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Gen. James Amos: Repealing DADT Might Maim Marines, But I’ll Do It Anyway

Though Marines topper Gen. James Amos last week said the end of DADT could cost the “legs” of his servicemembers because of the “distraction” openly gay troops will cause, he now insists that once the president, Gates, and Mullen certify repeal he will “personally lead this effort, thus ensuring the respect and dignity due all Marines. On this matter, we look forward to further demonstrating to the American people the discipline and loyalty that have been the hallmark of the United States Marine Corps for over 235 years.”

By:           Max Simon
On:           Dec 20, 2010
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 17 Comments
    • Steve
      Steve

      Ordering some marines to lie, has been costing lives and limbs, regularly, for 17 years.

      Under DADT, some soldiers were under orders to lie to the others in their units. People have a way of knowing when other people are lying. When one soldier is under orders to lie to the others in his/her unit, they know it. The lies make unit cohesion impossible. And that costs lives.

      Dec 20, 2010 at 3:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)
      Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

      I fail to fathom why this officer hasn’t been relived of command due to “…a lack of confidence in his ability to command”. Especially as he serves at the pleasure of the President…. There must be some real heavyweight dead-enders on Capitol Hill backing him politically, otherwise he’d be toast if the Commander-in-Chief had any backbone.

      “I find you lack of faith…disturbing.”
      “Ark, ack…ack….”

      Dec 20, 2010 at 4:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 2 · Ted B. (Charging Rhino) wrote, “There must be some real heavyweight dead-enders on Capitol Hill backing him politically, otherwise he’d be toast if the Commander-in-Chief had any backbone.”

      … unlike the previous commander in chief, our current president apparently expects people under him to express their honest opinions rather than lie to congress in order to say what the president wants to hear. If Amos refused to follow orders, he’d be toast, but that is not happening.

      While I don’t agree at all with Amos’ conclusions, I could believe that some marines would need some training regarding how to react when they find out that someone is gay. That training is really just some assurance that nobody will hit on them, but the hard part is to explain it in a way that can get through the thickest skull they let in.

      Dec 20, 2010 at 4:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anon
      Anon

      I actually have a lot of respect for Gen. Amos. He expressed an opinion, but also said that if repealed the Marine Corps would execute the change better than anyone else.

      Hes doing exactly what a good officer should, express an opinion, and if overruled, carry out the CO’s (In this case, the CinC’s) orders to the best of his abilities.

      Dec 20, 2010 at 5:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott
      Scott

      I think his expressed opinion was an insult to the Marines he is supposed to be leading.

      He must not have much faith in his men if he thinks they can’t readily handle what the armed services of many nations have taken for granted for quite a while.

      Dec 20, 2010 at 6:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      @Scott: While his opinions may be an “insult” to the Marines, they may very well be accurate. I don’t doubt that the Marines will easily have the hardest time accepting this change of all the branches.

      Dec 20, 2010 at 7:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sid
      Sid

      That is so amazingly professional and in the true spirit of public service. It sounds like, while he may be wrong about the horrors of the gay, he is nonetheless someone I could respect (as far as I know). I’ve gotten so used to gay rights objectors being either pandering self-interested politicians or irrational bigots (or in the case of McCain, both) that I didn’t expect such relative maturity in the face of differing understandings.

      Dec 20, 2010 at 7:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DavyJones
      DavyJones

      @Ted B. (Charging Rhino): Gay Marines make up a very small portion of his “duties”. If he were to be relieved of his duties because of his difference of opinion on this issue that would be one of the ‘disruptions of service’ that DADT supporters were crying about…

      The man has many characteristics which decide how well suited he is for his job, his opinion on gay people shouldn’t be anywhere near the top of that list.

      Dec 20, 2010 at 8:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • merkin
      merkin

      Wow–Im really amazed by what Im reading. This Amos guy is a prick–Obama shouldnt have pricks working for him, case closed. I always thought it was a soldier’s duty to support his commander, even if he disagreed with him, and to keep dissenting opinions either to yourself or behind closed doors.

      As for how disruptive gays in the Marines will be, doesnt everyone here realize there will be no change? Theyre not going to repaint the barracks or let gay soldiers wear earrings. The military is still a very macho, regimented culture–just because they can legally be out doesn’t mean gay soldiers will be skipping down the hall talking about the White Party.

