Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Military Survey On DADT

The military is doing a survey of its troops regarding the repeal of DADT, and I am about to break out in a rash of snark and outright sarcasm about what has happened to the military since I served in the Navy a bit over forty years ago.

My first thought is that the open service of gays and lesbians is probably less dangerous than the kind of democratic military where the leadership has to get the approval of the troops in order to implement policy. “Sir, I have been deputized to tell you that we don’t like getting shot at, and so we no longer want to attack things.”

My second thought is to wonder if Truman tolerated the generals dragging their feet on integration of the military by saying that they wanted to do a survey of the attitude of the troops before doing what he was telling them to do. “Yes, Mister President, I’ll follow your order, but only after the troops tell me it’s okay with them.” I don't think so.

My third thought is that if troops had been asked how integration of blacks would affect them before it was done, they would have said that it would utterly destroy morale and readiness of the troops. If you asked them that now they would ask you what the fuck you are talking about. (If you don’t like the language, read something else; this piece is for military people and civilians won’t understand it anyway.)

The survey is a masterpiece of bullshit; something at which the military has always excelled. No change there in forty years. The survey finds out if you are married or single; I think married people are less afraid of gays than single people are, so maybe they score the married responses downward.

It then finds out if you have ever served with anyone who you knew to be gay, and how you felt about it. Um, doesn’t that invalidate the “don’t ask” part? Or maybe it violates the "don't tell" part. Crap, I don't know, but I'm sure it violates something.

Anyway, there’s no, “If no then skip to the end of the form,” so you still have to answer the questions about the repeal of DADT and the effect of serving with open gays, which has questions like,

If DADT is repealed and you are working with a Service member in your immediate unit who has said he or she is gay or lesbian, how would that affect your own ability to fulfill your mission during combat?

The underline is theirs. Answers are: Very positively, Positively, Equally as Positively as Negatively, Negatively, Very negatively, No effect, Don’t know or doesn't not apply.

The “Equally as Positively as Negatively” bit is certainly grammatically interesting, but that there is no response for “Would not be able to concentrate on the enemy because I would be afraid that the guy behind me was going to grope me” is, I think, a serious lack in the form.

And, of course, there’s no, “What the fuck are you talking about?”

Update: Tuesday, 1300 hours
They actually could deal with the whole questionairre with a single question: "Do you favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military?"

Answers would consist of: "Yes," "No," and "What the fuck are you talking about, they already do."


bruce said...

Well, I hope you broke out all over, you certainly covered the snark and sarcasm part. I too think it's ridiculous to ask the rank & file (or officers for that matter).

momlee said...

The United States of America is supposed to be (and mostly is) a Democracy - it's really a Republic, but let's not quibble.
Our (or anyone's) military is NOT a democracy. Had it been in WWII, we would be speaking German. The "citizens" don't get a vote.

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