Monday, November 08, 2010

Marine Corps commandant opposes DADT repeal because Marine Corps is even more "intimate"

Anne Gearan has an AP story about comments by US Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos that it is still wrong to lift “don’t ask don’t tell” during the war in Afghanistan and a sensitive demilitarization of Iraq. But the interesting thing about his comments was the way he says Marine Corps experience is more intimate than that of the other services. Permanent party Marines never have private rooms. Typically, Marines take territory and the Army holds it. But his comments are exaggerated: certainly many Army soldiers experience primitive conditions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other deployments.

Mike Mullen, chairman of the JCS, said he was surprised and perhaps ambushed by Amos’s comments. He thought that the JCS had signed off on the survey to be released in December.

In 1993, Carl Mundy, then commandant, was particularly vocal against lifting the ban, when asking as mandatory. But the Marine Corps then also did not want married men to join either. They didn’t want gays, and they didn’t want straights, the press said.

In 1993, the Rand Corporation report also noted the extreme intimacy of Marine Corps quartering in Navy ships, compared to normal Army quarters.  Likewise, sailors on submarines are in cramped quarters and even experience "hot bunking" (the sharing of the same cot around ships) and refer to "bunkmates".

The link is here.

On November 9, the New York Times had a front page story is "Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Faces Struggle in Congress", link here. The writers are Elisabeth Busmiller and David M. Herzenhorn. There are concerns as to whether the lame duck session of Congress after Thanksgiving will have "time" for it, and whether a GOP House will support it, even given a favorable survey.  McCain has been hostile to repeal.

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