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Gays In The Military Essay, Research Paper

Gays In The Military Essay, Research Paper

Gays In the Military

Very often political institutions reflect the will of society and set the

precedent for norms that will be expected of its members. The United States

Military is still enforcing archaic policies which threaten to harm the

principles our nation was founded upon. The principles of freedom and equality

are those that every American holds closest to their heart, that is unless you

are in the military and are gay. The issue of gays in the military has developed

into a case of whether our country should discriminate against a group merely

because of involuntary sexual orientation. Two persistent principles are evident

within this topic: that homosexuals are ever present throughout all branches of

the military and a persistent hostility against this group is in American

society and the military. In order to effectively examine this topic the

following concepts will be discussed: an analysis of the current Department Of

Defense policy concerning gays, solutions to reduce homophobia in the military,

a policy model concerning homosexuals in the military ( Lepicer 1-14 ).

Prior to the arrival of the Clinton Administration with its agenda to

radically revise military policy regarding the acceptance and treatment of

homosexuals, Department of Defense policy was well established and clear. Legal

questions began to be raised in civilian courts challenging the military

exclusion and discharge policies in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The services were

forced to explain and clearly justify specific limits and procedures used in

relation to service members claiming to be homosexual or convicted of such

behavior. During the Carter Administration a clear policy was signed into law.

Homosexuality is incompatible with military service. The presence

in the military environment of persons who engage in homosexual

conduct or who, by their statements, demonstrate a propensity to

engage in such conduct, seriously impairs the accomplishment of

the military mission. The presence of such members adversely

affects the ability of the Military Services to maintain discipline,

good order, and morale: to foster mutual trust and confidence

among service members; to ensure the integrity of the system of

rank and command; to facilitate assignment and worldwide deployment

of service members who frequently must live and work under close

conditions affording minimal privacy; to recruit and retain members

of the Military Services: to maintain the public acceptability of

military service; and to prevent breaches of security ( Lepicer ).

Everyone agrees that gays were already in the military, but gays want to

serve their country out of the closet. This concept pitted the gay community

against the traditionalists who want to keep them out. The result is a

compromising “Don’t ask / Don’t Tell” policy which prevents recruiters from

inquiring about an enlistees sexual preference. The purpose of the military is

to kill people and complete the mission at hand. Therefore anything that hinders

the military from fulfilling this role is a potential threat to national

security and must be looked at in an objective manner. The military’s attitude

towards homosexuals dates back to the Revolutionary War when General George

Washington approved the discharge and court martial of an officer for attempted

sodomy. Every year more than 800 service members are separated from the military

based on sexual orientation. The Department Of Defense current policy is both

discriminatory and ineffective. Homosexuals should have the right to serve their

country as long as their job performance is not affected by their private life.

Currently the military does not actively seek out and prosecute heterosexual

service members who engage in sodomy but they will go to great lenghts to

investigate mere claims of homosexual conduct. Often history repeats itself and

the integration of African Americans into the military was one which met great

opposition but is now an accepted principle. We as a country can see the

foolishness and downright prejudice that was involved in the opposition of

integration of minorities into our military, one which in 20 years we may

equate with the current arguments involving gays in the military ( Wornsop 195-

212. Schlueter 393-432).

In his article. “Not Asking or Telling: No remedy,” in the March 25, 1995,

edition of the National Journal, David Morrison suggests that President

Clinton’s policy of “Don’t ask. Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue” has done little to

end the controversy. The new policy is nothing more than a reworded version of

the old policy. The new policy forbids inquiries based on “rumor, suspicion, or

capricious claims regarding a member’s sexual orientation.” But in reality this

has not stopped some commanders. The Service Members Legal Defense Network cites

these cases: a service member investigated after an anonymous phone call, and

another investigated because he had taken notes for a class on homosexuality.

These cases show clearly how military leaders blatantly violate both current

policy and individual rights (Morrison 748-749).

