Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell Update

Earlier today, the Commandant and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard released an update on the Department of Defense’s review of the policy commonly known as “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” (DADT).

As many of you know, President Obama asked Congress in his 2010 State of the Union address to repeal the law that established DADT. Following the speech, the Department of Defense established the Comprehensive Review Working Group to explore the best way to transition our Armed Forces should Congress elect to repeal that law.  Last week, Congress began its work to develop legislation to do just that.

As an Armed Force, the Coast Guard is actively participating in the DoD Working Group exploring these options and will follow Pentagon policy changes on this issue.

Today’s update from Admiral Papp and Master Chief Leavitt informed Coast Guardsmen of specific ways the Working Group is engaging members of the military around the country this summer to inform their recommendations to the President, Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on how best to implement a repeal of DADT consistent with standards of military readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion and recruiting/retention of the Armed Forces.

As part of the development of its report, the Working Group will continue to engage the military around the country this summer, a survey will be released in the late June, and an Online Inbox has been established for military members and their families to provide anonymous input to the Working Group leadership.  Your participation in these efforts is highly encouraged.  The feedback from our Shipmates and their spouses will help shape this important policy.

The repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell would mark a sea change for the Coast Guard. As senior leadership looks to the men and women who make up the Coast Guard family to inform this policy, we wanted to take the opportunity not only to share this update with our readers, but to encourage a respectful dialogue on the issue here on Coast Guard Compass. Currently, only active duty military can access the Anonymous Online Inbox, but the Working Group intends to establish a web-based non-DoD website this summer where confidential input can be submitted. In the meantime, we invite you to share your thoughts in our comment section.

To be clear, we will NOT publish comments that violate our comment policy, but appreciate that there are two sides to every issue and look forward to sharing what you have to say with our leadership.

Click here to read Admiral Papp and Master Chief Leavitt’s message to the women and men of the Coast Guard.


  • Phil Johnson

    The last link doesn’t work, at least from my civilian PC:

    “Click here to read Admiral Papp and Master Chief Leavitt’s message to the women and men of the Coast Guard.”

    I can’t get there.

  • Christopher Lagan

    Sorry about that Phil.

    Looks like an issue with where we tried to post the letter. I’ll see if there’s anything I can do to remedy this over the weekend. Otherwise, we’ll get that link fixed first thing Monday morning.

    Thanks for letting us know.

    Respectfully,
    Christopher Lagan
    United States Coast Guard
    Public Affairs

  • Christopher Lagan

    All,

    We’ve managed to fix that link to the letter from ADM Papp and MCPO Leavitt.

    Apologies for the inconvenience and thanks for your patience.

    Respectfully,
    Christopher Lagan
    United States Coast Guard
    Public Affairs

  • Retired Coastie

    The whole issue of allowing or disallowing a Coastie to service on active duty who is gay is really a mute point. Gay men and women have always been in the Coast Guard, past, present, and future. The question has always been if knowledge of this fact would effect moral or the ability for other Coastie’s to do their job. This is the same question that was debated when President Truman intergrated the military after WWII. Everyone had the same arguments on both sides about black people serving with whites.

    On the other hand you have the issue of sexual perversion which is already being dealt with by the Coast Guard. Anyone care to talk about the infamous wife swapping escapades at Governors Island in the 1980′s??? Adultry is a crime in the US and covered by the UCMJ too. All that happened was people got transfered and split up.

    Overall I hope the Coast Guard and other services will see the light and understand that when they leave the military….those same gay people will be working along side them as team members or bosses. All it takes is a little respect for each other and stay focused on your job tasks. I would not ask a gay person about their sex life any more than I would ask a married straight person. Who cares!!

    Lastly I served 16 years in the USCG and went out on medical retirement. Several of my doctors and medical staff I deal with are openly gay. Does it matter to me??? No….why should it? I just want them to do their job which they perform in a professional manner!

  • John Milczewski

    I served 4 years in the Coast Guard from 1965-1969. I served on board a ship with gay shipmates. It did not interfere with our ability to do our respective jobs then and I do not believe it should interfere now. We have lost the talents of to many loyal sailors and soldiers to allow this “Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell” farce to continue. Just end the policy and practice NOW, please.

  • Donald A. Nelson

    Served 30 years as did my father D.O. Nelson.
    Remember Gov. Isl., the Rockaway, Base Soo Mich., and the Bramble.
    Remove the gay from the equation and these embrassing situations would not have happened. They degraded the CG, the units, and future crew members.
    Don’t ask don’t tell is an acceptable compromise. Keep it.

  • Reservist

    Don’t Ask/ Don’t Tell is going away, the writing is on the wall. What the Coast Guard should be doing right now is figuring out the details (what to do about shipmates previously separated, what to do about harrassment, what about discrimination in assignements or opportunities) and have our policy ready to roll out the day we are legally able to do so.

    Congress will repeal DADT, effective December of 2010. But while DoD convenes another working grop, the Coast Guard would implement a few “stroke-of-the-pen” changes which would align our policies with the new law and put us on the front page of the paper as the service which welcomes all who want to serve.

  • Stumpy

    The larger issue that DA-DT is rolled into is that the UCMJ, and the military’s involvement in member’s personal lives needs to be adjusted in order to recruit and retain quality people in our ranks.  We lose out on great people because they are not willing to give up their civil rights to be part of the action.  The UCMJ is due for an overhaul.  

    I ask how many working hours are wasted investigating military member’s personal lives, for activities that have Zero effect on the way they perform their official duties?  We don’t do that to our civilian or Auxiliary members of Team Coast Guard, and they have an equal impact on unit cohesion and readiness.  What difference does it really make to the military, how you handle your personal relationships, with the obvious exception of committing a crime?  

    Military members deserve boundaries between their personal and professional lives, and the repeal of DA-DT is a good start.

  • Semper Paratus

    Conforming to the rules and regulations of this great service has been …challenging. Keeping one’s personal business out of the office is easier than keeping it off the ship, but everyone has a different experience with DADT. I look forward to the day that a member who is gay has the support of the service when it comes time for a PCS move, medical benefits, or simple family separation allowance on TDY’s. I am especially eager for the day that the service acknowledges two gay members who are together: both to keep their stations close, and to keep them out of the same Chain of Command!

