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Army Denies Commission to Deaf Cadet Keith Nolan

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posted on Aug, 21 2011 @ 07:52 PM
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For a decade, Keith Nolan, a deaf American, has petitioned the US Army fr a chance to serve his country. He was repeatedly denied due to what the Army deemed his disability. It is the stance of the US Army that Keith Nolan's deafness would prohibit him from dutifully serving his country in the armed services.

After ten years of trying, the ROTC of California State University's Northridge campus accepted Nolan as an auditor to their courses. He soon became a top performer in the class and was allowed to participate as if he was a full fledged Cadet, uniform and all. Unfortunately upon graduation of the class, Cadet Nolan was forced to return to civilian life. He was not able to pass the mandatory hearing exam.

This is where most men would stop and simply give up, but Cadet Nolan is a little bit more tenacious than most men. He continues his fight for a Commission where he wants to serve his country in a military inteligence role, or another role where his 'disability' would not prevent him from successfully performing his duties.

This case has received much coverage in the past few days, and I have yet t see it here on ATS and I wanted to share it with my brethren here.

A key point that I read in one story is as follows:


Soldiers with disabilities have been returning to active duty in increasing numbers due largely to the fact that medical advances today are ensuring more people survive serious war injuries. All branches of the U.S. armed forces over the past decade have started offering the opportunity for seriously wounded or disabled service members to remain on active duty by finding them jobs they can perform.

Today about 300 seriously wounded service members — some of whom have been blinded by blasts, lost their limbs or have severe head injuries — work in a variety of Army positions, and their work has been vital, especially in aiding other recovering troops, said Erich Langer, a spokesman with the Army's Warrior Transition Command in Alexandria, Va.

Some have even returned to war zones.

source

I believe that Cadet Nolan would be able to successfully serve his country just as the 300 members that returned to service after their injuries were able to. In some cases I am sure that he is probably more capable.

In 2010 Cadet Nolan travelled to Israel where he 10 deaf soldiers; In Israel the deaf are allowed to serve. In addition to this trip there is a facebok page:
Commission Cadet Nolan Now

It currently has 2497 'likes' and I am sure it will continue to garner more interest in the next fews days when this story is circulated more. In fact I am stopping by after I finish writing this and puttng my ATS FB name n it as well, I hpe by the time I do it will have more than 2500.

There is no reason that Cadet Nolan should be denied a commission as he successfully completed all the required training just as the other Cadets in UC Northridge's program. His deafness is not a disability. He does not want to force the Army to put him on the front lines, or even behind a radio, he just wants to serve his country, and here's hping that if enough people get behind him, he will have his chance.

Photo from his FB page





Additional sources:
Armchair General
Huff Post
WN Network


edit on 21-8-2011 by youdidntseeme because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 21 2011 @ 07:58 PM
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This whole thing is a disgrace I certainly hope the army does something about. It isn't often they likely see people FIGHTING to enlist and the army could surely make room. I've been told repeatedly that the U.S. Army has just about every job any population or small city has. Can't a deaf person serve in there somewhere??
edit on 21-8-2011 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 21 2011 @ 08:06 PM
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In combat, I would say no, but if he is looking for an itel/paper job, i dont see the harm, besides you know, answering phones, which not all jobs have.

So whats the big deal? Do they have interpreters?



posted on Aug, 21 2011 @ 08:40 PM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
This whole thing is a disgrace I certainly hope the army does something about. It isn't often they likely see people FIGHTING to enlist and the army could surely make room. I've been told repeatedly that the U.S. Army has just about every job any population or small city has. Can't a deaf person serve in there somewhere??
edit on 21-8-2011 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)


That is exactly the point here, there are plenty of opportunities for Cadet Nolan to serve, succeed and excel at, if he is given the chance. It truly is a travesty that he is being denied.



posted on Aug, 21 2011 @ 08:42 PM
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if youre in the military, you have to be COMBAT CAPABLE, being he is deaf, unfortunately he is not combat capable



posted on Aug, 21 2011 @ 08:46 PM
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Originally posted by HomerinNC
if youre in the military, you have to be COMBAT CAPABLE, being he is deaf, unfortunately he is not combat capable


Homer,

Would the members of the 300 plus soldiers spoke of in the source article, some of whom have been blinded by blasts, be combat capable?

Rhetorical question as we both know the answer is no, isnt this a bit of a double standard on the part of the US Army?



posted on Aug, 21 2011 @ 08:47 PM
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reply to post by youdidntseeme
 


well if theyre not combat capable, OR deployable, they shouldnt be in the military



posted on Aug, 21 2011 @ 09:13 PM
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reply to post by HomerinNC
 


I would also be remiss if I didnt thank you for your service as well.

I respectfully disagree with you on this topic though. There are many, many members of all branches of the military who are not 'combat capable' as you say, who have indispensible roles in the success of our fighting sailors, soldiers, airmen, marines and guardsmen. You may not believe that they have a role in the military, but I am proud that they serve for you and I, when many other will not even try.

During the American Civil war, deaf men were allowed to serve. There was a time that blacks or women were not allowed to serve as well, when they were seen through the clouded glasses of discimination, a policy which in time was brought to clarity. Hopefully soon this issue will be as well.



posted on Aug, 21 2011 @ 09:29 PM
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Allowing him a commission is not a good way to run an army.

Next, would be allowing a type of individual that would drool over your bare ass in the shower.

