It’s becoming more and more obvious that my prediction the other day foresaw the future of DADT, that archaic and bigoted law that has made second-class citizens of our honored men and women in the military for no other reason that they happen to be gay.
When I was in the Air Force, my job was to process administrative separations at Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota and at Eglin AFB here in Florida, including those of gays. Although I occasionally felt a ping of remorse and hypocrisy (why is a gay kicking out gays?) I was comforted by the fact that (as far as I recall) 100% of these discharges were, a. Straights who couldn’t really handle the pressure of military life and just wanted out; or b. Gays who were the victim of the homophobia and hate within the workplace.
Fortunately, I merely processed the paperwork, preparing the documentation, forwarding it to the Judge Advocate’s office for his or her review, then to my Chief Personnel Officer (Surprise: He was gay too!), then on to the Unit Commander (none of these cases were “serious” enough to be sent to the Wing Commander for signature) who signed the package. All in all, it was an expeditious manner to accomplish the service member’s goal: A quick discharge with an Honorable Certificate of Service.
Oh. Back to my prediction. I said:
“Why Would any “next guy in office” take the chance of reducing the size of the military by 10% by kicking out all the open gays in the military following such a pronouncement?”
It’s becoming obvious, day to day as the death knell tolls for the end of DADT, that the simplest way for it to die is happening…
Let DADT die on the vine. Tie up a half-hearted appeal in the courts. Make it so hard to process these discharges that it just isn’t worth the effort, time, or leaving the decision in the hands of five people with a lot more pressing things out there to worry about…like Afghanistan and Iraq:
At present, discharges will now require approval of the service secretary, who would consult with Defense undersecretary Clifford Stanley and the general counsel Jeh Johnson, putting the entire separation process in the hands of political appointees.