  • Jay

    I ahve served the CG for 19 years now, and in those 19 years I have seen many shipmates some that were suspected gay, of course they could not nor could I ask. Some just didn’t care and left you to draw your own conclusuions. These men and women served honorably with the same love of country as I have.

    I am opposed to homosexuality on the grounds that the basic reason for the human race to be here is the continutation of the species, with that being said, the constitution of the US gaurantees us Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Who am I to tell a person they cannot live their life, have their liberty and pusue their happiness because of their sexual preference. I say forget this nonsense and repeal the law. They are already serving let them do so with diginity…

  • Tommy P

    I believe we should leave DADT alone. I don’t care what people do in their spare time. However it only takes one nasty incident and the media will have a Christmas feast on our backsides. Let people be themselves on liberty/leave, cause once in uniform, a lot more is at risk.

  • uspatriot

    I am amazed that our nation and Service have got to this point. Sodomy has been against our national interest since our nation’s inception (i.e. General Washington drumming known sodomites out of the army).
    Cultures are clashing here. The U.S. is not capable of functioning as a pluralistic society. The military especially will not be able to survive pluralism. Either (1) you will have homosexuals openly in the military and thereby alienate those that believe it is perversion and will not be able to serve along side them or (2) you hold to the traditions of our nation and Service and treat sodomy as it has always been treated in our nation: an act or lifestyle that goes against the law, morality, and nature.
    I am shocked to not see more voices against DADT, but then again, today it is not acceptable, cool, or “intelligent” to voice one’s convictions unless they are in line with the homosexual agenda.
    I have served our nation for two decades in the Coast Guard and have seen many changes some for the better…some not, but none as harmful as repealing DADT will be. It will not be the end all of the Sodomite agenda, but just the start. Remember, DADT was the compromise that was supposed to allow sodomites to serve; however, it was just the beginning. Standby for more and more volatile issues from the homosexual community: bathroom issues, berthing issues, 8-H issues. I am disappointed and ashamed of our Coast Guard leadership for going along with an ideology that does not strengthen our Service, but rather hurts it for the sake of political correctness. When DADT passes our core values will pass from our rich history of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty to taking a stand does not get you promoted, situational ethics prevail, and only conduct the mission if it does not offend anyone.
    After twenty years in the Coast Guard and proud of its traditions, missions, and history I now think I should have jointed the Marines. No wait, their commandant is out and the next one will only get the nod if he is on the “right side” of DADT.

  • Stu Slesh

    I don’t think the policy should be changed. You can’t unring a bell. You also shouldn’t have to announce your sexual preferrence or practices in the workplace. Under or current policy your sexual lifestyle is a personal private matter. It should remain such.

  • Patrick Denny

    I agree with Tommy P….Let’s face it, no one is concerned about who you sleep with. I believe the real forces behind all this, are people who are looking for recognition..none of us need or want to know this….Your sexual preferences are just that..PREFERENCES. This has nothing to do with religion, race, creed, nothing!…so therefore, I don’t see why it’s an issue.

    Gays and Lesbians have and are serving in the Military, and have done a fantastic job. Most of us at least have an inclination about who’s who…in any event, so far there’s been probably few incidents….at least in 30 years of service, but one thing I will say…can it create more problems? Yes, it will. Should it? No. Discredit to the services? Well, that’s going to depend on the situation.

    The DADT policy is just fine the way it is.

  • Coco Loco

    So if our next Commandant is openly gay, it wont matter? I’m not saying its a bad thing but I dont believe people will take us seriously anymore if that happened. In addition to repealing DADT congress is going to have to repeal the sodomy law in the UCMJ. Because sodomy is illegal in the military. And lets face it, if a member is openly gay then he might be practicing sodomy, and that would be illegal.

  • Ranger113

    I’m always surprised at the reasoning that most people use to defend keeping the current policy. If leaders really care about their people like we are supposed to do as part of any service, then we would want to know whether our people are gay or not. In going to war, we would want to know about a significant other to ensure that those closest to the servicemember have what they need while the servicemember is absent. This is what leaders do. So as far as I can tell, we either need to actively seek and kick out all the homosexuals or accept them so we can take care of them properly. The current policy is blantantly asking servicemembers to lie. This should make any leader sick. If you can’t accept gay people, fellow american citizen and brothers and sisters in arms, then how can we expect to send you to another country and expect that you will give people of foreign customs and traditions any respect. If we can’t even respect eachother, how can we expect our servicemembers to show respect to the people in foreign lands? For you naysayers, your service isn’t about you.

  • Jason

    To Coco Loco, that is a GREAT point! I never thought about UCMJ (Sodomy). How will this go, will we have to say I’m Black, White, Homosexual, Heterol Sexual….

  • Grunt

    Not sure where to begin. Yes they are in fact serving, and one day it will be acceptable to do it openly. Our culture is not ready at this juncture. Perhaps the Norwegians will be the first. They have women serving in the infantry and everyone showers together. Sexuality is of no concern for them. It still is for us. We will get there eventually. Let’s not have it forced upon us for the purpose of some politicians agenda. What I don’t know doesn’t bother me. I do not want to know if the man next to me in the shower is gay anymore then my sisters in blue want me in the shower next to them. I don’t work in an office. I work in tight quarters on a small ship. It’s pretty easy for the traditional shop worker to not give a darn. Remember….those of you that do… that there are those like me that don’t go home every night. Do you want to hot rack with a homosexual person? Sorry…I’m just not ready. I am working on it. It takes time. Now is just too soon.

  • Stu Slesh

    You should read the current policy before you go around slamming it. First, we don’t kick out homosexuals, we discharge people who engage in homosexual activity, because sodomy is a violation of the UCMJ. Under the current policy, you can admit to having engaged in homosexuals acts in the past, and still be retained, look it up, Chapter 12 of the PERSMAN.
    Second, we’re not asking people to lie. We’re not supposed to be asking people about their personal private lives. Don’t ask……, Don’t tell.
    We have other people engaging in activities that violate the UCMJ. If they went around telling us about that, shouldn’t we as leaders hold them accountable for it?
    I don’t care if people are homosexual. I don’t care if people are in open marriages. I don’t care if people cheat on their spouses. All of these things are their personal choices, until their personal private matters affect the workplace.

  • av8tr

    Sixty years ago the U.S. military was racially segregated and women were not allowed to become aviators. The majority of servicemembers at the time were either indifferent towards these policies or supported the status quo. Now, sixty years later, most of us would object to the idea of segregating the military by race or not allowing a woman to fly an airplane. What we think of as right/wrong changes as we evolve as a society.

