Why Does the Military Need to “Train” Troops on DADT Repeal?

Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty, (rafflaw), Guest Blogger


After a great afternoon playing with my grandsons, it is time to get back to “work”.  One of the news items that flew under the radar this week was the report that the Pentagon has established a start date for its training to prepare troops for the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that made it through the recent Lame Duck Congress.  I was pleasantly surprised that Defense Secretary Gates has moved quickly on the repeal, but I am confused as to why the troops have to be trained to treat everyone equally?

“The Pentagon has begun preparing the US military for the presence of openly gay troops in its ranks and said a training programme would begin in February. Gay troops could begin serving openly by the summer, once training has been completed and the White House agrees the policy will not hinder fighting.”  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12313320  I can understand that the troops need to be instructed on which benefits do or do not get covered now that openly gay military members will be accepted officially.  However, as I asked in the title above, how hard can it be for military personnel to treat their gay comrades as equals?  Don’t the various services pride themselves on their discipline?  If so, why can’t the military just order its people that everyone is now considered the same and any harassment or discrimination will be grounds for a court-martial? 

It did disturb me to also discover that the same sex spouses of military personnel will not be covered under the medical benefits and housing allowances because the Federal government does not recognize same-sex couples under the Defense of Marriage Act. 

“Clearly the military has no interest in doing anything that would contradict DOMA. And yet federal employees have same-sex benefits, many of them extended by President Obama last year. The military could go further. ”   http://news.firedoglake.com/2011/01/29/pentagon-lays-out-schedule-for-ultimate-repeal-of-dont-ask-dont-tell/   Maybe someone should ask Gates why members of the military are not treated the same as Federal employees when it comes to same-sex benefits?

There is another ongoing problem with the military’s handling of gay personnell that the recent repeal of DADT did not deal with.  It seems that the Department of Defense has an internal policy that anyone who was separated due to homosexuality, has received only one half of the normal separation payment from the Pentagon.  How can homosexual members be treated any differently from their heterosexual counterparts when it comes to separation pay?  That is a question that the ACLU is working on and has filed a class action lawsuit to challenge it. You can use this link to get more information on the ACLU class action suit: http://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/collins-v-united-states-class-action-military-separation-pay

It looks like the DADT repeal process may be complete and certified this year, but the issues relating to same-sex couples’ benefits and separation pay need to be resolved in order for gay members of the military to really be “equal”. Secretary Gates, the ball is in your court!

Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty, (rafflaw), Guest Blogger

34 thoughts on “Why Does the Military Need to “Train” Troops on DADT Repeal?”

  1. rafflaw, I guess you might feel uneasy about this but you have to realize that there are unseen forces at work.

    First, most obvious, NATO has several integrated nation-members, some of which are active belligerents in support of the United States. One of them is Britain, which has had open service for the whole of the Afghanistan and Iraq missions in which it played an essential role.

    Second, the political games on the Hill gave the Pentagon plenty of time to make its plans.

    Third, Congress gave the White House some threshold conditions that presupposed a problematic and difficult transition, even though no other nation has ever experienced serious problems in transition.

    Finally all the service heads know this has to happen. Each one of them has been selected many times for his pride and commitment to the service, and now they’re in charge they will, as soldiers do in far more trying circumstances, make it happen.

    It will happen. Roadblocks will reflect very badly on America’s military reputation.

  2. This is just a stall, the military will defy the law as along as they can and continue to harm valuable personnel,waste time and wast money in the mean time.

    They should be embarrassed.

    If they can’t change this policy in 24 hours it no surprise that they can’t defeat a volunteer rebel army of a couple of thousand guys in dresses and fancy hats, in the mid east.

  3. It just struck me.

    I have been wrong.

    Now I realize my terrible mistake.

    Please forgive me.

    I learn slowly.

    I do what I am able to do.

    To me, DADT, meant, yet means, and will always mean, “Do Ask, Do Tell.”

    Repeal of “Do Ask, Do Tell” is the worst blunder I can imagine.

    I am so very, very sorry…


  4. RE: Lottakatz, January 31, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    2T, Or to ban them from saying that women shouldn’t be allowed in the service or any racist of rank or the cloth to say black Americans should not be allowed to serve. Is that also a problem for you as a filthy conservative and filthy christian? A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ will do.


    There is something about human brains which I appear to know and understand, yet which masquerades as neither known or understood by everyone who is autism-deficient.

    Autism deficiency is a natural and ordinary aspect of the evolution of human society, it is not a mental or brain defect or disorder and more than is autism or prejudice.

    In the microcosm world of psychological/psychiatric/psychoanalytic jargon, there is this little construct of imago. I find no dictionary definition other than applicable to a wisp of a trace of a phantasm of what imago is as a human brain phenomenon. Thus, while such definition as I find of use includes definitions previously extant, my understanding encompasses a much larger region of imago than is traditional.

    It is imago projection that allows one person to as-though judge and condemn another while being unable to know and understand oneself sufficiently as to be able to recognize that the judgment and condemnation delusional projection of self-imago onto the judged and condemned person is the mere externalization, as a failure of scapegoating to resolve an internalized component of idealized parent imago for which no viable method to decathect said imago has yet been realized.

    When someone says of someone else, “Is that also a problem for you as a filthy conservative and filthy christian?” the filth involved in such a question is solely within the one who asks the question.

    When PersonZ says, of PersonA that PersonA is a “Three Mho Conductance,” PersonZ is really describing some aspect of PersonZ’s conductance and not the conductance of PersonA.

    By telling how we model each other, we actually are telling how we model ourselves.

    By telling others that I really do not judge them, I am really telling others that I really do not judge myself.