Defense Department officials say that the policy appears to be working

because the number of discharges is down. There appears to be a distinct

conflict between the cases that are reported and the Pentagons statements that

center around the premise that there have been no violations of the policy. In

her book. Homosexuals And The Right To Serve, Major Melissa Wells-Petry

discusses the military’s objections to lifting the ban. One of the main issues

is that of gender segregation. The author explains that gender segregation is

based on two principles: ” People have a preference for people of the opposite

sex and they should be allowed to choose to whom they expose an aspect of their

sexuality.” Lifting the ban would expose the charade that their are no

homosexuals in the military. The argument is often brought up that says the

presence of homosexuals detracts from the military mission is present in both

written policy and actual belief. In reality anyone engaging in any sexual

activity in the military environment threatens the mission of the military. The

distinction of homosexual activity has no validity or bearing on the truth of

the matter. It is impossible to see how homosexuals can detract from the

maintenance of good order when nearly 75% of those already in the military are

never discovered. If a person causes a problem with order, morale or discipline

they should be separated from service regardless of sexual orientation

( Wells, Davis 54-107).

The idea that homosexuals pose a security risk is clearly unfounded since

in a House Of Representatives Committee on National Security report proves gays

are less of a risk. Of the 117 reported espionage cases between 1945 and 1991

only 6 involved homosexuals. The key to ending discrimination based on sexual

orientation in the military is to bring an end to homophobia or antigay bias. In

the book After The Ball. How America Will Conquer It’s Fear & Hatred Of Gays

In The 90’s, the authors explore the ways to help America accept homosexuals.

The techniques proposed are desensitization, jamming, and conversion.

Desensitization aims at attempting to lower the level of anti-gay rhetoric. If

we can effectively integrate homosexuals in the military then the novelty of

homosexuals will diminsh and so will the associated prejudice. Jamming is an

aggressive and active approach which uses a psychological process that uses two

competing theories that are associated. One example of jamming the military

could use is sensitivity training which will both educate the ignorant

individual and also get the individual to feel shame for having such an

unsupported prejudice for an oppressed group. The concept of of conversion is

actually changing ones views and beliefs. This idea is most effective when

people are exposed to homosexuals in their everyday lives. If the military

continues to create conditions which discourage an individual from openly

declaring their homosexuality then prejudice will continue and the us vs. them

mentality will flourish. If someone discovers a friend is homosexual but is

still very much like themselves then the concept of homosexuality becomes

irrelevant. When people have prejudice against a certain group they rationalize

by saying how different they are from them. It is evident that the issues

involved with lifting the ban on African Americans in the military has some very

distinct similarities with the issue of homosexuals. Tim Mcfeeley. executive

director of the Human Rights Campaign Fund states, “Homosexuals are being

persecuted in the military for being different from the mainstream, just as

blacks were maltreated in the 1940’s and 50’s” ( Duke A1, House Of

From the Revolutionary War to present day homosexuals have served in the

military with distinction and pride. Yet although many have died in defense of

the principles upon which our nation was founded they are being denied the

fundamental rights of liberty and equality. Thousands of members of our military

have been denied their right to serve their country and a career in the military

essentially because they are gay. In the process of instilling archaic

principles upon the military our nation has compromised its combat effectiveness

and undermined institutional integrity. In his speech announcing the ” Don’t ask

Don’t tell,” policy President Clinton makes a very compelling argument against

discrimination. Because the military ” is an institution that embodies the best

in America and must reflect the society in which it operates, it is also right

for the military to make changes when the time for change is at hand. I strongly

believe that the military. like our society, needs the talents of every person

who wants to make a contribution?” Certainly the time for change is upon us. The

military must stop discriminating based upon sexual orientation. If job

performance is affected by any factor then the service member must be allowed to

correct the deficiencies or be separated. But if the basis for investigation is

mere suspicion or beliefs that such behavior may affect the organization this is

not a valid principle. The military must not allow illogical prejudices to drive

personnel policies. The growing number of military organizations and para-

military organizations that accept openly gay individuals proves the Pentagons

fears are unfounded. The Pentagon has stated that openly gay service members

threaten morale and fighting effectiveness. A General Accounting Office review

found that out of seventeen foreign military forces only four explicitly ban

homosexuals from service. This shows America is in need of a policy change and

it must be fair and succinct ( House Of Representatives ).