    Right now the military, including the CG, discriminates against an entire group of people for an innate genetic attribute they are born with (modern medical science has proven unequivocally that homosexuality is genetic), just like it once discriminated against an entire group of people based on the color of their skin. While the majority of servicemembers don’t support letting gay people serve openly and don’t support repealing DADT right now, it doesn’t mean they won’t in 30 years. It took our society several hundred years to integrate the military and only then because the military did it forceably 50 years ago; sometimes the military has to go beyond ignorance and naivety and force society to accept an evolution in human rights. This is one of those times, and history will judge us not by what political controversy we sought to avoid if we maintain the status quo, but by what we failed to do to bring equality to an entire segment of our population.

  • Joe

    I’m honestly shocked at some of the ignorant comments made in this thread. Sodomy is not limited to that of “gay society” There are MANY Heterosexuals that practice it as well but would not be punished or kicked out of the military for it. ALSO, saying that who you sleep with is your business, is true. So should Heterosexual men be allowed to talk about their partners? Not Sexually but just in general. I as a gay man would love to serve my country and receive all the great benefits offered, and I’m willing to bet I could outperform many straight men physically and mentally. The mental abuse the Homosexuals have had to deal with over the years outweighs anything any drill sergeant could throw your way. The point i’m trying to make is this…I can perform a duty just as well as any other man out there. Just because I love someone of my own gender makes me no less of a human being or male. So this law that keeps us “walking on egg-shells” all the time is outdated. As in today’s society if anything prevented someone who is African American or any other race to join it would be frowned upon because as a culture we have changed and accepted it. isn’t it time to move past this as well just like the majority of us have moved past racism and segregation?

  • Em

    It is really important that we work together to find resolve for the multiple concerns that many Coasties have. I read through all the comments that are posted and believe that you all are bringing up sincere concerns from both sides of the table. It is true that there have been countless homosexual men and women who have strived to give the Coast Guard their very best. Yet it is hard to serve aboard any type of afloat unit where berthing and showering draw a concern for privacy and or perversion. So understanding that berthing is a huge concern for many, will perhaps give our senior leadership some opportunity to create a better living situation. However, it is truly important that we are looking at the individual who is serving. What is their job performance like? Are they helping the team? Race, Gender and sexual preference should not be the focus of the individual’s committment to the team. Our culture is full of diversity and as Coast Guard members we rely on unity within the unit. Every coast Guard member should put all judgements and predjudice aside for the sake of the mission. I have served with multiple homesexuals who committed every effort to being a good team member. Many political decisions that are made are out of our control. You can always write your congressman, but for the most part we are either going to have to deal with the changes that come our way or separate ourselves from things in which we do not agree to. You ultimately have the choice: to be proactive by being a leader and setting the example or make the situation more complex by not helping other shipmates and decreasing morale at your unit. Everyone is entitled to their own perspectives, but what we do with those perspectives is what makes the difference.

  • Stu Slesh

    I’d recheck what science has unequivocally proven. I’d also broaden your focus a little. The service already discriminates against many groups of people for a variety of reasons. We already have standards of how tall or short a person can be. People have been sent home from basic after their initial dental exam. A tatoo can bar someone from enlistment. Color blind people can be barred from certain billets or ratings. Do I even have to point out our weight standards?
    We live by a set of rules. Those of you questioning peoples’ leadership ability should try and understand the rules that the rest of us swore an oath to obey. That Sodomy ART 125 does apply to everyone. Uniform Codes aren’t always applied uniformly.
    Here’s some numbers you might find interesting. Since 2000 the Coast Guard has discharged 163 service members siting homosexual conduct as part of that package. 38 of those members had homosexual acts listed as a lesser offense during other procedings. The other 125 were discharged after declaring the homosexulaity, again IAW the Coast Guard’s policy which can be found in Chapter 12 for those who care to look it up. Compare those numbers to the amount of people we discharged just last year for not meeting their weight requirements. We live by a set of laws.
    The service regulates where you can grow hair and how long it can be. The service tells you what type of jewerly is authorized and when you can wear it. Is it really that hard to believe that the service regulates other forms of acceptible conduct?

  • RADM (Ret) Alan Steinman

    Part 1: Gay men and women are already serving in the military, many of them “openly,” in both theaters of war, and in the Coast Guard, too. Two scientifically valid recent polls of Iraq/Afghanistan troops bear this out (2006 Zogby International Poll, and 2010 Vet Voice Foundation Poll). In the former 68% of the troops said they either knew for certain or suspected there were gays in their own unit, and of those who were certain, 55% said that knowledge was widely known by others in the unit. 73% of the troops in both polls said there were comfortable working around gays and lesbians.

    In confirmation of those poll results, the Pentagon Working Group is finding exactly the same results in their Town Hall meetings with the troops — when they ask the audience if they know they’re serving with gay troops, the vast majority raise their hands. When asked if these known gay troops are causing a problem with operational readiness, almost no hands are raised.

  • RADM (Ret) Alan Steinman

    Part 2: Since the entire foundation of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was the assumption that ANY known gay or lesbian would degrade unit morale, unit cohesion and operational readiness, and since none of those things are happening now with tens of thousands of gays serving, many known to their shipmates and sometimes even to their commands, there is no justifiable reason to continue to kick out valued members of a unit simply because somebody finds out they’re gay.

  • Christopher Lagan

    First, I want to thank everyone for their comments and for what has proven to be a lively and mostly respectful discussion on the issues before the Comprehensive Review Working Group.

    Over the past 24 hours, some of you have begun leaving comments on the ‘science’ of sexual orientation. While this is also an issue that could result in an interesting discussion, it frankly has nothing to do with the topic at hand. I have therefore chosen not to post these topics in hopes of preventing this discussion from heading off in an unproductive direction.

    Moving forward, let’s steer this conversation back in the direction of what you all think our service leaders should consider as they await Congress’ decision on whether or not to end the Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell policy. As a quick reminder, we’re specifically interested in your thoughts on how the service might best prepare to implement a repeal of DADT consistent with standards of military readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion and recruiting/retention of the Armed Forces.

    Respectfully,
    Christopher Lagan
    United States Coast Guard
    Public Affairs

  • Retired RM

    There is a reason men and women do not bunk together.

