the don't tell show

DADT Survey Reveals: Majority Of Soldiers Don’t Give a Freakin’ Crap About Serving With Gay Comrades

Results from the Pentagon’s $4.5 million survey asking troops about repealing DADT — which was marred both by low response rates and forcing soldiers to speculate if they knew any ‘mos — are leaking out, and they suggest American troops actually might deal with openly gay soldiers just fine. Duh.

While the Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin says he never wanted results of the survey to be made public, even he knew that was a pipe dream. And with the polling period having wrapped, and research firm Westat tallying and preparing the data, some preliminary findings:

• Most soldiers say they’d have no problem serving and living with comrades they know to be.
• Many troops “strongly objected” to the idea that they would quit the military if DADT was repealed, but a majority did not.
• Many soldiers said if they do have questions about a gay soldier, they will feel comfortable speaking to that person directly, though some did say they would go up the chain of command with a complaint.
• The Marines had the highest number of respondents saying they would have issue with gays — and no wonder. If they’re listening to their chief Gen. James Conway, they know homosexuals are just disgusting.

In sum, American soldiers as a whole are responsible, highly trained professional adults. As we always expected.

The president will receive a final report Dec. 1.

On Rachel Maddow’s program, NBC News’ Richard Engle revealed some of the results.

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  • Mikey S

    “Many troops “strongly objected” to the idea that they would quit the military if DADT was repealed, but a majority did not.”

    I am assuming this is written incorrectly.

    So many object to the idea that they would quit if DADT was repealed…meaning they would stay in.

    The majority did not object meaning they would indeed quit.

    I interpret that to mean that soldiers do in fact care…

  • Real Meat

    Not surprising, I’m sure even some homophobic soldiers were to embarrassed to admit they couldn’t handle it. Your in the army LOL.

  • reason

    Obama is proving to be a master of legislative strategy. Fostering that strong bond with the Secretary of Defense and Charmain of the Joint Chiefs was a masterstroke. He has learned some of the lessons of Clinton, which is trying to shove a policy down someones throat especially when your brand new just doesn’t work. I am sure his policy review of many of the facets of government found that the majority of soldiers would be accepting. By creating the study as a compromise not only is he able to get more information to implement a smooth transition but also hard evidence that is making detractors like McCain squirm right now. It will be hard to go against the Sec. of Def, CJCS, Commandeer in Chief, and the will of the enlisted. Obama’s cool demeanor and meticulous professorial approach may make some feel rejected but it gets results. Unlike the Presidents before him he was able to reform health care and it looks like DADT is headed to its death bed, so do the gays want a president that is going to be pulling their heart strings at every corner and not moving the ball an inch, or one that takes the cold guard path that angers people along the way but gets results. He stated that he wanted to be a transformational president that actually gets the difficult things done that have been sitting on desk for generations. I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually tackles social security, something that will be great for the country and terrible for his numbers. People may find in the end that Obama was one of the few honest presidents in history, but the sobering truth about America will not make the people happy which is why politicians have been punting on these issues for generations. Give him long enough and we will get DOMA repealed.

  • wmcarpenter

    “Many troops “strongly objected” to the idea that they would quit the military if DADT was repealed, but a majority did not.”

    Ok dudes, here we are again. What you have essentially said here, in plain English, is that a majority of troops WOULD quit the military if DADT was repealed. PROOFREAD. This doesn’t make sense.

  • Ryan

    WM Carpenter, that’s inaccurate. You can chose not to “strongly object” to something without being for it. I don’t like tomatoes, but I don’t “strongly object” to them. I’m sure a majority of soliders aren’t worked up enough about DADT to “strongly object” to the idea of quitting of it’s repealed. In fact, saying you strongly object makes you sound like some super pro-gay advocate. Most likely most soliders only mildly object to the idea of quitting over repeal or don’t care either way.

  • Dave

    Since Queerty doesn’t have writers who can use English clearly and properly, it might be helpful to see with the
    WaPo said:

    “Some troops surveyed – but not a majority – objected strongly to the idea of serving with gays and said they would quit the military if the policy changed, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly share details of the survey.”

    This is the key to the entire story. It doesn’t matter how many troops don’t care about DADT repeal. It matters how many say they will quit. If “some” refers to 2 or 3 percent, then it is probably not a problem. If “some” refers to 20 or 30 percent, then this report will be used as a reason to kill repeal not only in 2010, but for the next 20 years.

    This is why the survey is a trap. Opponents want to set it up as a popularity contest, where their side wins even if it only garners a fifth or a quarter of the result. Obama, with the collusion of HRC and SLDN, effectively handed the opponents of repeal a veto power. All they have to do is claim that they will quit, and it is pretty easy for a group of anti-gay soldiers to claim that they will quit even if they have no intention of doing so.

  • Roger Rabbit

    Hmmmm, I laughed out loud that the Marines were the ones who objected the most! Maybe we should have given them a six pack of beer and a shot of Jager before taking the quiz! After all, it works when we want to get those bottom boys into bed!