    By telling others that I really do not find fault with myself, I am really telling others that I do not find fault with them.

    By living my life according to dayenu, I am really telling existence that it is always good enough.

    For me to have survived in this world of the tribulations of trials, found I needed to not only virtually perfect the mechanism of psychoanalysis, but also the mechanism of psychosynthesis.

    That synthesis of the optimized analysis of the synthesis of accurately internalization of externalities is how I have arrived at the rather successful decathecting of the such introjects of time-confusion and time-corrupted-learning as my encounter with human brain trauma has unsuccessfully encouraged me to successfully internalize.

    In the work leading up to my dissertation, I named that optimized psychoanalytic-synthetic method, “Affirmation Therapy” because it fit what I was doing and I could find no evidence of its having been previously described in a diligent literature search.

    Somewhat after I had been granted the Ph.D., I came upon the work of Conrad W. Baars, M.D., and Anna A. Terruwe, M.D. And I changed the name of my method to “Affirmational Therapy” because Baars and Terruwe got there first, only their work was so dramatically rejected by mainstream psychiatry that I never found a mention of it using all the research resources available to me through the University of Illinois at Chicago.

    Affirmation Therapy is described in a readily available book in print, “Healing the Unaffirmed: Revised and Updated Edition,” Conrad W. Baars, M.D., and Anna A. Terruwe, M.D., Edited and Revised by Suzanne M. Baars MA and Bonnie N. Shayne MA, Alba House, Society of St. Paul, Staten Island, NY, 1976, 2002.

    Well grounded in the scientific merits of the work of St. Thomas Acquinas, it may be useful to study and comprehend the meaning of Summa Theologica (I read it in English translation) until the framing paradigms of Affirmation Therapy become clearly intelligible).

    Were I an ethical attorney, I would need to study and thoroughly understand “Healing the Unaffirmed” before taking on my first client, and, as part of being an ethical attorney, I would first go through the method of healing the unaffirmed before presenting any claim before any court.

    I find the notions and constructs which underlie the adversarial system as a component of human society since before the beginning of the written historical record are exactly and precisely that which depersonalizes people into the fear and trebling of the sickness unto death which is the disease for which affirmation is the only possible remedy.

    Summa Theoligica, in English, appears to me to be readily available via the Internet in the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Calvin College.

    All that is possible in hurling epithets at an other person is to bring out one’s own yet-unresolved traumas.

    As I have no unresolved traumas, I hurl no epithets. Yet I observe that, no matter what I say or how I say it, epithet-hurlers religiously interpret most, if not everything, I say or do as just another hurled epithet.

    That is the tragedy of whosoever so misinterprets what I say and do; such misinterpretations never originate with me, because they are not with or of my actual life.

    When we become able to recognize and realize that the hurled epithet is the effort of the person hurling it to become free of it, then we may be able to affirm both the hurled epithet and the epithet hurler, and thereby gently walk away from the adversarial misinterpretations of existence that, in dividing self against self, divide existence against existence, as though existence needs totally destroy even itself, forever and beyond.

  5. Incidentally what does it tell me about my mobile phone that the American writers of its predictive text software chose to show it how to spell Minneapolis, Massachusetts, and Mississippi, but not “dick”, anal but not “cock”?

  6. Zoe, sorry but now you’ve got of really confused. Who are these people being trained to treat unequally, and why is it not only legal but necessary to train servicepeople to do that? Wouldn’t it be easier if the military just let them get on with treating everybody equally? You don’t need special training for that, you just refrain from acting like a dick.

  7. Zoe B,
    I understand your point, but we are not talking about a corporation here. We are talking about the military that has a level of discipline way beyond anything in the corporate or legal world. If these men and women are told to do something or not do somehting, they are trained to do without question. I understnd that guidelines are never a bad idea, but my main concern is the military chiefs using this training period as a crutch to delay the action further. Also,I have one correction to what you offered. Def. Sec. Gates has already made it unlawful for any military personnel to discriminate due to sexual orientation, so the Civil Rights Act of 64 is not necessary.
    I wish you wouldn’t beat around the bush. Tell us what you really think!! 🙂

  8. Training is required for one very simple reason. Under current legislation, it is forbidden to discriminate against blacks, jews, women etc. It is NOT forbidden to discriminate against gays in any way, they’re not covered by the Civil Rights Act 1964.

    So the anti-discrimination training must carefully distinguish between illegal discrimination, and legal discrimination, all within the confines of making sure it doesn’t prejudice good order and discipline.

    There were provisions in the original DADT repeal bill to introduce such non-discrimination legislation (in a military context only), to make everyone equal, but they were removed as part of the compromise to get the bill passed, leaving us with this legal mess.

    I was pleasantly surprised that Defense Secretary Gates has moved quickly on the repeal, but I am confused as to why the troops have to be trained to treat everyone equally?

    It’s not that simple, that’s not the problem: they have to be trained that some inequality is legal, and some illegal. They have to be trained in treating people unequally yet somehow preserving good order and discipline despite that. Or rather, to treat them equally (to preserve order) but while there are legal sanctions for racist conduct, there are no legal sanctions for homophobic conduct, only administrative ones. Different rules apply.

  9. “A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ will do.”

    My, LK.

    You are quite the optimist. 🙂

  10. 2T, Or to ban them from saying that women shouldn’t be allowed in the service or any racist of rank or the cloth to say black Americans should not be allowed to serve. Is that also a problem for you as a filthy conservative and filthy christian? A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ will do.

  11. Okay, where does the military say it will impose this restriction on Christians? It doesn’t seem to be anywhere in the legislation as passed.

Comments are closed.