      Dec 20, 2010 at 11:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      o. 9 · merkin wrote, “Wow–Im really amazed by what Im reading. This Amos guy is a prick–Obama shouldnt have pricks working for him, case closed. I always thought it was a soldier’s duty to support his commander, even if he disagreed with him, and to keep dissenting opinions either to yourself or behind closed doors.”

      He testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee and thus had an obligation to state his honest opinion. He also made it clear that he’d do precisely what the president and congress decided. You may not like what he said, but the cost of telling Congress what you think the president wants to hear can be very high, such as getting into an unnecessary war (e.g., to remove the non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq).

      Basically, he claimed that some marines are nervous about repealing DADT, and was worried about a “distraction” in a combat zone, stating that “Right now is a very intense period of time for a pretty healthy slice of the United States Marine Corps. This is not training.”

      A “distraction” could be something as simple as two straight marines talking about a newly-out gay guy in their unit, making crude comments of some sort or other and not noticing a wire running across the road to an IED.

      He could be a real homophobe, but he could also simply be worried about the less enlightened 18/19 year olds he indirectly
      commands (of course, most people reading this would figure his concerns are overblown).

      To answer his concerns, they could simply put in a rule that basically says, “don’t come out in the middle of a combat zone where you could be shot at at any time for the first year after DADT is repealed – i.e., wait until you are back on a base and are going to be there for a week or so to give everyone time to adjust in a safe location.”

      Dec 21, 2010 at 12:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Ted B. (Charging Rhino): So, you would fire the possibly best man for the job (something Obama obviously believes hence why he is doing it) because he disagrees with you politically? Good thing you don’t run a company.

      Dec 21, 2010 at 9:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @B: They will never get through the thickest skull the marine lets in because that person is a Neo Nazi white supremacist scum bag that wanted to join the Marines just so he could shoot people legally.

      Dec 21, 2010 at 9:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kieran
      Kieran

      First they forced us to tolerate damn Negroes serving in the military and now they want us to accept Homos serving openly. What on earth is this man’s army coming to?

      Dec 21, 2010 at 9:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      #3 You’ve got to be kidding about “training” in case someone hits on someone else. These guys kill other people and blow up things. I can’t imagine being ‘afraid’ of someone hitting on you. Say “no thanks” and move on.

      A corollary – there was an editorial someplace that went something like “no wonder DADT make America’s military a farce. Our guys are supposed to face down Al-Qaeda or whatever but if a guy hits on another guy, somehow that will unnerve you? How fragile is the male ego and/or one’s self concept of masculinity?”

      I’m Gay, and I want people to know but I don’t go to pieces if a girl hits on me. Crumba!

      Dec 21, 2010 at 10:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      If he HONESTLY believes that this will cost the lives of people etc… and yet he will do it anyway, then he is showing he

      1. Either doesn’t really believe that
      or
      2. Has absolutly no integrity and doesn’t mind sending troops off to die.

      These idiots know that DADT isn’t going to cause the military to collapse any more than desegregation or letting in women did. But they still have to offer their little scare tactics.

      Dec 21, 2010 at 11:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 12 · Daez wrote, “@B: They will never get through the thickest skull the marine lets in because that person is a Neo Nazi white supremacist scum bag that wanted to join the Marines just so he could shoot people legally.”

      The issue is not the single person with the thickest skull but rather something like the dumbest few percent. As to what you actually said, I’ll let someone in that organization handle that one (maybe after the DADT repeal is signed by the president and certified).

      Dec 21, 2010 at 8:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 15 · Cam wrote, “If he HONESTLY believes that this will cost the lives of people etc… and yet he will do it anyway, then he is showing he 1. Either doesn’t really believe that or 2. Has absolutly no integrity and doesn’t mind sending troops off to die.”

      Then logically you must believe that no general has any integrity!

      To see the problem read up on the Lanchester equations: http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/war.htm for verbal description and http://itech.fgcu.edu/faculty/pfeng/teaching/Lanchester%20Equation%20for%20MAT%205932.ppt for some details (don’t bother if you never heard of a differential equation).
      What is going on is that each side kills off the other side and has less “fire power” as their numbers diminish. So, killing off the enemy faster means less shots are fired at your side.

      Basically, the more resources you use, the fewer your casualties are, not just on a percentage basis but in absolute numbers (excluding “friendly fire”). Thus, for any number of troops that you deploy, you could always save a few more of them by deploying an even larger number.

      Dec 21, 2010 at 8:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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