I have talked to Marines and soldiers who had fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, who told me they found out only after the fact that their best battle-buddy was gay. They basically said that it was an irrelevant issue. What was relevant was how they fought—and they fought well…
I also sat down with retired or former military members who were gays and lesbians and just listened to them, to their views, to what they’d been through. All that work got me to a position where it was fundamentally an issue of integrity. Since June 30, 1964, when I went to the Naval Academy, I’ve been taught that honor and integrity define who we are—our core values. How could I reconcile that with the fact that we were forcing men and women who would give their lives for the country to lie every day about who they are?”
Ret. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen, discussing his role in the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, in a thought-provoking interview with OutServe. Mullen will attend a special September 18 ceremony celebrating the one-year anniversary of the repeal of DADT, aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid.