Underestimating Our Officers
A reader writes:
I have been following the DADT discussions with interest as a retired Navy Captain and a SLDN supporter. A point that I rarely see being made is that although DADT is patently unfair to our gay servicemen and women, it is also unfair and insulting to those who are straight.
The argument put forth by civilian and military leaders is usually some variation about degradation of "good order and disciple." It is 2009, and almost every one of them knows gay men or women. If you asked those leaders if they, personally, would do their job less effectively if one of their subordinates or coworkers was gay, how many of them would say yes?
I would wager the answer is very few. If that is the case, they would also be implicitly asserting that the soldiers and sailors that serve in our armed forces are either too ignorant or prejudiced to show the same degree of tolerance their leaders are ostensibly capable of.
There will of course be a few in any unit who, for whatever combination of nature or nurture, hate gays (or Blacks, or Jews, or women, etc.). If this becomes such a problem that the unit is no longer able to function at peak efficiency, it is a leadership issue and the responsibility of the commanding officer. If he or she cannot effectively lead a unit with gays (or Blacks, or Jews, or women, etc), then step aside because there are dozens of officers one rank below who would love the opportunity.