Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Resignation of top performing female cadet from West Point focuses more attention on "don't ask don't tell"

The waning days, we hope, of “don’t ask don’t tell” are putting gay cadets in the spotlight, according to a front page story in the New York Times Wednesday August 25, by Corey Kilgannon, link (website url) here. Much of the report concerns the resignation of top-performing cadet Katherine Miller, who had blogged anonymously about her lesbianism. Her case recalls that of midshipman Joseph Steffan in the 1980s (the 1992 book "Honor Bound").

Students have to sign a form when entering where the acknowledge that stating homosexuality or a propensity thereto can lead to expulsion. That’s because of the 1993 law, throughout the military, but nevertheless, in some commands, blogging about sexual orientation, particularly on Facebook or Twitter, has been allowed.

Sometimes cadets, upperclassmen that is, recognize each other at gay establishments in New York City when on pass.

Visitors to West Point can see a model barracks room where a brief presentation talks about “unit cohesion”. I saw the exhibit in 1994. West Point was actually the subject of a popular television series in the late 1950s.

But it’s become apparent that “don’t ask don’t tell” contradicts military ethics as it is taught at West Point.

ABC provided this video on Aug. 13

Her blog apparently resides on “Velvet Park” at this link. She calls herslef a "private second class citizen".

Wikipedia attribution link for photo of USMA , Cadet Chapel.

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