    Essentially repeal opens the door to more than just ‘protected’ status for gay men/women.

    Unfortunately Christoper, the science and nature of the issue should not be separated from the decision making process. As well, the implementation needs to take these factors into account.

    Retirement gives me the convenience of viewing this issue from afar.

    This much is certain — no matter which way it goes some will be disappointed.

    Salute to all of you!

  • Stu Slesh

    We need to address the logistical needs before the policy changes. We need to remove assocciated UCMJ Arts. We also need to look at the need for continuing or re-writting the adultery and fraternaiztion rules.
    Moving forward we need to answer some basic questions. Will the service recognize same sex marriages or civil unions? Will future assignments be limited to those states that recognize such unions? Will we assign members with different sexual orientations in the same berthing areas? If so, will we open ourselves up to future disrcimination claims when we continue to limit afloat opportunities to women based on limited berthing? We need to re-define what constitues sexual harrassment and sexual discrimination claims.
    Before the policy changes we need to change Chapter 12 and our 8H policy to reflect the new standard.

  • RADM (Ret) Alan Steinman

    Re implementation issues after DADT is repealed: The foundation of every facet of regulation change is simply this: Once DADT is repealed, all Coast Guard men and women who don the uniform will be subject to the exact, same rules and regulations of speech and conduct. Equality for everyone under military law. Under DADT, that is most definitely not the case.

    The Pentagon Working Group has been provided with a number of implementation issues and proposed solutions, most of which apply to the Coast Guard. Here’s an example:

    Should there be separate quarters for gay troops on base and separate berthing on board ships for gay sailors?

    Known gay service members are already integrated in every branch of the military and are currently sharing barracks and berthing areas with their straight peers, including submarines, without reported problems. Segregation of housing facilities based on sexual orientation is historically unprecedented in our society, as is the requirement to declare one’s sexual orientation, in order to implement segregation. Furthermore, both gay and straight troops are professional enough to share barracks and berthing areas. Since there are no reported problems with known gay troops serving alongside their straight counterparts, segregation in barracks and in shipboard berthing is unnecessary.

  • cocoloco

    well will gay members be prohibited from being a chaplain? Straight members will want separate berthing/showers in boot camp. High ranking gay members WILL have a negative impact on morale/respect(religious members). Recruitment/retention WILL also be negatively impacted(religious members). Will religious members be allowed to request trasfer/early discharge if they dont feel comfortable where they work due to gay members/boss? Afterall we can’t ask members to (do things/accept things) that are against their religion. Will gay males that have a feminine personality be required to “tone it down” (be less open about it) while in the workplace? This will be a serious undertaking, alot of small things that will mean alot. Good luck to our leaders in dealing with this mess.

  • Travis

    Im with you cocoloco,

    You are going to have to allow persons with religious convictions to either leave the command or switch berthing s or showers, how can we be “tolerant of gay rights” but not tolerant of religious rights.

  • Patrick Denny

    After reading Mr. Lagan’s comment above, I will re-tool my previous statement:

    1. It’ll be an order, everyone will have to comply. If I were in command, I’d begin preparing my troops as soon as I get the word. I’d begin revising my command’s Sexual Harrassment, Civil Rights, and any related policies.

    2. I would definitley caution my Department Heads to keep an eye on thier personnel…just in case.

    3. I’d be networking with my peers, and other commands in the area…this being a precarious situation, mentoring amongst all commanders may be necessary. Let’s face it, there’s going to be a brand-new set of issues arising.

    I still hope Congress leaves the policy alone. I don’t see how it’s hurting anyone. I served 30 years, never saw or heard of any problems……

  • booted2010

    Why doesn’t the CG take input from us who were kicked out under DADT. I never told, kept to myself and nobody ever suspected me, except one subordinate who followed me off duty. Later he turned his own personal investigation into the command, so then they asked, against policy, so I denied it. So then not only was I kicked out, i was charged with a false official statement to boot. There is no current punishment if commanders break policy and ask. Guess I should have went to the news with this one, but I didn’t. I loved the CG, kept my life private, never wanted anyone to know, and took a rating that was shore based only, on purpose, so these issues wouldn’t come up. 6yrs of my life wasted. Where can I send my comments being a former member?

  • Diana Wickman, LCDR, USCG (Ret.)

    Patrick,

    You may not have seen the policy “hurting anyone”, but I certainly have. I have seen good people kicked out because “they were found out.” I have seen straight shipmates have to lie for their gay shipmates. I have witnessed/experienced gay shipmates spend an exhausting amount of time and energy trying to keep this secret to themselves – always wondering when they’d be called into the CO’s office for the “end of their career” talk.

    This law needs to be repealed as it treats one segment of the military population differently than another, thus infringing on basic human rights of equality.

    I was lucky to have enlisted in the Coast Guard in the 80′s when women were allowed to serve in any rate and any rank. The sage folks before me recognized that women could honorably serve in any/all positions, rising to the occasion just the same as their male counterparts.

    Equality builds a very strong and united team. Inequality drives a wedge deep into the heart of a unit, dividing and fragmenting its members.

    Bottom line, this law needs to be repealed. Will we need to educate folks? Yes. Will it be a bit of a lift. Perhaps. But not only is it worth the lift, it is absolutely necessary to shoulder this task so we treat all our fine, dedicated Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Marines EQUALLY.

    Semper Paratus!

  • Roger Barnstead, BMC USCG Ret

    I served over 30 years in USCG and I have know gay members of the military in all ranks and in all services. I have not known it to be a problem that effected their duties. I do know it always was an added burden to gay service members that they had to worry about what would happen to them if they were found out.
    I can only see an up side to getting rid of the don’t ask don’t tell policy. The orders concerning all aspects of behavior will still be in effect and as long as they are followed I don’t see any problems.
    No one should ever have to fear administrative and or UCMJ action based on their sexual orientation. Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty is what counts at the end of the day. Come to think of it – it is what counts at the start of the day too!

  • Janey

    I see that the policy needs to be revised not necessarily repealed. Homosexual members should still be afforded the right to be private in their sexual orientation, therefore supervisors, peers and subordinates should not “ask” a member about another’s lifestyle and homosexual members should not run about and tell everyone, keeping their private life private. However, should their lifestyle become apparent, then no action should be taken against the member and commands should ensure that the member is treated equally while assigned under their supervision.

