Sunday, July 05, 2009

# Posted 1:19 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

GAYS IN THE MILITARY, PART TWO: (Part one is here.) Michael Goldfarb has an interesting suggestion: Why not allow gay servicemembers to serve openly in roles that wouldn't threaten unit cohesion? After all, women are allowed to serve in some roles but not in others. Why not extend that logic to gays and lesbians? Michael writes:
It's madness for the service to discharge gay translators and the like. But the military leadership still seems to believe that the core of the policy must be preserved in order to maintain the effectiveness of combat units -- politicians from both parties are unlikely to question that assessment.
Forgive the double entendre, but I wonder if the threat to unit cohesion is any different on the front lines than it is in the rear. The scenario often brought up with regard to gays in the military is "What if he's looking at me in the shower?" No one I know asks, "What if he's looking at me instead of firing back at those insurgents over there?" In that regard, the analogy to women doesn't hold; there is a physical reason that women are restricted from serving in combat units (although when you're fighting an insurgency, any unit can find itself in combat).

Leaving aside the logic, I'd be more than glad to support a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" for non-combat units, if there's a consensus behind that approach in the military. If gays can serve openly in non-combat units, I'm fairly confident that their service will earn them the right, in the not too distant future, to serve in combat units as well.

Cross-posted at Conventional Folly
(2) opinions -- Add your opinion

No matter the job, most military personnel work within teams, those teams make up larger elements, and so on.
An indiviudual's personality is a factor in unit cohesion, but as a part of a whole. In my experience, the personality, gender, orientation of the team members was generally secondary to whether the individual was proficient, reliable, and able to add to the team's abiliy to complete its mission.

Sure, some might not like gays, or women, or rednecks, or city boys, but I've been on teams composed of all these types.
Usually, the team leader and the command sets the tone of the unit, too. this will make a big dfferece in the team-building process.
What if we instituted all-gay units...the "Stonewall" Divison...there already was a Rainbow Division...

//sort of
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