Bil Browning

Military starts surveying troops on DADT

Filed By Bil Browning | July 08, 2010 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Denver Post, Don't Ask Don't Tell, gays in the military, military

Please circle one: Do you find queers to be icky? a) Yes b) No

your_country_needs_you_resize.jpgWhat ridiculous bullshit. The military started sending out surveys to servicemembers yesterday to find out their feelings about ending the discriminatory "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy. Think about that for a moment, will you?

Our military and political leadership are so reluctant to treat gays and lesbians like the average citizen, they have to resorted to polling teenagers, rapists, convicted criminals, and gang members about whether or not we're entitled to the freedom they're supposedly fighting for. What's worse? They won't commit that any queer soldiers who fill out the survey honestly won't get discharge for revealing their sexual orientation.

Cynthia Smith, a Pentagon spokesperson, told the Denver Post, "The law is still in effect, and if someone were to out themselves, we would have to begin the discharge process."

SLDN is recommending that gay and lesbian soldiers not participate in the survey for fear of being discharged. Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis's warning and more are after the jump.

While Congressional repeal is pending, the military and White House have confirmed that discharges would continue unabated - even after the President signs the repeal into law - until the Pentagon completes the survey and subsequent study.

Sarvis said today:

"A number of service members have contacted SLDN to seek guidance on surveys concerning the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell -- the discriminatory law barring gay and lesbian service members from serving with integrity. At this time SLDN cannot recommend that lesbian, gay, or bisexual service members participate in any survey being administered by the Department of Defense, the Pentagon Working Group, or any third-party contractors. While the surveys are apparently designed to protect the individual's privacy, there is no guarantee of privacy and DOD has not agreed to provide immunity to service members whose privacy may be inadvertently violated or who inadvertently outs himself or herself. If a service member still wishes to participate, he or she should only do so in a manner that does not reveal sexual orientation."

Maybe SLDN should start a petition drive to have the military poll the troops on whether or not they think the war in Afghanistan is winnable. Maybe a poll on whether or not they think we should withdraw immediately from occupying Iraq? Maybe we could poll them on nuclear proliferation treaties too since they're the ones who'd have to fight if we went to war with Russia.

Or maybe, just maybe, our Commander-In-Chief, our "fierce advocate," could show some cojones and take charge of the military instead of abdicating his authority to a popularity contest.

But I doubt it.

(I didn't link the Denver Post story purposefully. Read this post from to find out why.)

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"Or maybe, just maybe, our Commander-In-Chief, our "fierce advocate," could show some cojones and take charge of the military instead of abdicating his authority to a popularity contest."
Remember that old song... THAT'LL BE THE DAY!

PS Also blasting, and forwarded to the Whitehouse.

I say we keep DADT and reinstate the draft. Not just any draft - a draft with no deferments. We would quickly become America: land of the free and home of the gay.

Um…asking the troops?

Which person would you like to serve with most.
A. Child molester
B. Felony fugitive
C. Convicted murderer
D. All of the above

Which would you like to do?
A. Human waste with your bare hands
B. Human organs and entrails with your bare hands
C. Alpha, Beta and Gamma emitters with your bare hands.
D. All of the above

Which experiment would you like to participate in?
A. Dental experiment exploring the use of dental sealants
B. Immunology experiment exploring the effectivity of avian flu vaccines
C. Dynamic human interaction stress test
D. All of the above

The real life answer every time was E ‘None of the above’.
Notice I didn’t list that?
That’s because if you’re in the military THEY DON’T ASK YOU!

Why are they asking now? Why are they doing this? Ask McCrystal or Mixon or … or any other insubordnate officer.

Sadly, the President simply has not realized that THIS is a failure in his leadership that is his and only his. Allowing this to continue only makes this situation worse. The leadership needs to wise up and be proactive or they will have to be reactive to the boot up their ass.

Anyone who continues to think this "poll" wont be rigged is either blind or delusional. "Oh well," everyone will say at the end of the year, "we tried...."

Sorry but I have to question the prevailing sentiment here. Accomplishing any kind of organizational change requires real data on where the organization currently stands on the change to be implemented. Is it possible that this poll will help planners to actually implement the policy change by identifying what kind of training and information troops need around lgbt issues?

It took the military over 20 years to fully desegregate after Truman issued the order. Maybe the information captured in this survey can help so that the repeal of DADT doesn't take another 20 years (just maybe.)

Maybe if the Pentagon had sent out one of their surveys and asked the troops if they thought going to war in Iraq, or serving more than two tours there, was a good idea, we might have saved a few billion dollars and the lives of 5,000 GI's.

But I guess losing a limb or being buried in a flag-draped coffin isn't nearly as personal to the troops as say, sharing living quarters with a gay man or woman.