December 22, 2010

Don't Gasp, Don't Kvell part IIII - Faster Than a Speeding Pullet

Hatched by Dafydd

As readers well know (and generally lament), I do support the ending of Bill Clinton's "don't ask, don't tell" policy that allows gays to serve in the military, so long as they stay in the closet. I believe gays should be allowed to serve openly, but not flauntingly. (Similarly, I believe women should be allowed to serve in any position in the military for which they qualify, including combat.)

But I do not in any way like the way that DADT was repealed. Following the crushing GOP victory in the 2010 midterm elections, it's appalling that the lame-donkey Congress which has just been repudiated has the audacity to vote on major pieces of transformative legislation -- that everybody knows would not pass in the incoming Congress. That's just wrong, and there's no two ways about it.

The previous rants of this ongoing Obamanation are:

There's another outrage besides the revolutionary lame-donkey. Back in June 2009, we posted the thoughts of, as I described him, "an upper mid-level commissioned officer who served two tours in Iraq and now commands a training team," and who goes by the name Boss Mongo. Boss Mongo of course completely opposes the repeal of DADT; but I asked him what he would do to minimize the potential damage from the transition that, indeed, is expected to be signed by President Barack H. Obama next week. Here is what Boss Mongo said in that post, Straight Eye for the Queer Guy:

What, I asked him, would you do? He agreed that he would not resign his commission; he's a career guy, and he would stay in the military and obey orders. So with those caveats, here is Boss Mongo's plan -- including how he arrived at it, which is amazing in itself... I think I spawned a series of high-level meetings that may have set-off a policy prairie fire; what power these blog-things have! Here is what we would need to do in order to make such a policy change work, if the government decides to do so:


Okay, under great protest and not ceding to the premise that the open service of homosexuals would not be prejudicial to good order and discipline, I'll proffer a mitigation strategy for incorporating the policy.

While thinking of the answer, I used the topic, and our e-mail discussions, to conduct a couple round-table discussions with various members of my team and some of my subordinate teams. The demographics of the participants were pretty varied. Tallying it up later, I talked in small groups to: two O4s (one Asian, one Puerto Rican), three O3s (two white, one black), two E8s (both black), five E7s (two black, two white, one hispanic), and one Warrant Officer (hispanic). When I initiated the discussions, the universal first reaction was "Eww."

So it took a while to get the guys to focus on the discussion point; the first X number of minutes were spent getting them off of decrying the policy itself. Most of the senior (ie, ~20 years) guys said that it would be time to drop retirement paperwork (my crew consists of mostly senior guys; my youngest team member is 28 with six years in). Anyway, once we established the constraints of the conversation (and tabled the HIV factor for a later discussion), most of the guys came up with the same concept of response that I had:

  1. First, tangentially, commissioned officers thought that problems would manifest mostly on the battlefield, NCOs [non-commissioned officers -- the Mgt.] thought that the most serious problems would arise in the barracks environment.
  2. The service already has a chain training mechanism in place; it is used for annual, biennial, and quarterly training on EO [Equal Opportunity, I presume -- the Mgt.], Family Advocacy, prevention of sexual harassment, suicide prevention, DUI/Drug prevention, etc. This would be the venue for most training. Officers, NCOs, and junior enlisted would probably have different training evolutions, with unit training at the end, conducted by said officers and NCOs.
  3. The training would have to be tailored to present homosexual service as consistent with the military values -- loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage -- and the military values would have to be the foundation of the training/instruction.
  4. The service-member support networks, from the Chaplains to the headshrinkers, would have to be a part of it and be consistently available to help members with problems arising from the new strategy.
  5. Orders would go out giving the officer and NCO corps instructions on how the chain of command wanted adverse or serious incidents handled.
  6. One thing we all agreed on was that a significant chunk of time and effort would have to be expended on retention, keeping good service members in who are determined to vote with their feet -- or rather, their discharge paperwork -- because of the policy.

That's about it. Everything after that would be adapting to the situations arising and always being ready to call an audible when things go awry, and they will.

This is the sort of thing I was trying to get at in another, more recent post here on Big Lizards, Don't Gasp, Don't Kvell part II - a Modish Proposal (linked up top); that was the post in which I proposed a small-scale dry run of repealing DADT. What I had in mind was to give training officers an opportunity to test the Boss Mongo training plan, see where it worked well and where it fell down, then implement the former and restructure the latter.

But in the pell-mell rush to jam through Congress the instant repeal of DADT, I cannot imagine that the Obamunists have the slightest interest in a "go-slow" approach that would give us the time to work the kinks (sorry!) out of the system. Rather, I agree with Paul Mirengoff at Power Line: Obama will shove this revolutionary transformation (which underlying policy I support) down the tracks like a runaway freight train, and any testing policy that tries to slow it down will be squashed flatter than today's GDP growth (which unseemly haste I abhor).

After all, the policy must actually be a done deal before January 3rd; else the incoming House of Representatives might refuse to appropriate or authorize the funds to implement it.

This is exactly what I was afraid would happen: Because conservatives made it clear that they would never, ever, ever vote to repeal DADT, no matter when or how, the "progressivists" rightly concluded that they have only this one brief window, which, if not seized upon, slams shut in just under a fortnight... so the Left must move the policy faster than a cannon-fired chicken. Full scream ahead, and damn the training!

Well, never let it be said that Congress failed to disappoint.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, December 22, 2010, at the time of 12:31 AM

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The following hissed in response by: MikeR

Dafydd, I really must protest (again) about one of your titles. Part IIII? Isn't it true that IIII is only used on clocks, and IV is the standard? What will you do when you get to part IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII?

The above hissed in response by: MikeR [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 22, 2010 7:09 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


What will you do when you get to part IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII?

I'll turn that ladder upright and climb into a third-story window!


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 22, 2010 7:34 PM

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