  • Cam

    Most of the homophobes in the military are the old men running the military. Most of the soldiers are fine with it.

  • robert in nyc

    Why is it then that the U.S. top military brass didn’t refuse assistance from the British, the largest foreign contingent fighting alongside our own in Iraq and Afghanistan and who have openly gay men and women serving? Where was the lowering of morale and lack of cohesion that they claim are the reasons to retain DADT? Where is the evidence? How many of the “wussy” marine soldiers withdrew their service? What a bunch of hypocrites and bigots.

  • Mike in Asheville

    Queerty missed the most important data concerning the survey — of the 400,000 service members surveyed, 70 PER CENT DID NOT BOTHER TO RESPOND!

    7 in 10 service members do not care, one way or the other, that they spent the half hour to complete and return the survey.

    AND, of the 30% who cared enough to respond, the majority responded that it is no big deal. That means, at a minimum 85% of service members do not have a problem with openly serving gay and lesbian service members.

    Clearly, the vast majority of soldiers, sailors, and airmen are professional; officers, on the otherhand, particularly among the Marines, show themselves to remain much more bigoted.

  • ajax


    Your conclusion is not entirely logical. The fact that a majority did not respond that they “strongly object” doesn’t mean that a majority strongly object. A majority could have answered that they “object”, or that they “neigher object or agree”. Perhaps a majority of the troops just don’t give a shit.

    Did you actually take any math or science courses before you dropped out of high school?

  • wmcarpenter

    I wasn’t trying to draw any new conclusions out of the data, I was trying to show that this is bad, convoluted writing.

    And it is.

    And fuck you Ajax, way to say exactly what that other guy said but five hours later.

  • J. Clarence

    I’ll wait to see the specifics December 1st, but from the reporting so far its not really surprising. We know that the volunteer force is mostly composed on younger soldiers, who have grown up in a society much more tolerant of gays and lesbians than the generation before them. It simply isn’t an issue for them. And the petty issues brought up like spousal benefits were really a pathetic attempt by proponents of DADT to create a wedge among the electorate and service member families.

    One some level I would say that the entire survey was pointless, because straight soldiers have for years talked about how they believed that members within their regiment (do we still use that word) were gay, and few have said that it was a cause for alarm. At the same time though I suppose the survey provides statistical evidence to reaffirm the obvious.

    What will be interesting is to see how (some) Republicans who oppose repeal will try to twist the numbers in their favor, or (more likely) simply ignore them, since their last vestige of hope also doesn’t care.

  • robert in nyc

    Well, when December 1st rolls around, assuming the republicans have control of the house, I doubt if they’ll vote to repeal even if the top brass advises it. They’ve made it clear they’ll filibuster any legislation the democrats bring to the floor for a vote after the election. I wonder if Independent Liebermann who supports repeal will vote with the republicans this time around?

  • Michael @

    SO SOON Queerty and the Obambots forget that a so-called “leak” about the results alleging the opposite of this one was reported in the “Los Angeles Times” two weeks ago:

    “The task force found DEEP RESISTANCE to the idea of repealing the law in some elements of the armed services, especially within the combat units, an officer familiar with the findings said. But the surveys also have found segments of the military who were not overly worried about allowing gays and lesbians to serve, the officer said.” – “Los Angeles Times,” October 13, 2010 [emphasis mine].

    Obviously both reports can’t be true, therefore, obviously there are two forces at work here with competing agendas—the source yesterday who supports ending the ban, and the source two weeks ago who wants to keep it. There are some 26,000 people working at the Pentagon, most of them military, so there are plenty of candidates for both.

    The older “leak” is transparently in line with those who created the “survey” [read: SECDEF Gates]. Recall that one startling section asked respondents to identify:

    “…factors that enable you to fulfill your mission during combat?”

    And among the choices was, emphasis mine:

    “Having ONLY HETEROSEXUAL members in the unit.”

    As the central mission of the military is combat readiness, the earlier “leaker” was trying to prove there WOULD BE a problem at the heart of the military, and, therefore, there should either be no open service at all or gays should be segregated.

    Therefore, it’s reasonable to believe that the older “leak” came from someone close to Gates, who, regardless of what he’s SAID, has done everything short of a military coup to control the subject, to create the belief that open service would be disastrous….first by insisting on a $4 million “study,” then ordering its questions to include the gay segregation combat option and to create a kind of “gay panic” in advance about sharing sleeping quarters, showers, and bathrooms, then, without submitting any proof, telling the Circuit Court that letting Judge Phillips injunction stand would have “enormous consequences” and cause “irreparable harm”…all the while trying to stall a legislative solution to death.

    In fact, he did pull off something of a coup in May.

    “The Huffington Post,” June 3, 2010:


    “’At the end of the day, extraordinary power was given’ to the Pentagon.” – SLDN Director Aubrey Sarvis, “Politico,” May 26, 2010.

