Thursday, October 21, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell: A Sailor's View

That's what I mean, too.  A view...my view.  With the extremely varied pieces of news and opinions swirling around the internet, Facebook, and newspaper world, I thought it time to share my thoughts on the subject.  I feel that I have a good perspective, too, since I served on active duty with the Navy for 10 years and serve today in the Reserve.  It amazes me at how some people rant, post, and blah, blah, blah who have never served a day in their life in our country's military.  But, that's a freedom we have in our country so I don't get bent out of shape over it...I just roll my eyes and scroll on.

A person's sexual preference is none of my business...in or out of uniform.  It just isn't.  As a citizen of the United States and human being, my preference is my business and yours is yours.  I have my opinions, based upon how I was raised, my faith, and decisions I've made as an adult, but like I said, that's my opinion and I'm entitled to it...as are you and everyone else.

However, in the military, we have a mission, as ordered by our superiors and ultimately, the Commander in Chief.  That mission must be accomplished and every single thing that could impact it must be evaluated and dealt with.  In the military, it is not a democracy.  Yes, we have rights...we are Americans.  But things like protesting, unhinged free speech, disobeying orders...well, that just isn't acceptable.  We took an oath to obey the orders given to us and to defend our country.  A voluntary oath.

About that mission and Don't Ask, Don't Tell, here's my stance: if DADT is not in place and the ban is lifted, I believe that if this "situation" can negatively impact accomplishing the mission, I do not support it.  It is not a matter of right vs. wrong, it's human nature.  We are all human beings and whether this
should impact fellow soldiers, sailors, Marines, or airmen is not the issue...it's whether it would.  WOULD it impact mission readiness and accomplishing the goal?  Well, that depends on every single situation uniquely. Does it impact making dinner at a camp in Iraq?  Probably not.  Does it impact a platoon on the front lines in Afghanistan?  It could, couldn't it?  Should it, though?  That really doesn't matter if you keep reminding yourself that this is not about equality, it's about accomplishing the mission.  Forget civilian life where you have all your rights in tact.  This is not civilian life.  I hope I'm making my point, here.  If it has no impact on accomplishing the mission, then I really don't have a problem with it.  Unfortunately, my viewpoint will never become law or policy because it truly is a case-by-case.  I suppose the legislators in Washington could say "No submarines." "No combat." etc., etc., etc.  You know, they did that (and still do) to women.  When I was on active duty, I was a nuclear mechanic, serving on nuclear aircraft carriers and fast-attack submarines.  Women were banned from the nuclear power program but were brought back in right as I was leaving the Navy.  They still aren't allowed on submarines and in combat.  Why, submarines?  Because it impacts the mission.  Closed space + underwater + days/months on end + lots of men + human nature = you get the idea.  Like I said, it's not about if this is right...it's about what it IS.  Period.

So before you go on your rant about "Equality, equality, equality!!!!," think about what the whole point is for our nation's military and try to understand the climate in which they live.  These are my thoughts.

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