having a complaint filed against them by the other person. Which
leads to more arguments, more fights and even lower morale.
Morale and unit cohesion are huge in the military. How do I know this will happen? It's already happened once, when women were integrated in. No,
I'm not saying all women in the military are guilty of it, but they're held to seperate standards than the male soldiers are, and when there's a
crap job that no one wants to do in an integrated unit, 99 times out of 100, it's going to be a male soldier who's made to do it. I don't mean to
hurt anyone's feelings, and I'm not against women being in the military, I'm just stating what happens; and it will get worse in an open
orientation military. The mixed gender issues are not nearly as prevalent as same gender issues would be, because most people are wired to not fight
with the opposite sex.
Are gays under more stress when forced to hide their orientation? I'd say they likely are, yes. However, if there's an option of having a few
soldiers under additional stress because they can't 'be themselves', or having the entire military under additional stress if they can, I think the
choice is obvious. Unfortunately, there is no case where everyone can be in harmony here. If you're gay and want to serve but can't keep your
orientation personal while doing so, then serving isn't for you.
Nothing in this post is meant to be offensive to anyone, and if something is, my apologies.