General Pace, we need to have a talk. In a recent interview with The Chicago Tribune, you made some comments that really didn't reflect well on your leadership as our nation's top soldier. You know, General, there are a lot of "our kind" in the military. Troop counts may include 50,000-plus GLBT soldiers serving actively at any given time...and that's probably a conservative estimate. No, sir, I'm not making that up.
Sir, I'm not trying to waste your time. I know you have wars to run, a new Defense Secretary to break in, and a President to brief. I just want to point out to you for a minute that your personal views on homosexuals probably don't make the grade these days, considering that you are sending so many GLBT service members into battle. You know, like any other Marine, that real leadership is all about recognizing and developing the leadership capabilities in those you are leading, and setting the example to follow. I mean, you learned that at the War College, didn't you?
Well you screwed up big time in that Chicago Tribune interview. The fact that you followed a day later with a terse "I should have" statement instead of an apology, thinking that you were morally in the right in the first place, tells us that you still don't get it. Of course, everyone already knows that, because "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is still in place. Sir, what I'm saying is that you really need to take your personal moral position on the issue and stick it in your pocket like every other bias you tell all your subordinates to get rid of when they sign on the dotted line.
Every soldier out there laying it on the line deserves equal respect and dignity, and by that I mean full respect, from the command. You are now at the head of command of the most powerful and incredibly diverse military power ever assembled. Every single soldier under your command deserves equal respect. Whom they are attracted to and have sex with is none of your concern. As a battle hardened commander, one would think that you already knew that. Did you forget?
I know you're going to put up the whole unit cohesion argument when you appear before Congress about D.A.D.T. Oh, trust me sir, it is coming soon...as is the end of the policy, come hell or high water. Back to my point, though--In fact, a Zogby poll of troops currently serving revealed that they know they are already serving with someone whom they know is gay. The results of the poll, sir, revealed also that it doesn't seem to be bothering as many of them as you and the rest of the command staff may want to admit.
In fact, General, the reality is that you are commanding almost as many homosexuals and lesbians as the number employed by Wal-Mart. Maybe more, although I doubt it, because many of the gays and lesbians who've retired from the military now work for companies like Wal-Mart because of the logistics training, operations experience, and other skills that they learned in the military. Heck, I would bet that you have a full brigade's worth of reservists serving actively right now who may be employed by Wal-Mart as civilians. Considering that Wal-Mart is also a massive, successful, army of one, don't you think the fact that Wal-Mart is okay with "our kind" suggests maybe you should be?
The logic I'm tying back to here, sir, is that you are losing some of your best human assets right out the back door (pardon the pun) to companies right at the exact time you need every hand on deck—during a multiple-front War on Terror. You really can't afford to fire, drum up charges on, harass, disrespect, or otherwise lose some of your best performers simply because of your personal views. Likewise, you shouldn't tolerate losing them simply because of their sexuality.
General Pace, what I'm trying to suggest to you is that D.A.D.T. is a bad policy, and is doing the U.S. Military more harm than good at a time when you sorely need your best and brightest to stay and serve. I'm also telling you, as one of the gay guys who pays your salary, that you need to keep your personal opinions to yourself and start listening to what the American People are telling you, the President, and your new Secretary of Defense. It is time to establish once and for all, true equality throughout your command. If you don't listen; if you continue to refute the writing on the wall...well, at our direction, the newly-elected Congress is going to do it for you.
Copyright © 2007 Scott B. Foval