    Think of it this way: if a serial killer claims to have reformed…but he just wants to keep his gun….WHY should anyone believe he’ll never use it again?

    Too many still don’t understand that Congress is no longer voting to repeal DADT, and, at the same time, ordering discharges to stop. They are only voting on whether to give Obama, Gates, and Chair of the Joint Chiefs Mullen [read: Gates] the OPTION to okay repeal of the law sometime after “The Study” is in. NOTHING in the new amendment REQUIRES that they EVER do that. And, even if they do, NOTHING in the amendment REQUIRES that discharges EVER actually end OR would ban gay segregation OR require that those previously discharged be allowed to reenlist. [The previous amendment Gates killed would have done all of those things.]

    Though it can’t hurt for all of us to promote the more credible “No Problem” leak, remember that, in the end, the only thing that will count is the “official” report and that will come from Gates. It will “say” whatever Gates wants it to. If you don’t believe me, consider that:

    “As a manager of intelligence analysis [at the CIA during the Reagan Reich]…Gates, according to former intelligence officers, demanded that his staff comply and encouraged reporting that some insisted was blatantly slanted….” – “Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA” – John Prados.

    “Harold P. Ford, an honored veteran of the C.I.A. and a reluctant witness, said he felt obligated to testify that Mr. Gates had ‘skewed intelligence’.” – “The New York Times,” October 04, 1991, during hearings on whether to confirm Gates as Director of the CIA. The Senate chose to ignore such claims even though, his first nomination, in 1987, was withdrawn after “evasive answers about his role in the Iran-contra affair.”

    But the charges continued after he became Director, and seemed to be up to his old tricks:

    “[Mr. Gates’] withholding information or distorting it is not legitimate advocacy.” – “The New York Times,” April 02, 1992.

    BOTTOM LINE: Despite unofficial reports about “The Study,” and even should the “compromise amendment” pass, because Mr. Obama remains in the pocket of Mr. Gates, discharges will only unequivocally end when the electorate, gay and nongay, demands they do.


  • reason

    @robert in nyc: The house already passed DADT for starters, and the GOP if they take power most won’t come in until January. They are planing to push for DADT repeal again after the midterms and some in the GOP that may switch over lose the election silly season bug.

    @Michael @ Getting nervous that your main reason for whining and demonizing is coming to an end. It will on be on the watch of a party that you hate, how fitting.

  • jason

    Obama has been a failure on DADT repeal since day one. This leaked survey result is yet another attempt by Obama and the Democrats to lull us into thinking that DADT will be repealed. Don’t fall for it. It’s a pre-Congressional election stunt.

    Maintain the anger, guys. Only anger and passion lead to change. Lulled mindsets never change anything. It was lulled mindsets which caused us to be duped by Bill Clinton back in the 1990’s. Don’t let it happen again.

    Obama is a fraud, has always been a fraud, and will always be a fraud. Don’t fall for his tricks.

  • reason

    @jason: You summed up your worldview, to you Obama will always be a fraud no mater what he accomplishes, making your opinions null and void. Your opinions are driven by hatred toward the man and not the policies.

  • Soupy

    I think he hates female bisexuals more.

  • Ken Powell

    Ok, guys. I served in the military in the 1960’s. I was a gay man who had no trouble serving and being openly gay. The guys in the military, when they can get off base, have sex with each other. Why? Because even the straight guys are horny. The whole thing is about sexual release, and nothing more. What is the problem. We are all sexual people.

  • theotherlee

    @Mikey S: Watch the video for further clarification. I had the same, “wha?” moment when I read that.

    From what I was able to get from the video is, most of the answers received by service people themselves fell into two of the most ‘positive’ answers out of four they were asked. Adding the responses of those gave a ‘majority’ response of, “we don’t care.”

    Some responses fell into the two remaining categories, one, “I feel awkward about this, and I’d go to a third party person (chain of command, chaplain, etc.)” Two, “I hate – hate – hate this.”

    Evidently the majority of the “hate” responses came from members of the Marine Corps, and it is believed that a lot of that may be due to the Marine Corps leadership being so outspokenly against the repeal of DADT, and those soldiers following the command structure. It was speculated that if the leadership of the different branches were to support the repeal, the soldiers in those branches would also follow suit.

    That was the gist, but I do strongly urge you to watch the video. I found a better quality video here ( .)


  • Ken S

    @Mikey S:
    I gathered from that (the number who “objected to the idea they would quit the military”) that many- but not a majority- actually took offense to the suggestion that a repeal would cause them to quit. Sort of “what kind of ignorant asshole do you think I am?” Of course I could be misinterpreting.

    In any event, before the Canadian military stopped barring gay servicemembers they conducted a bit of a poll too; plenty (though not a majority) said they might quit the military if the ban was ended, but after it was there was *no appreciable increase* in people quitting the forces. Opinions are often exaggerated in private and on paper.

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