    No matter what, this will be a fine line with civil rights. There will be incidents and those who violate the civil rights of another member should be held to the same standards as those who have done so in other racial and gender related cases.

  • RADM (Ret) Alan Steinman

    Here are some more implementation issues and a proposed solution — dealing with the issue of anti-harassment / diversity / discrimination training:

    When the law is changed, will there be a need for extensive training for Coast Guard members?

    Training on this issue can simply be added to already existing training courses for harassment, discrimination and diversity. Sexual orientation would simply be discussed alongside issues of gender, religion, ethnicity, etc. The Coast Guard could easily adopt and modify training curricula developed by our British, Australian and Canadian allies when they removed their bans several years ago on gays serving openly in the military. It is likely true that once the law is repealed, the Coast Guard will move more quickly than our sister services in the DoD, so that, once again, they might take a page from Coast Guard progress in this area.

    Will unit commanders need to be trained on the new law?

    The British and Australian military experience shows that leadership is the key to the success of the change in the law. Commanders will need to understand their roles and responsibilities and this can only be accomplished through service wide training.

    If so, at what level of command will the training be given?

    All unit commanders and senior enlisted will need to be trained, but everyone up and down the chain of command will need to realize that harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation will not be tolerated (in exactly the same way that it is not tolerated on the basis of gender, race, religion, etc.)

    Who will carry out this training and how will it be paid for?

    Training should be carried out by the same resources currently providing educational schooling on issues such as diversity, harassment and discrimination. It is not necessary to create any new programs requiring extensive expenditures of fund.

  • Julz Carey, BMC, USCG (ret)

    Rarely have service members been given the opportunity to voice their opinions on a pending major policy change. The repeal of DADT is long overdue, the challenge is to implement the repeal seamlessly from the Joint Chiefs/Comdt to the recruiting office, to the family medical clinic, to the housing officer and ultimately to every member of the Coast Guard family.

    Many of the comments I have read here show fear and ignorance of gay/lesbian/bisexual service members. Harassment and discrimination regulations will govern public behavior but additional training at all levels is needed to show how the DADT policy;

    1. creates artificial barriers that hindered unit cohesion and effectiveness,
    2. creates distrust among crewmembers,
    3. fosters an environment where opinions/perception cannot be discussed and dealt with,
    4. forces members at all levels to lie to their crewmates,
    5. wastes money, lots of it.

    And how the Coast Guard is a stronger, more cohesive and effective Service without DADT.

    Senior enlisted need to take the lead by example in word and in deed, with clear expectations that all members are equal parts of the CG team with a multi-mission objective.

    The subject of one’s sexuality should not have to be “declared” one way or the other. It is a non-issue when it comes to pulling someone out of the water, firefighting, flying a helicopter, counting fish, giving training or performing any of the other missions the CG is tasked with.

    Training at all levels, combined with open-forum discussions to address individual concerns should be done.

    Until DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) is updated/repealed, all units should welcome and include the partners/children/spouses of each and every member regardless of perceptions.

    Lessons learned by our allies Canada, England, Australia, and others should be shared including how retention was affected.

    Those kicked out under DADT with no other issues should be offered full re-instatement as long as they still meet retention requirements.

    Those kicked out within 5 years of normal retirement should be given special consideration.

    Religious concerns of members should be addressed to their own particular spiritual advisor. The chaplain corps is present in the military to provide members the opportunity to seek spiritual counseling/services. Chaplains have to follow military regs as well as denominational so if there are conflicts a choice will have to be made.

    The Coast Guard should withdraw from localities where members are discriminated against – for any reason.

    Once we take away the fear and ignorance we will be a stronger team and a better Coast Guard.

  • Patrick Denny

    Good Day everyone:

    I’d like to address Ms. Wickman…First, many have said here that they recognize Gay shipmates throughout thier careers…I have too. As a leader, and someone my superiors and subordinates could trust, I saw, or heard of no pain caused by the current policy. Reason? Most commands do not care what you do, as long as you do your job well, and don’t bring any discredit upon the command. Let’s face it, that’s how it works.

    But Ms. Wickman, I’ll give you this….IF the Military recogizes Gay and Lesbian Marriages, THEN change the policy…(They’ll have to change a lot of things).

    Someone earlier stated they were kicked out of the CG because of this policy…well, I beg to differ…they were kicked out because of a clear violation of Commandant Policy. Remember, there were/are folks kicked out for violations of the Commandant’s Alcohol, Sexual Harrassment, Ethics, Fitness, and other such policies too…The DADT policy protects gay people from being asked about, or judged on thier sexual preferences…(by the way, I wasn’t asked about my sexual preferences either, no one I knew has)

    I still believe the policy is not, or has never been the problem. I’m convinced there are Gay and Lesbian Servicemembers survive just fine with it…so does everyone else. I hope Congress takes a hard look at the only fact that matters…can you PROVE its done or does harm?.

    Should this change, I reinterate;..it’s an order. One of the main things our service prides its self on is adapting to change. Th CG’s current members will continue that tradition.

    There are policies in place that will more than handle the problems with a minor amount of work..no one has to re-invent the wheel. I believe our Commanders will do thier best to prepare thier crews. I hope the transition’s a smooth one.

  • Michael (Todd) Kilmer

    I miss the Coast Guard.

    After 14.8 years of honorable service, I was honorably discharged from the Coast Guard in March 2002. I honor and do my best to live the Coast Guard’s core values. I could no longer live a lie or live in denial about my sexual identity so I came out to my Captain. During my coming out process, the hardest thing was the ambiguous policy. The people around me were wonderfully supportive of my wish to remain in service and openly gay. While I wanted to remain in the Coast Guard, ultimately, the beast of a policy that no one appeared to support won out.

    During my years of service, I served primarily on District 13 Staff, Pier 36 (Puget Sound), Polar Sea (Deep Freeze 90/91), and Munro (1992-1995). It seemed that my shipmates either knew that I was gay, suspected and didn’t care, or didn’t think of people along the lines of sexuality. Some of my best memories are those times with my shipmates; many of whom I’m still friends with and consider family. Bottom line, my sexual identity was never a problem during my 14.8 years of service.