Many veterans and soldiers feel that even if the ban were lifted it would

not improve conditions or increase acceptance levels of gays in the military.

But lifting the ban would relieve the pressure on gay members which would

translate into an increased proficiency of job performance. Lifting the ban

would also allow law enforcement and investigory agencies to re-direct their

resources toward criminal violations rather than enforcing morals upon the

minority. Research indicates that in foreign countries that allow homosexuals to

serve the number of openly gay individuals is quite small. The majority of the

members were discrete and there were few problems caused by the presence of

homosexual members. Very often the banning of a specific group causes members of

society to hold irrational beliefs and then engage in violent activity against

those classes of people they believe are a threat to the groups integrity.

Heterosexuals are often more accepting of those with alternate lifestyles when

this groupis not banned by the predominant authority. Emphasis must be placed on

behavior, conduct and work performance. Military leadership must reassure both

the minority and the majority by supporting everyone’s right to choose (

Clearly the evidence supports the lifting of the gay ban in full. The

military’s discrimination of individual based on sexual orientation is not only

morally wrong but collides with the principles our country was founded upon,

equality and freedom. Our nation has learned important things from the

integration of African Americans into our military. The success of both our

nation and military depends upon the utilization of all of the resources that

are available. America cannot compete effectively if it relies upon outdated

prejudices which are completely without merit. Sexual orientation is a personal

private issue and not one which compromises national security.

Gays in the military essay - Write My College Essay From Scratch

Gays in the military essay

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Are Gays Safe In The Military? essays

Are Gays Safe In The Military?

In order to effectively examine this topic the following concepts will be discussed: an analysis of the current Department Of Defense policy concerning gays, solutions to reduce homophobia in the military, and a policy model concerning homosexuals in the military.

Prior to the arrival of the Clinton Administration with its agenda to radically revise military policy regarding the acceptance and treatment of homosexuals, Department of Defense policy was well established and clear. Legal questions began to be raised in civilian courts challenging the military exclusion and discharge policies in the 1960's and 1970's. The services were forced to explain and clearly justify specific limits and procedures used in relation to service members claiming to be homosexual or convicted of such behavior. During the Carter Administration a clear policy was signed into law. It reads:

"Homosexuality is incompatible with military service. The presence in the military environment of persons who engage in homosexual conduct or who, by their statements, demonstrate a

FREE Essay on The Gays in the Military

DirectEssays.com

The subject of Gays in the military has been debated over many

times by many people. When dealing with whether or not gays should

be allowed in the military the simple question of, Do they want to be

in the military. must be answered. After this question is answered you

The answer to the question, Do gays want to be in the military.

is an unquestioned yes. Gays would be proud and determined to

protect this beautiful country in which we live. I personally am

confused as to why there is even a question of whether or not gays

should be allowed to protect and die for a country they love. I do

understand however the question of where should they live, both in the

field and at their home base. It is hard for a man or women to get

undressed in front of someone of the same sex, that may be looking at

them with different eyes. When I say different eyes I mean a man

looking at a man and thinking wow he's cute, or a women looking at a

women and thinking the same thing. It would be very awkward for

non-gay soldiers to deal with this problem.

Any political issue deals with people, and the gays in the

military controversy is no different. Joe Steffan was kicked out of

Annapolis one week before graduation after revealing he was gay.

Alan Schindler was a gay man in the Navy. He was brutally murdered

when some of his shipmates found out he was gay. Events like these

can only be avoided by education and communication of what

homosexuality is and how to deal with people who are homosexual.

