Politicks

To Null DADT = What exactly?

December 21, 2010

So…

My dear friend’s boy joined the Navy last summer.  Being very athletic, intelligent, mature and, most importantly, black, he was snapped up like a  cupcake at a fat farm.

He went into basic not knowing what to expect and found it a) not as physically challenging as he’d anticipated since he already worked out 3 hours a day with both cardio and weight lifting,  b) not as emotionally taxing as he’d anticipated since he grew up in a very stable, supportive home with a father who could get righteously incensed and is, ahem, extremely vocal in his opinions.  This young man had learned to stand his ground.

That is not to say that he didn’t struggle and didn’t come out fundamentally altered.  And a bit sketchy for a few weeks. 😉

This boy, now a man, has an air of confidence that has been earned, a respectful and responsible character and, it rather goes without saying that he was a super star at basic.

Chosen for a specific and very prestigious award (which shall remain nameless because it’s too late to call my friend and ask), he was then given an assignment which has the potential to propel him quite a ways in his Naval career.

So, this young Christian man,  determined to do his best, honor the Lord and serve his country to the best of his ability, was sent to his Very Important Assignment. Or whatever they call it in the Navy.  He’s a big wig.   He’s met the Obama’s by now.

He’s too cool for words.  And I’m the doting, more than a little ridiculous aunt figure in his life who squeezes him and pats his velvet head at every opportunity.   I.Love.Him.   And I pray for him daily.

But, this man, with all of his accomplishments and high scores on testing,  all the favor that he’s received from commanding officers has this one, rather significant, complaint about the posting and the enlisted and officers under whom he serves.

They are debauched.    Sexual deviancy of all kinds is not only common knowledge but expected and celebrated behavior in the barracks.   And his experience is not, well, unusual according to the first hand accounts of another dear friend who served years ago in another branch of the military.

However, this man, because he doesn’t choose to indulge or engage in the same behavior as those around him has been the object of extreme ridicule and has even had concerns about his advancement as he hasn’t caved to the pressure from his CO ( a man) to engage in “relations” and has been given extraordinary tasks in an effort to “break” him or cause him to cave.

The stories I’ve heard make my hair frizz and my heart ache for him.

But he’s there, God is making a way and providing for him.   God is clearing a path through the decadence and deviance, the debauchery and debasement.  And he’s standing firm.  Love that boy.

So, I pose this question to my military or better-informed readers.

Who the hell cares about DADT when this type of behavior is both common practice and knowledge already?

Or is DADT just a window dressing to appease the Bible Belt Patriotic Hoo Ha’s who don’t have a clue and want a white-washed and personally palatable military that they can feel good about?

  • Well, being a former Marine, I can tell you that 20 years go when I was in, there was a significant amount of debauchery. I wasn’t aware of any buggery going on however. I too was ridiculed for not having loose morals. It was well known within my platoon that I didn’t drink, smoke or sleep around with women. There were even accusations of me being gay because I wasn’t out getting drunk and trying to get laid.

    I don’t know how much the military has changed, but I can tell you that straight guys are still straight guys and they don’t want other guys checking out their goodies in the shower (or reaching for them) no matter how “enlightened” they are.

    It will especially be a problem in boot camp and in the first couple of years that homo boy joins the military openly. After a couple of years you tend to have a better choice of barracks, housing or whatever. Even so, most straight guys aren’t comfortable around gay guys and they never will be.

    I predict some serious beatings as well as a prohibition on gay troops serving in infantry roles.

  • So… Everyone knows. It’s readily observed and yet “unspoken” behavior. But… the gay or bi-guy is allowed to continue while the straight guy can’t say anything? Is that the flip side of DADT?

  • Professor Hale

    OK,
    You asked, so I tell.

    1. In 25 years of military service, and 8 added years of civilian service near the military, I have never observed or known of a homo. Heard lots of rumors, most of which were just namecalling wth no foundation. In one unit I commanded, there was one private who claimed to be gay as a way to get out of the Army. No one believed him.

    2. I have known of only a few instances of debauchery. Porn is of course another matter entirely and is out of control, though it has been added to Gen order number 1 for duty within Iraq and Afghanistan.

    3. I have known of only 2 officers who committed adultery. Both were punished socially and professionally. There was no winking-nodding “everybody does it”.

    4. While the opportunities for debauchery are common, there is also plenty of respite from it. There are plenty of fellowship opportunities for Christian men.

    5. Among the officers, there is a greater tendency towards upholding Christian morale values than in the enlisted ranks. On one hand, the enlisted men make fun of the officers who uphold common virtues while at the same time they dispise those who do not.

    6. I spent a few years enlisted and in that time my peers did not give me any shit about my lack of drug use, smoking, drinking, or womanizing. Their largest fear was that I was a narc.

    7. All that said, the situation you described is common everywhere. Debauched people want everyone else to be that way so as to excuse their own behavior as “normal”. Anyone who doesn’t go along is disliked because of their implied disapproval of the lower moral standards.