    Rejection by the Coast Guard was painful and it was painful to have some people, while supportive, question my patriotism for not being willing to remain silent. Immediately following my discharge (2002), I returned to school and completed my graduate studies. Since completing graduate school, I serve our severely Ill and Injured combat service members and veterans out of Iraq and Afghanistan. While I don’t advertise my sexual identity, I don’t hide it, and those injured and their families don’t care. They do care that there is a genuine, empathetic, and warm person assisting them through a time of need and walking a path of recovery with them.

    I miss the Coast Guard and welcome the thought of putting the uniform back on.

  • Diana Wickman, LCDR, USCG (Ret.)

    Michael (Todd) – well said. There are thousands like you and I am so sorry we lost a very wonderful and caring member of our fine service.

    Now, what Patrick is going to tell you is that you shouldn’t have told. Had you remained silent there wouldn’t have been a problem, so it’s really your fault you’re out of the Coast Guard, not the DADT policy.

    What Patrick fails to recognize is that the DADT law requires gay members to keep their identity secretive and to not love anyone (e.g. remain celibate). It is exhausting to keep up a false facade and gay service members must deal with this on a daily (hourly/minute-by-minute) basis. You can’t even go out to dinner with your partner because you’re afraid that someone from your unit will see you. Your career, that you dearly LOVE, is teetering on this fine line 24/7/365…

    Patrick, you should really walk a mile in a gay service member’s shoes. A way to do that is to stop going out with your wife in public and don’t mention at work what you did over the weekend with her. Oh, and that little July 4th BBQ that friends from work invited you to, go ahead and attend, but tell your wife she can’t go with you since her mere appearance with you will jeopardize your career. One final thing – you need to remain celibate since making love is a violation of the UCMJ.

    Patrick, you make some valid points regarding implementation of repealing DADT, and I know my response is a bit on the sarcastic side, but my sarcasm is the only way I feel I can give you the full picture regarding how truly unjust this law is.

    I would encourage you to talk to some gay and lesbian ex-service members (you can’t talk to any A/D gay members since that would jeopardize their careers). Begin your talk with “you survived DADT just fine” and “so is everyone else” , so what’s the big deal? Let me know how those conversations went.

    One final thought, you want proof that DADT has hurt members. Read Todd’s story above. Also, read Booted2010′s story. There are thousands of stories like theirs, of that I am certain. If DADT has hurt just one member, that’s one member too many and it needs to be repealed.

  • Christopher Lagan

    All,

    Once again, I want to highlight the great dialogue happening here.

    While I can’t speak for the Working Group (and, quite frankly, can only speak for myself on this as I am not in a position to impact this policy one way or the other), I believe you are collectively hitting on some really interesting issues in this debate. I want to encourage you all to keep it up and continue to keep the discussion above board and respectful.

    That being said, let’s try not to criticize (intentionally or otherwise) any particular person’s opinion. Having the conviction to share your thoughts and not hide your identity is applaudable and what separates this blog from others discussing these very same issues. Everyone’s views (within reason) are welcome here and all views will help inform our senior leaders as they make policy recommendations. You are free to disagree with anything on this blog, but please try to refrain from sarcasm or personal attacks when it comes to the opinions of others.

    Respectfully,
    Christopher Lagan
    United States Coast Guard
    Public Affairs

  • Dino S.

    On February 2nd, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen testified before the US Senate Armed Services Committee on February 2nd, in favor of the full repeal of the don’t ask don’t tell law and had this to say:

    “I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy whice forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. For me, personally, it comes down to integrity-theirs as individuals-and ours as an institution.”

    The Admiral is a 1968 Graduate of the US Naval Academy; a Vietnam War Veteran and a man of faith. He is known to be a very thoughtful and insightful individual. His wife Deborah Mullen is one of the most prominent advocates for the welfare of military families. He also said that he has served with many years with gay and lesbian servicemembers and he added that everybody in the US Military has done so. While others have used the same old tired arguments to keep the Twenty-First Century version of separate-but-equal on the books-i.e. morale, unit cohesion, readiness, religious and moral perspectives, privacy issues etc.; Admiral Mullen has provided us with a very compelling reason to get rid of this law. INTEGRITY!!! It is time for don’t ask don’t tell to go. There is little doubt that the US Coast Guard will be able to adapt.

  • Richard

    Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) is currently the law of the land. With President Obama’s intent to change that law, and the related bill in Congress, we can’t merely discuss why we support or oppose DADT. We must be always ready to do what our country asks of us when that law and related policy is changed. Our core values of ‘Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty’ must be unconditional and applied to all we do and equally applied to those with whom and for whom we serve. We are not just a military organization, but also a federal law enforcement agency and a service with a broad exposure to our nation and her citizens.

    The great thing about the military is that despite our ethnic, religious, or cultural backgrounds, those in uniform come together for a common purpose. To enable that purpose, we have to embrace the diversity of our differences, and respect those differences. The military doesn’t change who we are but it may require us to change how we behave. When DADT is repealed, implementing that change successfully will be tied to education and understanding of the differences on both sides.

    As someone with gay friends and family, the intolerance by some shipmates has been appalling. The biases among some are definitely out there and will need to be addressed; we can’t pretend they don’t exist or expect they will disappear when the policy changes. As mentioned previously, not everyone will be happy with the results of the Pentagon study on repeal. Whenever DADT is repealed, I hope all the services allow forums not just to explain any policy changes but also to share and understand the diversity among us. I believe repealing DADT will make all the services and our nation stronger, but we cannot overcome our differences if we don’t understand them.

    Regardless of your personal views on gays in the military, there are some things that are clear. DADT and its application has lead to the separation of dedicated and competent shipmates, the expenditure of millions of dollars in training and replacing these personnel, empowered a subtle but ever-present environment of intolerance, and has even lead to servicemembers under investigation committing suicide. I will never attempt to change someone’s moral beliefs but, likewise, I will never understand how someone could say those items listed above have made us a stronger military or a better nation.

    Semper Paratus

  • Diana Wickman, LCDR, USCG (Ret.)

    From the standpoint of implementation, I feel that repealing DADT is no different than what the military undertook when integrating African Americans and women.

    Education, in my view, would not be an especially heavy lift as it can be rolled into the current Human Relations annual training. For the offenders of the Human Relations policy, the UCMJ, as it always has, will handle it.

    Living quarters is a non issue as well since gay and lesbian members have lived in harmony with their straight shipmates for decades. As far as military housing, those criteria will most likely have to be changed a bit to recognize a gay couple. Oddly, when I was married to a Coastie (we both were enlisted at the time), we did not qualify for military housing in Hawaii because we had no children. We were told that there weren’t enough members in our household to warrant a house on base. We understood the reason behind the criteria and simply lived on the economy on our BAH. I suspect that many base housing areas have this criteria and gay couples without kids may have to live on the economy in some locations.

