This quote from the President's State of the Union speech sounds like this may be the President’s way of getting around the unbelievably stupid policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” without offending those conservatives who believe that the only good queer is in the closet, or even better, dead.
“A second task we can take on together is to design and establish a volunteer Civilian Reserve Corps. Such a corps would function much like our military reserve. It would ease the burden on the Armed Forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them. It would give people across America who do not wear the uniform a chance to serve in the defining struggle of our time.”
I mean really, would it be that bad to let honest, hard working, dedicated, massively patriotic people serve our country? I guess it is a problem if that person happens to have a difference that is so small, so inconsequential, so not having anything to do with the ability and the quality of service, that unless you ask or they tell you… you wouldn’t even know.
The United Kingdom has had “integrated” (read Gays and Lesbians serving openly) services for a long time now. That country didn’t fall into the ocean. No rain of Holy Fire or lightning came down. In fact in a quote from The Sunday Times of London on August 28th 2005 Captain Guy Sutcliffe one of the officers working at the Army’s recruiting booth at a gay pride festival said: “We are actively recruiting anyone. We reflect society irrespective of sexuality, gender or religion.” Sutcliffe said the army had “no idea” how many gay soldiers there were within its ranks. “It’s not relevant,” he said. “It’s not something we monitor.”
Contrast that thought with what General Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley said in 1998 about the court decision allowing gays to serve openly.
“The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the British Armed Forces are obliged to enlist avowed homosexuals. Wittingly or otherwise, this decision will strike at morale and discipline.
The court's assumption is that military employments are much the same as others. But they are not.
The services are recruited and trained for war fighting. In this function death or wounds are a regular outcome. Those engaged are obliged to operate in close groups for long periods; comradeship is the binding factor. Ata a time when homogeneity is essential, sexual squabbles will be disruptive. Perhaps fatally so. “
Amazing that one of our closest allies, who previously used the same arguments to ban queer personnel as we do today, is so concerned about gays in the military that seven years after the General's argument for exclusion they don’t even bother to find out how many are serving.
Course, I can’t tell the difference between the President’s suggestion above and the currently existing system of hiring government contractors.
Unless, what he really means is mercenaries…