The segregation of gays and lesbians in the military should be limited

to living quarters and that should be the extent of it. The following is

the 1993 National Board Policy on lesbians and gays in the military;

WHEREAS, President Clinton has taken the first steps toward ending

discrimination against lesbians and gay men in the military; and

WHEREAS, the response to this modes.

Essay on History Essays

Essay/Term paper: Gays in the military

Gays In the Military


Very often political institutions reflect the will of society and set the
precedent for norms that will be expected of its members. The United States
Military is still enforcing archaic policies which threaten to harm the
principles our nation was founded upon. The principles of freedom and equality
are those that every American holds closest to their heart, that is unless you
are in the military and are gay. The issue of gays in the military has developed
into a case of whether our country should discriminate against a group merely
because of involuntary sexual orientation. Two persistent principles are evident
within this topic: that homosexuals are ever present throughout all branches of
the military and a persistent hostility against this group is in American
society and the military. In order to effectively examine this topic the
following concepts will be discussed: an analysis of the current Department Of
Defense policy concerning gays, solutions to reduce homophobia in the military,
a policy model concerning homosexuals in the military ( Lepicer 1-14 ).

Prior to the arrival of the Clinton Administration with its agenda to
radically revise military policy regarding the acceptance and treatment of
homosexuals, Department of Defense policy was well established and clear. Legal
questions began to be raised in civilian courts challenging the military
exclusion and discharge policies in the 1960's and 1970's. The services were
forced to explain and clearly justify specific limits and procedures used in
relation to service members claiming to be homosexual or convicted of such
behavior. During the Carter Administration a clear policy was signed into law.
It reads:

Homosexuality is incompatible with military service. The presence
in the military environment of persons who engage in homosexual
conduct or who, by their statements, demonstrate a propensity to
engage in such conduct, seriously impairs the accomplishment of
the military mission. The presence of such members adversely
affects the ability of the Military Services to maintain discipline,
good order, and morale: to foster mutual trust and confidence
among service members; to ensure the integrity of the system of
rank and command; to facilitate assignment and worldwide deployment
of service members who frequently must live and work under close
conditions affording minimal privacy; to recruit and retain members
of the Military Services: to maintain the public acceptability of
military service; and to prevent breaches of security ( Lepicer ).

Everyone agrees that gays were already in the military, but gays want to
serve their country out of the closet. This concept pitted the gay community
against the traditionalists who want to keep them out. The result is a
compromising "Don't ask / Don't Tell" policy which prevents recruiters from
inquiring about an enlistees sexual preference. The purpose of the military is
to kill people and complete the mission at hand. Therefore anything that hinders
the military from fulfilling this role is a potential threat to national
security and must be looked at in an objective manner. The military's attitude
towards homosexuals dates back to the Revolutionary War when General George
Washington approved the discharge and court martial of an officer for attempted
sodomy. Every year more than 800 service members are separated from the military
based on sexual orientation. The Department Of Defense current policy is both
discriminatory and ineffective. Homosexuals should have the right to serve their
country as long as their job performance is not affected by their private life.
Currently the military does not actively seek out and prosecute heterosexual
service members who engage in sodomy but they will go to great lenghts to
investigate mere claims of homosexual conduct. Often history repeats itself and
the integration of African Americans into the military was one which met great
opposition but is now an accepted principle. We as a country can see the
foolishness and downright prejudice that was involved in the opposition of
integration of minorities into our military, one which in 20 years we may
equate with the current arguments involving gays in the military ( Wornsop 195-
212. Schlueter 393-432).

In his article. "Not Asking or Telling: No remedy," in the March 25, 1995,
edition of the National Journal, David Morrison suggests that President
Clinton's policy of "Don't ask. Don't Tell, Don't Pursue" has done little to
end the controversy. The new policy is nothing more than a reworded version of
the old policy. The new policy forbids inquiries based on "rumor, suspicion, or
capricious claims regarding a member's sexual orientation." But in reality this
has not stopped some commanders. The Service Members Legal Defense Network cites
these cases: a service member investigated after an anonymous phone call, and
another investigated because he had taken notes for a class on homosexuality.
These cases show clearly how military leaders blatantly violate both current
policy and individual rights (Morrison 748-749).