    Lastly, I feel we need to heed lessons learned from other countries. People are people, no matter what country they hail from, and their lessons learned will apply to us and be an invaluable resource for dealing with some of the issues that will arise when DADT is repealed.

    Thank you for the opportunity to weigh-in on this very important issue.

  • Vice Admiral Sally Brice-O’Hara

    Shipmates,

    I am pleased to see the robust discussion on this policy and thank all who commented on this post. This type of open communication is helpful for everyone to understand all sides of Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell. I encourage all Coast Guard members (Active Duty/Reserve military, their spouses and civilians) to visit the Comprehensive Review Working Group site at where you can provide your comments for the review process. The site is only accessible by CAC holders. Active Duty/Reserve military can access the site for their spouses. Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this important policy.

    Respectfully,

    Vice Admiral Sally Brice-O’Hara
    Vice Commandant

  • YNCM Bill Hilby

    My response is to Michael (Todd) Kilmer:

    One of the hardest moments of my Coast Guard career was when I signed your DD-214 releasing you from the Coast Guard. You were one of the Coast Guard’s rising stars and great assets. You have been missed. My genuine comments stems from you and I coming up the ranks and taking care of our customers no matter what the situation. I for one don’t recall sexual preference and/or orientation as being a qualifying or disqualifying factor to fix pay problems, drive our ships, fix our main diesel engines and fly our aircraft. Until DADT is repealed, we will continue to lose our valued members and by repealing DADT the last vestige of discrimination will finally go away.

    My personal thoughts about openly gay members serving in uniform are simple: It doesn’t matter to me what a person’s sexual preference is. When I introduce myself to others, the first statement out of my mouth is not “Hi, my name is Bill and I’m a heterosexual.” The same applies to everyone out there. Treat others as you would want to be treated. Equally!

    We as military professionals are already following regulations and regretibly DADT is just one more regulation. When it is finally repealed, again more regulations will be forthcoming and all in uniform will be required to follow them.

    Semper Paratus!

  • Patrick Denny

    Good Day;

    Well, guess I should elaborate a bit more:

    I do not condone Homosexualy, but, I don’t discriminate against those that do.

    I have served with Gays and Lesbians, and had no problems with any of them. Yes, they have and do serve with distinction.

    The rules MAY change. If they do, those who serve WILL adapt, and the Earth keeps spinning. If they don’t, those who serve WILL adapt, and the Earth keeps spinning.

    As for the poor person that told thier CO about this, what did they expect? A CO has to maintain order IAW SERVICE CURRENT POLICY. The CO had no choice but do thier job…..BUUUUUTTTT….quite honestly, if I were that CO, I would have given them some very sound advice, then let the situation go. Those of us that are leaders AND mentors will understand what I mean here.

    None of my CO’s asked me about my prefences, nor did I tell them. As long as I did my job well, I believe they wouldn’t have cared anyway. Based off many of your comments, my finding is verified.

    No need to get spun up….the services are changing rapidly. It dosen’t matter what I think, or anyone else….. This is gonna happen…Look around, it’s already happening…read the comments…. the services are quite aware of who’s who, and many of these persons still get promoted or advanced. Dosen’t sound to me like anything needs changing.

    My Point? I still say no one needs to know the other person’s sexuality. It has NOTHING to do with job performance. When Federal Law begins acknowledging Gay and Lesbian Marriages, the Military WILL FOLLOW SUIT. I think, based off the comments, the Gay and Lesbian personnel are alreay accepted, therefore, we’re just waiting for the ink to dry.

  • Stu Slesh

    There are too many contradictions within people’s own arguements. Too many people are serving openly gay where no one cares while too many others live in constant fear of being found out.
    And to claim that so many people are aware of people violating current policy and choosing to ignore it is disheartening. Would you applaud those people who choose to ignore members using drungs and not reporting it? That, unlike the race or gender arguemnt would be closer to applicable. Drug use and sodomy are violations of policy. Even if you argue that sexual orientaion is not a choice, you still choose to act on those desires.
    Even if you remove DADT, an openly gay member would not be free to express their sexuality to those who didn’t want to hear it. This would still be a place of business. You can’t currently discuss your heterosexual relations with people who don’t want to hear it. We have standrads of conduct.
    And the religous arguement doesn’t hold water. You can’t currently discrimate against any other servicemember based on your religious beliefs. The Coast Guard policy trumps all. If you really can’t serve alongside someone, you can get out.
    Once again, we live by a set of rules. We shouldn’t applaud those who violate those rules. If you don’t like the policy, set about to change it, don’t simply ignore it.
    Maybe, just maybe, if everyone who is serving openly gay had already been exposed, and the number was anywhere near the tens of thousands mentioned earlier, the policy would have already been changed because it would have placed too great of a burden on the service to process those people out.

  • stu slesh

    Getting back to basics, the DADT policy is a great policy if people simply followed it. Examples have been provided in this discussion that shows where people have violated the policy from both sides. The problem isn’t with the policy, it’s with it’s application.
    Once again, no one should feel the need to express their sexuality in the workplace. No one should be asking about your sexuality in the workplace. And no one needs to lie about their sexuality. Everyone has the right not to incriminate themself. You don’t have to answer a question that no one had the right to ask in the first place.
    People are also omitting the final part of that policy which was don’t pursue. We aren’t supposed to be conducting those individual investigations like the one that was mentioned earlier. If people were actually informed of the current policy, that individual’s statements/finding would have never been heard, and he would have been the one facing administrative/NJP actions.

  • RADM (Ret) Alan Steinman

    Here is a list of things that straight service members can engage in routinely without a second thought, but for which the current DADT law and UCMJ sodomy statute can and have caused gay service men and women to be kicked out: (part 1)

    1) talk about their lover;
    2) talk about their significant other;
    3) talk about their spouse;
    4) have a telephone conversation overheard with any of the above;
    5) have a letter or e-mail discovered addressed to any of the above;
    6) have sexual relations with any of the above;
    7) talk to their buddies about who they went out with the past weekend;
    8) brag to their buddies about their sexual exploits the past weekend;

  • RADM (Ret) Alan Steinman

    (part 2)

    9) bring their significant other to a military function;
    10) have a Facebook page or MySpace page in which they reveal their sexual orientation.
    11) Have a photograph of their significant other or spouse or kids on their desk, in their locker or on a table by their bed or the bulkhead of their shipboard rack;
    12) Be seen with their spouse or significant other in a movie, restaurant or bar;
    13) Holding hands with or kissing their spouse or significant other in a public place;
    14) Seeking help from a military chaplain wherein their sexual orientation was revealed;
    15) Seeking help from a military health care provider wherein their sexual orientation was revealed.

