An AP article today details that the United States Marine Corps is the military branch that is most against allowing gay troops to openly serve.
As the article states, no one denies that there are gay troops serving as Marines. They just think it’s better if it isn’t open. The head of the Marines, Commandant Gen. James Amos has said that the government should not lift the ban in wartime. (Which, of course, makes no sense in a war that has yet to have a defined end.)
One argument cited in the article:
Sgt. David Trentham said allowing gays to serve openly could become a distraction for units engaged in combat.
“I just think it would complicate things,” said Trentham, 24, of Sevierville, Tenn. “If you have two homosexuals in a unit, they could have a relationship and if they broke it off, is that going to cause the mission to fail because they are having problems?”
What absurdity. Because there is nothing else that causes two co-workers to have problems. I’m sure that without the problem of romance, every Marine gets along and there can be nothing that can cause any argument. Not to mention that not every breakup is a blowup, no matter what the genders are of those therein. And, of course, who is to say that there aren’t gay couples in the Marines right now? Wouldn’t it be better for their comrades-in-arms to know what is going on? Wouldn’t secrets be detrimental to the unit?
The article ends with Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, a Marine corporal who was discharged in 2008 because of DADT, saying:
There’s so much discipline that is instilled in our Marines that if they see the senior officers saying this is not acceptable then they are going to say this is not acceptable.
Marines, like any soldiers, have to follow orders and deal with people in their units, whether they like them or not. Private Jones doesn’t have any say in who is serving with. If the branch accepts the reality of gay troops, so will Private Jones. Most of the military is opposed to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Their commander-in-chief is opposed to it. The Secretary of Defense is opposed to it. Commandant General Amos needs to accept the reality of the opinions of those above and under him.
The USMC is founded on the idea of camaraderie. As any after-school special will tell you, what sort of brotherhood can truly exist under the auspices of a lie?
The USMC core values are Honor, Courage and Commitment.
What greater Honor is there than to be true to yourself?
What greater Courage is there than accepting change, however difficult it may be?
And what greater Commitment is there than accepting those around you as who they truly are?
From the Marine website:
Respect for others is essential.
I have enough respect for the Marines to believe that they can live by their own code. I hope that Commandant General Amos can believe in them in the same way.