Monday, August 20, 2007

Retired field grade Army officers support lifting DADT; look at 1993 Rand Study

On Monday, Aug. 20, 2007, The Washington Times printed, on p A16, a letter to the editor called “Homosexuals in the military” from two retired Army officers, Col. Stewart Bornhoft and Col. E. A. Leonard. The writers argue that when military personnel know of well-performing homosexuals in their units, their approval of lifting the ban increases, and such personnel are less likely to express the belief that “open” homosexuals in the military would fracture unit cohesion.

There is a book commissioned by Les Aspin of the Clinton Administration in 1993, Rand Corporation (National Defense Research Institute). Sexual Orientation and U.S. Military Personnel Policy: Options and Assessment. Los Angeles: Rand, 1993. This 700 page volume studied militaries in other countries and surveyed the history of the “ban” and came up with a plan for lifting it, based on the idea of a “Code of Military Professional Conduct.” Along the way there were many statistical studies and tables, and diagrams of the living arrangements in typical military units (with the Marine Corps, when on Navy ships, and submarine units in the Navy being the most “crowded” and intimate with “hot bunking.”) The study discussed a variety of sociology concepts like “propinquity.”

Certainly this study could form a reasonable basis for developing a conduct policy after lifting “don’t ask don’t tell”. It is credible and professional, and not simply a proposal from a self-published blog (however reasonable). Nevertheless, visitors may look at my 1993 “White House letter” here which more or less says the same thing in four pages instead of 700.

The Rand study, which I purchased in 1993 for $28, now costs $95 on Amazon, but ought to be in the library of anyone lobbying on the issue or working on a concrete law to repeal, including supporting the Meehan bill. Here is the link.

Update: Aug. 22, 2007

Check the Human Rights Campaign 's "Legacy of Service" blog -- a national campaign against "Don't Ask Don't Tell", here

Quick Note: See the story about former CNN reporter Jason Bellini, now with the Logo Network. Bellini reported in detail on a Marine Unit and was one of the first CNN reporters to reach downtown Baghdad in 2003 when Saddam Hussein fell. Story by Doug Windsor "CNN Reporter Jumps to Gay Network" on Link Ponder this.

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