Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Indoctrination Begins

According the senior enlisted man in the Army, the indoctrination training of troops on the new gays in the military policy will being in the very near future for those currently serving in the combat zones.  Please check out the previous posts that I have made on this subject here and here.

As a retired service member, I am concerned for the men and women who cannot support the lifestyle of openly gay service members due to their religious or moral beliefs. I think I can be fairly confident there will be no compromise for these folks.  I have heard the argument that people who are strongly against gays serving because of their beliefs are a very small percentage.  I think we could also say the opposite is also true. The number of gay service members is going to remain a very small percentage. The military is a largely conservative arena and gays tend towards the liberal side of the spectrum. It is very true there are gay conservatives as well as liberal service members, but both of those are a minority in their respective populations. So when you do the math, the number of gays serving is going to be small, even with allowing them to serve openly.  What we have here is two polar opposites; the openly gay serving, and those completely opposed to their service.  But only one is being forced to accept and adapt, the other will be put out of the service.

During the early stages of my career, there was a unit on each base called “social actions” and it was their job to oversee the social interaction between the genders and the various ethnic groups and races. Part of their mission was to seek out and rectify any racial, ethnic, or gender clashes. They did their job with gusto, sometimes to a point that was ridiculous.  I can speak from experience this organization could be over-zealous. Back in 1983, while at technical school I had a roommate who was black.  We got along just great. But I didn’t always get along with some of his friends. Several times I heard derogative name calling directed at me (white trash, honky, etc.) when they thought I was out of ear-shot. But I let it ride. One day, he and I got into an argument over who was supposed to clean the restroom. I called him an A-hole. The next day my advisor told me I needed to go to social actions. It seems that someone over heard us arguing and turned me in. Social actions accused me of being racist for calling my roommate an A-hole. Fortunately my roommate had collaborated what had actually happened, that there were no racial issues involved, just two folks who didn’t see something eye-to-eye. But the Sergeant wasn’t done with my just yet. He was determined to have something to report up the chain. It seems he had been allowed to search my room. In a desk drawer he found an Irish joke book. Most of the jokes centered on the drunken Irishman stereotype. He said this was basically trashing an ethnic group. After I told him I was Irish and showed him that my dad had written a note inside, he finally had to let it go. 

There was another incident, not involving me in any way, but did involve a friend. He lost a stripe for getting into a fight with a guy who was black at the NCO Club. According to some folks that I knew (but didn’t know my friend) and who had witnessed the fight, the other guy started it, calling my friend racist names, while my friend didn’t say anything that could be construed as racist. The other did not lose a stripe.

So, when it comes to social changes in the military, my respect for how they handle it is not very high. Based on my experience, it is seems to be decidedly tilted towards the minority, to a point where innocent people could wind up being hurt, all in the name of social justice and change.

No comments:

Post a Comment