    Gay people can and have been kicked out for ALL OF THOSE THINGS.

    DADT kicks out patriotic, talented and experienced gay, lesbian and bisexual service men and women for any and all of the items mentioned above. Straight people get kicked out for none of them.

    This situation creates a gross inequality for gays and straights under military regulations of conduct.

    Getting rid of DADT simply allows all service members to live under the exact, same rules and regulations of conduct.

  • stu slesh

    There’s a difference between talking to your buddies and talking to your co-workers. Heterosexual people are also prevented from discussing many of those same topics. Married members can’t openly discuss their infidelities or their relationship outside of their marriage. People in relationships that involve fraternization can’t openly discuss those. People who engage in activities that violate the UCMJ can’t openly discuss them in the workplace. Discuss whatever you want with your “buddies”, just don’t bring it into the workplace.
    Also discussions about spouses should be limited to a relationship which the service would recognize that significant other as a spouse. One of the questions that’s still going to have to answered is whether or not the service is going to recognize same sex marriages or civil unions.
    With Facebook, underage members can’t talk about their drinking without fear of reprisals. No service member could talk about their drug use on MySpace or Facebook without fear of reprisals. Heterosexual members couldn’t discuss their illegal (yes illegal under the UCMJ) sexual exploits. Officer or Enlisted member couldn’t talk about their personal relationship that violate fraternizations laws without fear of reprisals. We have many laws and standards of conduct that don’t apply to other places of business.
    Any personal picture, photo or display can be removed from the workplace if some has or the potential exists for someone to see it has offensive, distateful, objectionable…… pick your word of choice. A member couldn’t currently keep a picture of their wife on their desktop if someone else in the office objected to it. That’s the law we live under.

  • stu slesh

    Check the record, heterosexual people have been discharged for inappropriate or illegal sexual activity or relationships. Let’s not misrepresent the facts. Read any Good Order and Discpline report and you will see people getting discharged for the very things you’re claiming straight people are free to engage in.
    Once again, many patriotic, talented and experienced people get discharged for a variety of reasons when they fail to meet the service standard.
    Repealing DADT isn’t going to allow people to freely discuss their personal private matters with whomever they choose. People who don’t want to listen to it will still be able to prevent those converstions from happening in the workplace. People who continue to discuss those topics can still have action taken against them.

  • stu slesh

    There’s a difference between your “buddies” and your co-workers. Staight people aren’t currently free to discuss any of the topics you mentioned in the workplace if people object to it. Those are the laws we live by. The service currently only recognizes a married dependat as a spouse. Long term signifacant others aren’t afford the same recognition. No one is allowed to freely discuss their activites that violate the UCMJ. The Good Order and Discipline reports have heterosexual members in them every quarter who are held accountable for the very topics you claim they can freely engage in. No you can freely discuss their personal private matters that violate the UCMJ.

  • Patrick Denny

    Good Afternoon;

    I totally agree with Stu…I’m confident he knows the rules. I still believe that your sexual preferences are totally different than any other issue (Gender, Race, Religion). Building on what Stu says, straight people CANNOT discuss these things either. Most people only discuss these things with very close friends and family, not with the entire workforce.

    Now, that being said….pictures of your “Signifigant Other”..well, under the current rules, as long as the picture’s not offensive, no problem. Not as if someone’s gonna ask you, “What’s your relationship with that person”…..

    Lastly, IF the Federal Government recognizes Gay Marriages THEN change the policy. If not, just leave it alone.

    In a Military Environment, everyone’s under many strict rules of discipline that are different from the Civilian world…and for good reason!

  • stu slesh

    People really need to be clearer on this issue. I personally am not well versed or even interested to find out about DOD procedures or policies. I am only interested in Coast Guard policy, and the Coast Guard is very clear on this issue. People do seem to be confusing the actual policy with the manner in which it is carried out or enforced.
    Let me be clear. The Coast Guard does not discriminate based on sexual orientation. No one has to take my word for that, they can look it up for yourself, Chapter 12, black and white, Coast Guard policy.
    If this issue could affect you, your career, or your life, you should really educate yourself on it, and your rights. Everyone should educate themselves on their ART 31 rights.
    And if the policy is changed, people should take another read through the sexual harassment and inappropriate actions policies that we currently have in place. Your speech isn’t going to be as unrestricted as some people might want you to believe.

  • Coastie Joe

    if you look at the big picture Hetersexuals dont get discharged for being who they are. and thats okay to do it to others? service to your country should not be limited to just 1 kind of person but for all who live work and bleed in america. a homosexual they has done 3 tours in iraq and then gets discharged and his benifits takin away….. its discussting and revolting and to be frank everyone out there that thinks other wise look at the picture odds are you are serving and or best friends at work with one and u dont even know it so befor you start writing things say heterosexuals have it so hard think of the people defending and putting there lives everyday on the line for all of us and on top of that stress they have to depress who they are and in fear of getting discharged everyday

  • stu slesh

    That same person doing 3 tours in Iraq could have been discharged and lost his benefits if he failed to meet the weight standards. Where is the public outcry over that?

  • EMSflyboy76

    I was honorably discharged from the Coast Guard when I was caught kissing a guy while we were on a patrol break in Aruba. They told me I could continue the patrol for another month but could not guarantee my safety on the ship. So I took a plane ticket home from Aruba. What a joke. The xo said he was very upset that he had to let me go since I was such a great AST. But you like boys, so time to go. As if that had any effect on my ability to do my job. If the military thinks being gay looks so bad, why don’t they have a policy for the hetero’s called the You married, don’t cheat on your wife policy or we kick you out too.

  • stu slesh

    Adultery is a violation of the UCMJ, but meeting the elements of that offense is very different than just comitting the act. Once again, focus your blame. The Military enforces the rules that we are given. Congress makes those rules.