Oh, sorry, we have that already.



posted on Aug, 21 2011 @ 11:04 PM
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Originally posted by HomerinNC
if youre in the military, you have to be COMBAT CAPABLE, being he is deaf, unfortunately he is not combat capable

It isn't like he is walking into a recruiting office cold and demanding a chance. The article says he's really earned the right to a fair shot by not only performing well but outright excelling in the ROTC. If this were the Marine Corps, I might agree about combat capable. A 'former Marine' friend has repeatedly told me they have no non-combat jobs in the Marine Corps, just ones where shooting isn't a daily part of it.

Why not give the guy a position on a stateside base or in the Army's P.R. side. Heck, how about as a translator in the recruiting command? Some recruits have deaf parents...right? For a guy who worked as hard to be given a chance as he did, what harm can there be in giving it to him?



posted on Aug, 21 2011 @ 11:20 PM
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reply to post by HomerinNC
 


Explanation: Uhmmm?




The helicopters traversed Mohmand, one of Pakistan’s seven tribal areas, skirted the north of Peshawar, and continued due east. The commander of DEVGRU’s Red Squadron, whom I will call James, sat on the floor, squeezed among ten other SEALs, Ahmed, and Cairo. (The names of all the covert operators mentioned in this story have been changed.) James, a broad-chested man in his late thirties, does not have the lithe swimmer’s frame that one might expect of a SEAL—he is built more like a discus thrower. That night, he wore a shirt and trousers in Desert Digital Camouflage, and carried a silenced Sig Sauer P226 pistol, along with extra ammunition; a CamelBak, for hydration; and gel shots, for endurance. He held a short-barrel, silenced M4 rifle. (Others SEALs had chosen the Heckler & Koch MP7.) A “blowout kit,” for treating field trauma, was tucked into the small of James’s back. Stuffed into one of his pockets was a laminated gridded map of the compound. In another pocket was a booklet with photographs and physical descriptions of the people suspected of being inside. He wore a noise-cancelling headset, which blocked out nearly everything besides his heartbeat.

Read more www.newyorker.com...




Personal Disclosure: Please explain!



posted on Aug, 21 2011 @ 11:28 PM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
Why not give the guy a position on a stateside base or in the Army's P.R. side. Heck, how about as a translator in the recruiting command? Some recruits have deaf parents...right? For a guy who worked as hard to be given a chance as he did, what harm can there be in giving it to him?



The bolded section here in your quote is perhaps the most perfect example of a possible role for this Cadet. if all other options fail for him, how can this job be outside of his ability?



posted on Aug, 22 2011 @ 12:54 PM
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I agree with a few posters in here, especially HomerinNC. I am deaf myself. I have heard of a few deaf men trying to get in military myself.

Deaf people are not "combat capable". I'll let you have a few guesses as to why that is so.

However, they should be allowed in to learn a few things about the military then take positions where they can be very useful like intel and such.



posted on Aug, 22 2011 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by Deaf Alien

However, they should be allowed in to learn a few things about the military then take positions where they can be very useful like intel and such.


That is exactly the type of role that Cadet Noln is seeking, but is being prevented from doing so because of his so-called disability. And also as stated above, the armed services currently have members that are not 'combat capable' and the Army has no problem finding roles for them, so the combat capable argument in this specific case is a bit moot.



posted on Aug, 22 2011 @ 08:13 PM
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reply to post by youdidntseeme
 


Well then that would be against ADA.

I guess like what HomerinNC said, they are not combat capable (from their perspective). I suppose they can change that. Anyone can go through training but to deploy them - they would have to go through medical screening. That can be changed. It won't be any different from any "combat capable" person with various skills or intelligence. Some will go into combat. Some will go into intel. Some will go into various fields.

Basically ADA law states that ANYONE with disability cannot be denied access.



posted on Aug, 23 2011 @ 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by Deaf Alien
Basically ADA law states that ANYONE with disability cannot be denied access.


That's an interesting point. A federal law that is in direct confict with another federal policy. I wonder if Cadet Nolan was explored this avenue. Chances are he is trying to be commissioned by his wn merit, not by the American Disabilities Act.

As an aside...I wonder if Armed Services buildings are required by the Act to have wheelchair accessible entrances? Or handrails in the latrines?



posted on Aug, 23 2011 @ 09:30 PM
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reply to post by HomerinNC
 


Bull#.

Deaf people have excellent eyesight to compensate for the loss of hearing. I should know. I'm deaf, though I wasn't born that way.

Let him serve if he so pleases. He'll make a better soldier than some of the disgraces that the media likes to focus on (Abu Gharib, etc).



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 12:46 AM
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reply to post by The Sword
 


I could not agree more here. A lack of hearing would not prohibit Cadet Nolan from performing many duties that may be required. I have no doubt that he would perform these duties much better than many other soldiers. In fact I knw that he would perform these duties better than some soldiers that I persnally know.



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 01:28 AM
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If I understand the way audits work, people are allowed to sit in on the class, but are not given credit for it in an educational degree. As for those who the service has allowed to remain on duty, the difference here is that they were originally capable.

My next concern would be if they allow the deaf to enter service, what happens when others want the same rights? A lot of people don't realize that there are limited slots in the service, primarily driven by budgets. How many disabled people could the services handle before combat readiness is affected. In the past, one you were injured, you were out, at least they've stop throwing out those we were capable of finishing their enlistment with little or no outside support.

Having decided my freshmen year of high school that I was going to join the Air Force, I can understand his desired to join, but I wouldn't have wanted to serve if I couldn't meet the duty requirements. If he really wants to serve, I'm sure there are enough civilian jobs out there on military bases where he could be capable of serving with pride. So I have to ask what it is that he's really looking for.



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 02:02 AM
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To say his disability is not a disability he just deaf is intellectually dishonest. I'm curious if he use any funds or programs for the handicap for his education. As far as him being in the Army he has only 2 choices either a waiver or pass the hearing test on his commissioning physical.



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