We have a speaker comming to my campus, here's his bio, and from that you'll be able to figure out what he'll be talking about:
Jarrod enlisted in the Army in 2000 and trained as a Korean linguist at the Defense Language Institute and Goodfellow Air Force Base, finishing second in his class. He worked as an interpreter and translator in Korea supporting the 3rd Military Intelligence Battalion on more than 300 Sensitive Reconnaissance Operation missions. Jarrod came to terms with his sexuality after joining the Army; after coming out within his unit, he experienced widespread acceptance by his peers. He was awarded both the Army Achievement Medal and the Army Commendation Medal during his time in the Army; however, Jarrod chose not to re-enlist because of the burden of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
Well, we're going to be debating the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy...
What I'm confused about is how it actually works, if this guy's experience worked exactly as his bio suggests. What I read is that he voluntarily chose not to re-enlist, after comming out, and no one having a problem...I'm all for equality of everyone, but I'm not sure what the issue was. He didn't get fired, he didn't get a dishonorable discharge...he chose to leave. That's not what the policy says should happen...so evidently it's outdated at least.
I think that anyone who can meet the standards (and they should be standard, not one set for men and one for women) should be allowed to serve. However, I can understand the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy...there are enough distractions when you're being shot at without having to deal with extra ones, hence why everyone (in perfect principle) should forget everything else (such as who they'd like to be next to in bed, or who they wouldn't like to see there), but distraction is ever present. There is no easy answer, but I think not talking about it makes at least a little sense, and the alternatives I can think of won't work well.
However, I'll probably go to the thing, if I have time, and I'll listen to what he says. Hopefully he'll explain his reasoning behind voluntarily leaving the service and yet saying he did it because of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
And, since I can't resist...I'd like to remind my liberal friends that My Favorite President, Slick Willy, was the one who implemented the policy in question...