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Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: Not Every Marine into the Fight After All

Marine Gen. James T. Conway, the commandant of the Marine Corps, became the first military service chief -- or any flag officer, for that matter, so far -- to

Jul 31, 2020
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Marine Gen. James T. Conway, the commandant of the Marine Corps, became the first military service chief — or any flag officer, for that matter, so far — to oppose repealof ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing yesterday.
“My personal opinion is that unless we can strip away the emotion, agenda and politics and ask [whether] we somehow enhance the war-fighting of the United States Marine Corps by allowing homosexuals to openly serve, then we haven’t addressed it from the correct perspective,” Conway said.
Conway is implicitly assuming that the interests of the Corps and the interests of gays and lesbians are two different things. But there are, in fact, gay Marines. In early 2007, Gen. Conway famously sent a memo, known as the ‘Every Marine Into The Fight’ memo, to the Corps, instructing them that it was his expectation for every Marine seek a combat deployment. His testimony sends the message that some Marines are more valued than others — not for their combat prowess but for their identity. I’m having trouble finding a full transcript of the hearing, but none of the reports about it indicate that Conway made an argument for why repealing ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ would reduce combat readiness, something that has not happened in any military where open gay service is permitted, as Adm. Giampaolo Di Paola, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, indicated to CNN earlier this week.
Hajra Shannon

Hajra Shannon

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Hajra Shannona is a highly experienced journalist with over 9 years of expertise in news writing, investigative reporting, and political analysis. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Columbia University and has contributed to reputable publications focusing on global affairs, human rights, and environmental sustainability. Hajra's authoritative voice and trustworthy reporting reflect her commitment to delivering insightful news content. Beyond journalism, she enjoys exploring new cultures through travel and pursuing outdoor photography
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