It’s Stupid to Think Sec. Gates Chose the Next Marines Chief Based on DADT, Right?

Replacing Gen. James Conway — who thinks repealing DADT will be “disruptive” — as the Marines Corps commandment this fall is Gen. James Amos, reportedly a surprise pick because Joint Forces Command’s Gen. James Mattis was expected to have the post on lock. But what’s this about Mattis, like his predecessor, opposing the repeal of DADT?

That Defense Sec. Robert Gates is expected to recommend Obama appoint Amos (pictured) over Mattis raises all sorts of eyebrows, WaPo notes, suggesting Gates’ zagging where others zig is more than meets the eye.

If nominated and confirmed, Gen. James F. Amos would be the first Marine commandant with a background as a jet pilot — at a time when the Corps is fighting a ground-dominated war in Afghanistan — and his selection reasserts Gates’s willingness to shake up established service bureaucracies.

Amos, who is the service’s assistant commandant, would also become the first Marine general promoted from that position to the Corps’ top job. He served in Iraq in the early days of that conflict, but he has not led troops in Afghanistan. He has relatively less experience in waging counterinsurgency warfare than other candidates considered for the job.

[…] In choosing Amos for commandant, Gates passed over Gen. James N. Mattis, who is widely considered one of the military’s best minds when it comes to waging war on insurgents.

It’s hard to believe a decision as crucial as choosing the next Marines commandment, who serves a four-year term, comes down to just the candidate’s position on DADT, particularly because Conway wasn’t the only military chief to criticize repeal efforts. But Gates, WaPo, notes, “has said that, in selecting the commandant, he wanted someone who would help the Marine Corps chart a course beyond the current wars.” Which is, of course, the post-DADT era.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #don'taskdon'ttell(dadt) #jamesconway #marines stories and more


  • reason

    Yes DADT is playing a role in selecting the next commandant. Aviators are generally posted in the second seat and never rise up to the top job. Just because it was done that way in the past does not mean it should continue: because your an aviator does not mean you don’t have the skills needed to lead. Our current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the first Admiral to ever ascend to that position, and many people agree he is more than capable. More factors also went into selecting the next commandant like were they stand on cutting some of the waste out of the defense budget. The consideration shows that the White House is serious about ending DADT and raining in some of the largest examples of out of control military spending.

  • Brutus

    Yes. It is stupid to think that.

  • fredo777

    “Commandment” should be commandant in about two separate places.

  • ksu499

    If Mattis is one of the military’s best minds when it comes to counterinsurgency warfare, then you want to leave him exactly where he is now — managing counterinsurgency warfare. Making him Commandant would remove his skill set from the active role. Gates is making a good managerial decision.

  • toyotabedzrock

    This pick could also be related to the F-35B’s skyrocketing price.

  • Bob R

    @reason: You’re wrong. There have been five admirals who have served as chairmen of the JCS. They were: Radford ’53-57; Moorer ’70-’74; Crowe ’85-’89; Jeremiah (acting) ’93; and now Mullen. There has only been one Marine CJCS, Peter Pace from ’05-’07. Radford, Moorer and Crowe were all aviators. Jeremiah and Mullen are both submariners, I believe. The rest of your post is conjecture, but you may be right on “other factors” being considered. The Pentagon is out of control and when generals publicly and openly criticize the President and his war plans/policies, they have to either be fired or shown their are consequences to be paid for their insubordination.

  • JoeB

    Nothing in the articles referenced say anything about Amos’ position on DADT; in fact, neither mentions DADT at all.

    To say that he is being picked specifically on his position makes no sense; stories show that Conway opposes it but there’s no info on Amos’ position.

  • hyhybt

    I’m just glad to see the phrase “beyond the current wars.”

    A sort of remembrance of what it was like to hope there would ever be an end to them.

  • reason

    @Bob R: I stand corrected, what I was thinking off was the previous Chairman Gen. Peter Pace was the first Marine appointed. I believe a general should be able to speak his mind to the president in private without threat of retribution. When one makes it public they need to be disciplined, but it is a balancing act granted that the troops are likely closer to the Generals than the president even though he is the Commander. It is one thing to be a Commander and Chief and quite another to be an experienced military officer, so it is unwise to present internal quarrels to the public, though I hope those who have crossed the line were severely reprimanded in private. I will add that picking generals that are yes men, Gen. Franks, can be dangerous with incompetent leaders, but then you never know what conversations take place behind closed doors.

    @toyotabedzrock: and/or the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle a budget busting item that some in the defense department are hungry to keep, and are working through side channels to to undermine Sec. Gates.

  • Michael @

    First and foremost, anyone still WILLINGLY suffering under the delusion that a megalomaniac like Gates would recommend anyone who was not willing to kiss his ass on everything should go back to the farm.

    According to the drooling on the site belonging to certain permanently-drunk-on-Pentagon-Kool Aid Lesby Annes, Amos “mirrors” Mullens’ attitude about DADT but that is NOT something to be happy about.

    Most of Gay, Inc., has just stopped short of building statues to Mullen which requires ignoring the record of him repeatedly talking out of both sides of his mouth re the ban.

    Last year, he was the first I’m aware of to create an entirely new homophobic boogeyman: the alleged negative “impact” open service would have on “military families.” And he and Gates have brandished that idea so repeatedly, so forcefully, that the INSANE term “family readiness” is IN the “maybe repeal” amendment.

    We get the cluelessness of MSM but why have gay media and Gay, Inc., NEVER asked, “What the hell does that mean”?

    Forget all of Mullen’s pretty words and remember that he always pivots, salutes, and falls in right behind Gates’ essential gaybaiting, political hardball, and ruthlessness in leading their Commander-in-Chief around by the nose he shamelessly offered to them before even being sworn in. Remember Congressional advocates for REAL “repeal” and Gay, Inc., went into the White House and came out virtually castrated by the sharp sword Gates forged and Obama swung at his insistence.

    Also remember the letter Mullen co-signed with Gates at the behest of Skeletor in the latter’s attempt to kill repeal, which closed with:

    “I STRONGLY OPPOSE ANY legislation that seeks to CHANGE this policy prior to the completion of this vital assessment process. Further, I hope Congress will not do so, as it would send a very DAMAGING message to our men and women in uniform that in essence their views, CONCERNS, and perspectives do not matter on an issue with such A DIRECT IMPACT AND CONSEQUENCE for them AND THEIR FAMILIES.”

    How much more do they have to take from us for everyone to finally admit that Mullen and Gates are NOT our friends, and that there is only ONE person in the driver’s seat regarding whether or not any discharges will ever end, and it is not the President of the United States


Comments are closed.