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Posted on Apr 9, 2009 Print this Article

Flag & General Officers for the Military

More than 1,100 high-ranking retired Flag and General Officers for the Military have personally signed a statement expressing support for the 1993 law stating that homosexuals are not eligible to serve in the military. This law, Section 654, Title 10, U.S.C., is commonly mislabeled “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  

In 1993 Congress voted for a law that affirmed, almost word-for-word, long-standing regulations stating that homosexuality is incompatible with military service.  Both houses passed the law with bipartisan veto-proof majorities, and federal courts have upheld it as constitutional several times.

The 111th Congress is about to consider legislation (H.R. 1283) to repeal the 1993 law.  Current debate in Congress should center on a basic question:  Would repeal of the law regarding homosexuals in the military improve or undermine discipline, morale, and overall readiness in the All-Volunteer Force?  

As stated in the Open Letter signed by more than 1,000 distinguished leaders of the military, and in a concise Overview of the issue, there is great concern that repeal of the law would undermine unit cohesion, discipline, and combat effectiveness: 

We believe that imposing this burden on our men and women in uniform would undermine recruiting and retention, impact leadership at all levels, have adverse effects on the willingness of parents who lend their sons and daughters to military service, and eventually break the All-Volunteer Force.” 

On March 31, 2009, the independent Flag & General Officers for the Military project delivered 1,050 hand-written signatures endorsing their open letter, which were reproduced and printed on 54 bound pages.  The list of the names, which has since grown to more than 1,100, will be updated periodically. 

How to Help in Supporting the Law

 1.  Statement Signatures

 Retired flag and general officers who would like to lend support to this effort may download  a copy of the Statement to the President and Members of Congress, and return it by regular mail to the Center for Military Readiness, which has been providing administrative support to this project.  To ensure the authenticity of each name, the statement should be personally signed and sent via regular mail to CMR, P. O. Box 51600, Livonia, Michigan 48151. 

2.  Members of Congress

 H.R. 1283, a bill to repeal Section 654, Title 10, has been re-introduced in the 111th Congress.  The timetable is unclear, but legislative action could begin as early as May, 2009.  Names and addresses of House Armed Services Committee and Personnel Subcommittee members are available at http://www.house.gov/hasc/.  The mailing address for members of Congress is House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515.  

Counterpart Senate Committee member addresses are available at http://armed-services.senate.gov/.  The mailing address is Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510.  Offices in both the House and Senate can be reached through the Capitol Switchboard, 202/224-3121.  The White House Opinion Line is 202/456-1414. 

3.  Veterans/Military Service Groups 

Most veterans and military service groups, such as the VFW, The Retired Officers Association, the Submarine League, etc., have procedures for submitting and endorsing official resolutions at local and national levels.  Signers of the Flag and General Officers for the Military statement who are active in such groups are encouraged to submit for endorsement resolutions in support of the law, Section 654, Title 10.  (The Flag & General Officers for the Military Statement may be used as a model for such resolutions.)  

4.  Contribute

 Administrative support for this project was provided by the Center for Military Readiness, an independent public policy organization that specializes in military/social issues.  Tax-deductible contributions to defray expenses associated with this project may be sent to CMR through our secure donation page.  The page is easy to use, and also provides a printed form if you prefer to contribute via regular mail. 

5.  Spread the Word 

Please take a moment to forward this article and message to others who may be interested and willing to support our efforts.  Active duty personnel are invited to communicate with CMR through the Confidential Contact site on this webpage, and all supporters of our military may register support through the petition posted at  www.AmericansfortheMilitary.com.

Posted on Apr 9, 2009 Print this Article