"Our Military -Their Homophobia"
"Eligibility for military service requires certain physical abilities and attributes, including age, height, weight, and physical ability requirements. Furthermore, U.S. law prohibits service members from engaging in homosexual acts and prohibits lesbian, gay or bisexual service members from stating their sexual orientation. © 2008. Paid for by the U.S. Navy. All rights reserved."
Although I am deeply grateful and respectful of military bravery on my behalf, I need some clarification on these statements put out by our Navy.
The first issue is that a good number of men and women still serving in all branches of the military are older, overweight and not physically strong or mentally as sharp any more so perhaps the first statement needs to say "sometimes requires certain physical abilities and attributes, including age, height, weight, and physical ability requirements."
Okay, that may not be such a big deal but the next two points are important, even if they make some people uncomfortable.
The second issue is how do we define homosexual acts. Are those the behaviors that people of the same sex often practice, like oral or anal sex? There are some, no many, hetero couples doing those things, too! Imagine two soldiers having oral sex and being accuses of a homosexual action - even if they are male and female. Ridiculous. Or is it the doing of those acts, any touching acts, with a same sex partner. Where do contact sports, towel snapping and wrestling fall in that discussion? We need some clarification here.
The third issue is that if a military service person who is gay, lesbian or bisexual cannot talk about their sexual orientation, shouldn't that clearly "discriminatory" sentence be rewritten to also include banning heterosexuals
from stating their sexual orientation? Otherwise, you could have a group of heteros talking freely about their preference of sexual partners, while some of the group must sit quietly in forced silence in fear of "breaking U.S. law" or even worse, become liars for the benefit of homophobia. Doesn't forced silence of some, shout more loudly than a quiet statement of fact spoken when the time is right to share personal information? A silent service person may be assumed gay, when in reality, they could be private people, shy or religiously inhibited from discussing their sexual exploits in public.
My stepfather was a Navy man and had to deal with living on a ship with all men. I wonder how many gay, bi or lesbian soldiers have already given their lives to keep America safe? These heroes along with American Indians, Blacks and women in general have often been disregarded for their sacrifice because, somehow, they are less. My personal friends and all people who have different orientations, skin color or gender are just as valuable as the next guy. Our Army, Navy and Marines belongs to America, not just to straight people. Our military and government are micro-managing individuals while the whole country is in disarray. Perhaps, it is time to redefine and move forward.
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More Navy news:
6 Navy Commanders Sacked in 6 Weeks
By Noah Shachtman
May 22, 2007 3:45:00 PMCategories: Ships and Subs
For the sixth time in as many weeks, the lead officer of a Navy ship has been suddenly relieved of command
, DANGER ROOM
pal Andy Scutro reports for Navy Times.
Cmdr. E.J. McClure, captain of the destroyer Arleigh Burke
... had a “loss of confidence in her ability to command” following the May 15 “soft grounding” of the Burke off Norfolk as the ship was heading back into port. No one was injured in the incident, but damage to the ship is still being assessed, according to the official.
"The Norfolk grounding is especially odd
given the well-charted waters," Navy Times adds, in a second story. But it's hardly the only strange incident in recent weeks. On May 10th, the captain of the USS Constitution
-- a 19th century warship, serving largely as a floating museum -- was relieved, for unspecified "lost of trust and confidence
." Two days earlier, the Navy sacked the commanding officer of the destroyer Higgins for "loss of confidence in his ability to command
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A former military aide to President George H.W. Bush, who later became commander of the U.S. 6th Fleet, has been fired for providing "false and misleading" information to the Department of Defense inspector general, the U.S. Navy confirmed Monday.
John Stufflebeem speaks to the press November 9, 2001, during a briefing at the Pentagon.
Vice Adm. John "Boomer" Stufflebeem was relieved of duty by the chief of naval operations on Friday, according to Rear Adm. Frank Thorp, the chief Navy spokesman.
Navy fires commander of USS Constitution
Loss of confidence, trust cited as reasons
By Maria Cramer, Globe Staff May 11, 2007
The commander of the famed USS Constitution was fired from his post yesterday, two months before his two-year term expired, because the Navy lost confidence in his ability to command the 210-year-old ship, officials said.
Thomas A. Graves took command of "Old Ironsides" in July 2005 in a ceremony before hundreds of spectators who gathered at the Charlestown Navy Yard to watch the ship set sail.
Yesterday, a Navy spokesman said that Graves, who lives in Marblehead, was relieved from the post because the department had lost "trust and confidence" in him.
"This was due to an administrative matter," said Commander Jeff Davis , a Navy spokesman at the Pentagon. "We're not able to discuss the details of that. This is not something that is accompanying a disciplinary action. This was based solely upon the senior officers' assessment of his ability to command effectively."
Vice Admiral Mark Fitzgerald , director of the Navy staff, fired Graves, who will be temporarily assigned to the Surface Warfare Officers School Command in Newport, R.I., Davis said. His next post has not been determined, he said.
"His future plans are personal in nature," Davis said.
Graves was the second commander relieved from his ship in a week because of loss of confidence. The Navy fired Commander Jeffrey P. Menne on Tuesday from the USS Higgins, a destroyer headed to the Persian Gulf.
Commanders can be fired for many reasons, including fostering a poor command climate, breaking wartime rules of engagement, or failing to enforce safety measures, according to the Navy.
Graves, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, will be replaced by Commander William A. Bullard III of Fall River, who had been scheduled to take command in July, Davis said.
Graves, a 1987 US Naval Academy graduate, has received several awards, including two Navy Achievement Medals and the Navy Meritorious Service Medal. He served as the engineering officer on the USS Underwood and the USS Philippine Sea and was promoted to commander in 2003.