Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway never made a secret of his pro-Don’t Ask Don’t Tell views. Neither has his replacement of two weeks, Gen. James Amos, who spent Saturday telling reporters now is not the time to repeal the law. It came as a surprise to Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen (pictured), who thought military leaders were going to STFU about the policy and voice their concerns privately to Defense Sec. Robert Gates.
“I was surprised by what he said and surprised he said it publicly,” Mullen told reporters in Australia, since everyone agreed to “look at the data and then make our recommendations privately.” Which isn’t what Amos did when he argued, “There is nothing more intimate than young men and young women – and when you talk of infantry, we’re talking our young men – laying out, sleeping alongside of one another and sharing death, fear and loss of brothers. I don’t know what the effect of that will be on cohesion. I mean, that’s what we’re looking at. It’s unit cohesion, it’s combat effectiveness.”
Not that Amos is about to disciplined for speaking out of turn; Mullen, who is Amos’ boss, hasn’t bothered speaking to the Marine chief about the remarks. And Mullen, unlike Gates, remains committed to DADT until the Pentagon completes its study.