    8. In every military environment, there are fellowships of good men that your freind can find. If he doesn’t find them, the fault is his.

    9. There may be some self-selection going on. The Navy has long used the recruiting poster “see the world” and “a woman in every port”. Lots of men intentionally join the Navy because they heard the stories of older family members adventures in Tai and Phillippene brothels. No one tells stories like that about their Army service, especially not recently when service in Iraq and Afghanistan are charachterized by butt-ugley women that you are not alowed to talk to.

    10. The military reflects the values of the society that it comes out of. Young men reflect the current values of the modern secular school system. Their younger officers reflect the values they learned in secular colleges.

    11. Race may be an issue. Since you mentioned he is a black man, it could be that the black men he associates with are particularly debauched, just as they uniformely are in all-black public schools and historically black colleges. But if he tries to associate with white people, the harrassment on him will likely increase dramatically. Lots of communities require their members to conform to common practices. It is just unfortunate that his community has a very low moral standard.

  • Thanks for asking and telling…

    1. These men don’t claim to be “gay” but engage in homosexual behavior.

    2Perhaps I’m a bit old-fashioned but setting up room by room sex-fest seems debauched to me. As-in, starting at one room and having sex with everyone in every room as you go down. OR getting a young man so intoxicated he does things his sober morality wouldn’t let him THEN telling him he’s gay… Y’know?

    3. The men who are most predatory, in regards to the younger enlisted men, are married and rank higher than those they are pursuing.

    4. My friend’s son’s posting is very small and there is no chaplain stationed there. There is one other young man who claims to be a Christian, but he participates in as much as he can.

    5. His “mentor” and the person directly responsible (I’m sorry I’m not more literate in the rank concepts) work together. The person to whom he directly reports is working actively to create circumstances to break him to such a degree that my friend’s son has serious concerns about being alone in a room with him. I wish I were kidding or that this kid was a hyper-active moron. He’s not. He was a state champion football and Track star. He’s aware of stuff. He wasn’t a sheltered, ridiculous pansy.

    6. Et, al.

    7.Agreed.

    8. There is no fellowship at his posting. See answer above. He has found a small church in the community but has found that his schedule (watch,etc) make it difficult to attend regularly.

    9. Agreed

    10. I would agree to this. Scary world.

    11. He is one of only a few black men at his posting. I did mention it’s small, right? And he doesn’t interact with them.

  • Professor Hale

    The final word on this is, when all else fails, each man’s conscience is his own. Regardless of other support structures, chaplains (useless pretty much), or role models, this young man is responsible for his own behavior. He must find the strength to resist. No one can do it for him. In the end, it is his reputation that he is preserving, his undefiled conscience to help him through life and his own knees he will be on before the Throne of Grace.

    I cannot relate to what you are describing. It is completely foreign to my experience, observations or even third-hand information.

    I am certain that commanders, the IG, and congresscritters would be very unapproving of that kind of behavior and would move to crush it pretty quickly. Art 134 of the UCMJ. Evidence of this kind of thing is another Abu Graib. No one wants that.

    … Filthy squids.

  • Yes. And we, those of us who know this person, are continually praying for him and he has been able to stand strong. He’s home for Christmas right now. 🙂

    Thank you for weighing in on this, I appreciate your candor and experience. It’s been quite eye opening to hear and watch the struggle for both him and his family. Also, having this be my first contact with an individual serving in the armed forces and being willing to communicate his experience honestly? I was non-plussed.

  • Professor Hale

    1. Are you saying I was not honest?
    2. The modern Navy isn’t really an “armed force” for most in it.

  • I can’t be the only person thinking of the Village People now.

  • PH, don’t be a dork. I meant IRL people. :)This is the interwebs, I choose to believe you tell me the truth and have had no reason to believe otherwise.

    Y.M.C.A GOT TO GET TO THE Y.M.C.A…

  • I am not proud of my dorm time while in the service. I just watched an episode of “The Unit” where they went crazy over a fellow unit member that attempted rape on a fellow member. I was feeling sorrow for myself – that no one was there when I was introduced to Military Dorm life and the 300men to 7woman ratio of that base. I don’t even want to recall the stories.

    DADT is a joke. Who cares? I never met anyone in the 8 yrs of military that was burned by DADT. I think people have made a pretty big point of telling. Don’t you?

    How about Dorm Reform. Boat Reform. How about a Sexual Abuse Counselor on each dorm? How about – you force yourself on another crew mate and you’re out? How about that?

    My husband has a bajillion stories of his boat – 4 years at sea- the officers were the worst. The power they held. Sad.

    Keep Speaking Up. Keep Praying. His name has come up every day for me to remember, and I have been saddened at the urgency that his name pops up.

    Sigh.

  • Pablo

    The world always proves itself far removed from God’s standard, a fact which becomes more and more apparent as we get older. That young man is shining God’s light in a dark place, and he might well suffer for it, but there’s no denying that he is pleasing God as he is doing so.

    Merry Christmas, everybody!