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March 22, 2009

In combat, only competence matters

Bob Fortier (3/17, Letters) counters that the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy should remain in place. If Mr. Fortier ever served in the conditions he writes about, he would know that what matters in combat is not your squad mate’s skin color, religion, ethnic heritage or sexuality. What matters is his or her competence. War has an amazing ability to make everything else irrelevant.

Inappropriate behavior of any sort — straight or gay — is rightly dealt with through the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.

I am a retired Army officer. At West Point I was taught to “choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.” “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is the easier wrong and must be repealed. It denies able-minded citizens, willing to serve, the right to serve. And it denies the nation the benefits of their service — service that can and always has made a difference for the good.

Robert Hill
Kansas City



I disagree, so what if someone is gay and chooses to serve in the military. The only thing I would say is that they should expect to behave as any other soldier is required to and NOT expect special treatment nor indifferent treatment. There is chastizing in the military amongst soldiers whether gay or not. When it comes to combat, things change by virtue of the situation at hand, I guarantee you that as a soldier you could care less about someone's sexual orientation, ethnic background, social class, income class, poitical gang membership, etc. when in a hostile, life or death scenario. Personally I think society spends far too much time on the gay issue. We have bigger things to contend with like NSF being squandered.


BuddyT you ol' Mon Kee,

I can't imagine anyone who would be afraid to call you an idiotic bigot to your face.

You call people names all he time and every now and then change your screen name like others are too stupid to realize its just the same stupidly hateful message in a different plastic wrap package


I find it amusing that some posters can cast aspersions and call names on here with impunity. Interesting, I guess they must be on the "right side" of issues.

I also wonder if these "heroes" would have the nerve to call these names and cast these aspersions to one's face?

I doubt it.


I wasn't thinking about "hitting on" I was thinking about real attractions or bonds. Old foggy that I am I wouldn't want women in my command in a front line combat situation either.
"Don't ask don't tell" was designed to allow all to serve. In the WWII army in which I served, people were asked and no known homosexual was permitted to serve. It appears that many younger people today have no concept of how great a change there has been in this area.


I think the heterosexual fear of being "pursued" by a homosexual is too funny. Could it be that homophobes are afraid if they are sexually harassed, the system would turn its back on them (no pun intended)? That is, after all, what happens too often with many females serving in the Armed Forces.


I don't know Eng. It's not as if gays are more impulsive sexually than hetero sexual, at least not those who I have befriended over the years. I do not recall any of my gay friends hitting on me because they know I am straight. Do you feel an impulse to hit on every woman you meet? I can't imagine. As for fraternization, does that not happen already between male and female soldiers? I am recalling the tryst between that delightful couple who tortured the soldiers at Abu Grab.

I do agree with Roger though. It should be a decision that is made within the armed forces and not by Congress.


There already are gay soldiers, many of them, in all branches of the service. So all you people who think the issue here is trying to keep them out, you've already failed.

If you are or have been in the military and you did not know any fellow soldiers who were gay, that's because they knew you were too ignorant or prejudiced to handle that information. I guarantee you that many in your unit knew others who were gay and handled it with a lot more maturity than you.


Robert Hill seems to be overstating the case. It is obvious from solomon's post and Jim's statements on other threads that homosexuals are not universally denied the opportunity to serve. However, as an infantry platoon commander of long ago I can see problems with having a pair or more of lovers in a combat situation. I would think anyone who has been there could and would.

Roger Lambert

Shouldn't our military commanders have the most say on this policy? It's not like Obama and Pelosi have spent a lot of time in the trenches.


Are Kee and Rougy one in the same, Sol? There certainly seems to be too many similarities to be merely two like minded individuals (sort of like how my inability to control hurling the occassion insult at inane schools of thought differentiates me from Marctnts). How is he posting under two separate names? What a sniveling weasel (there I go again).



There was a gay soldier and her partner at my cousins wedding this past weekend here in New Orleans. She and my cousin have been friends through two tours in Iraq, and if she's good enough there, damn BuddyT the Monkey and his prejudices. This woman has seen the horrors of war just like this Blue Springs resident idiot claims he has.

Now that I've said that I'll relax.

Stifled Freedom

Why didn't Bush reverse this policy? He could have displayed his distaste for individuality and thrown something back in the Democrats face? That would have been a no-brainer for him.


Relax Sol, you should know by now that Kee and to a lesser extend, Renfro are merely over compensating for their own latent homosexual tendencies. To even think that someone might hit on you in the heat of combat displays a pretty twisted mindset.


El Mon Kee,

I know Robert and from your posts you are not half the man or American that he is. Your ridiculous fear of some gay man stalling your mission because he's looking at your flat pale behind is rooted in the prejudice you display here daily.


Gloria supporter and gay basher. Nuff sed.


"Now if you want to experiment with soldiers of varied [colors and ethnic backgrounds]please do so only in making them remfs, and leave the guys on the line alone to do their jobs."


A retired Army officer Robert Hill takes issue with Bob Fortier’s reasons for continuing the Army’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and questions whether Fortier ever served under the conditions he writes about. -- Fortier stated “Maybe the real concern is the combat soldier who has to huddle with a squad mate to keep from freezing, or live within four feet of a crew member in a tank, or share a weekly shower and open latrine”! --- Fortier’s reasoning actually reflects someone who may have experienced such conditions.
If as former “West Pointer” Hill really believes under the above combat conditions “Inappropriate behavior of any sort — straight or gay is rightly dealt with through the Uniformed Code of Military Justice” he may have missed his calling in the Military? ---- Commanding the first all homosexual infantry company or maybe a battalion! Although Hill’s credentials deserve respect, even West Point can’t teach common sense!


Well Mr. Hill I am not a ring knocker, but I too was an Army officer. I believe that a tooper who grabs a fellow soldier's butt is a distraction be that male on male, female on female, or any other combination of the two genders.

I would think it would be difficult to practice basic fire and maneuver tactics while fighting off unwanted sexual advances, so why compound the issue with placing homosexuals, or units of both sexes in line combat units?

But see I am just an old ex-grunt, and I believe in the concept of Charlie Mike, so you know I might be kinda biased......

Now if you want to experiment with soldiers of varied sexual preferences please do so only in making them remfs, and leave the guys on the line alone to do their jobs.

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