I served as executive officer for a National Guard unit in California back in the early 90’s. As second in command of the company, I was responsible for 60 men under my command. We were an Armor unit, “combat arms”.
As a tank squad, there are four people assigned per tank. The
“Tank Commander”, whose responsibility was to give orders to his crew. The “Gunner” was situated under him in the turret of the tank. His responsibility was to fire the main gun of the tank.
Then there was the “Loader”. His responsibility was to load the main round into the chamber of the 60mm gun. He also served as a lookout for any enemy troops. Then there’s the “Driver”. His responsibility was to drive the tank everywhere we needed to go.
All of the people in the tank worked together. They had to in order to complete the mission and to survive in battle. Thankfully, we never saw combat during the time I served. But I do admit, I did have a problem in the past about having homosexuals serve in the military. Allot of it was based on moral grounds.
But now, today’s signing of the bill ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has me thinking, “why not?”. If if the time came that we had to go on the battlefield and fight, noting would have mattered, including whether someone was homosexual. If my company was under attack, I want to know that the people serving under men can do the job trained to them, not whether they wear women’s clothing or sleep with the same sex.
Barry Goldwater said it best about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, “You don’t have to be straight to shoot straight.”