The study surveyed military personnel who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan and found that having a gay or lesbian colleagues in their unit had no significant impact on their unit's cohesion or readiness. The study, by researchers from the RAND Corporation and the University of Florida, was published online by the journal Armed Forces and Society.Just great. I think I only have a paper subscription to that journal.
Those of you who are interested in sociology and interested in the US military might consider joining IUS and reading their journal.
* * * * *But, back to DADT, someone came up with an interesting idea. I put it out here, confident that the idea will die before it gets a fair hearing. But, the author is thinking and innovating and I like that.
Don't Ask, Don't Tell or Serve Openly: Let the Tribe SpeakNo, we will not be holding the vote at this blog site. But, I would be interested in thoughts about the idea.
It has been my feeling that for a while now the biggest issue with homosexual personnel hasn't been so much that they were homosexual but that "Change" in policy around this issue was always being pushed from the outside by civilians.
As we know, the armed forces are largely an enclosed society, part of, but distinctly separate from civilian society as a whole.
It has very unique social and moral parameters and bottom lines that differ from the rest of the nation. No one at Citibank, Wal-Mart, ACE Hardware or TGI Fridays is being asked to risk death by blast injury and dismemberment, accidental or deliberate, by just coming to work. (Police and Fire, etc. excepted)
Essentially, from a sociology standpoint, the military thus represents a very special sub-tribe within the national social tapestry.
Thus, this Sub-Tribe can (and should) get a little touchy when those who do not share the same burdens of responsibility, experiences and hailing from another tribe, push in and try to tell them what to do and how they should view the world on an issue that is not specifically mission or national security related.
We practice this sort of sensitivity in our dealings with other minorities in our country, why should the same realizations and mores not apply to the Warrior Tribe?
During the Clinton years, the issue of social engineering from above by outsiders touched off a firestorm and a lot of guys hung up their soldier suits for good. This wasn't because they didn't like gay people or hugely resented things like "Sensitivity" training, IMO.
It felt at the time more like they were angered that someone who was not a member of their tribe, had no perceived understanding of their tribe and apparently no inclination to do so, came in and tried to tell them how they should think.
We may be seeing that dynamic again. If not yet, then we're going to.
I think I might have a remedy...Let The Warrior Tribe Decide For Itself.
It's pretty simple: Everyone has a .mil e-mail account (ako, etc).
Because this requires individual log in, you can set up an online vote. It's very similar to how AOL runs their little online polls. Once you hit that vote button, your account remembers that you did and you cannot vote twice.
So, with that tool in hand, you let the troops vote on it. Make it a requirement if nescessary.
You can keep it up for several weeks, this ensures that troops in even the most remote outposts will be able to log on by the end date. (and you have to be pretty remote not to have some access these days)
If the troops, by a 2/3rds vote say OK, it's a done deal. gays can serve in the open. If not, the troops have spoken and that is that...everyone in Washington is off the hook.
The Tribe Has Spoken.
It will be the Tribe who decides, not outsiders. It's the only way to get this addressed without resentment. If the vote is "Yay" then everyone is happy, all branches are open for service along present lines (and the various rules on fraternization still apply, for everyone, as they do now).
If the vote is "Nay," it will just have to be a question of, "Dear gay community, it's not that we don't like you, but this is our tribe and we get shot at and blown up here. It's a bit different world we live in and we're just not comfortable with this yet. Our living arrangements are different from everyone elses. So for now, we're going to politely decline. Thank you for your understanding."
We more than have the computing power to do this and do it ligitimately. (a sub-contract to AOL could probably have this up and running in a few weeks)
"Yes, No, Abstain....click here."
Regards — Cliff