Defense Department officials say that the policy appears to be working
because the number of discharges is down. There appears to be a distinct
conflict between the cases that are reported and the Pentagons statements that
center around the premise that there have been no violations of the policy. In
her book. Homosexuals And The Right To Serve, Major Melissa Wells-Petry
discusses the military's objections to lifting the ban. One of the main issues
is that of gender segregation. The author explains that gender segregation is
based on two principles: " People have a preference for people of the opposite
sex and they should be allowed to choose to whom they expose an aspect of their
sexuality." Lifting the ban would expose the charade that their are no
homosexuals in the military. The argument is often brought up that says the
presence of homosexuals detracts from the military mission is present in both
written policy and actual belief. In reality anyone engaging in any sexual
activity in the military environment threatens the mission of the military. The
distinction of homosexual activity has no validity or bearing on the truth of
the matter. It is impossible to see how homosexuals can detract from the
maintenance of good order when nearly 75% of those already in the military are
never discovered. If a person causes a problem with order, morale or discipline
they should be separated from service regardless of sexual orientation
( Wells, Davis 54-107).

The idea that homosexuals pose a security risk is clearly unfounded since
in a House Of Representatives Committee on National Security report proves gays
are less of a risk. Of the 117 reported espionage cases between 1945 and 1991
only 6 involved homosexuals. The key to ending discrimination based on sexual
orientation in the military is to bring an end to homophobia or antigay bias. In
the book After The Ball. How America Will Conquer It's Fear & Hatred Of Gays
In The 90's, the authors explore the ways to help America accept homosexuals.
The techniques proposed are desensitization, jamming, and conversion.
Desensitization aims at attempting to lower the level of anti-gay rhetoric. If
we can effectively integrate homosexuals in the military then the novelty of
homosexuals will diminsh and so will the associated prejudice. Jamming is an
aggressive and active approach which uses a psychological process that uses two
competing theories that are associated. One example of jamming the military
could use is sensitivity training which will both educate the ignorant
individual and also get the individual to feel shame for having such an
unsupported prejudice for an oppressed group. The concept of of conversion is
actually changing ones views and beliefs. This idea is most effective when
people are exposed to homosexuals in their everyday lives. If the military
continues to create conditions which discourage an individual from openly
declaring their homosexuality then prejudice will continue and the us vs. them
mentality will flourish. If someone discovers a friend is homosexual but is
still very much like themselves then the concept of homosexuality becomes
irrelevant. When people have prejudice against a certain group they rationalize
by saying how different they are from them. It is evident that the issues
involved with lifting the ban on African Americans in the military has some very
distinct similarities with the issue of homosexuals. Tim Mcfeeley. executive
director of the Human Rights Campaign Fund states, "Homosexuals are being
persecuted in the military for being different from the mainstream, just as
blacks were maltreated in the 1940's and 50's" ( Duke A1, House Of
Representatives 95-21).

From the Revolutionary War to present day homosexuals have served in the
military with distinction and pride. Yet although many have died in defense of
the principles upon which our nation was founded they are being denied the
fundamental rights of liberty and equality. Thousands of members of our military
have been denied their right to serve their country and a career in the military
essentially because they are gay. In the process of instilling archaic
principles upon the military our nation has compromised its combat effectiveness
and undermined institutional integrity. In his speech announcing the " Don't ask
Don't tell," policy President Clinton makes a very compelling argument against
discrimination. Because the military " is an institution that embodies the best
in America and must reflect the society in which it operates, it is also right
for the military to make changes when the time for change is at hand. I strongly
believe that the military. like our society, needs the talents of every person
who wants to make a contribution…" Certainly the time for change is upon us. The
military must stop discriminating based upon sexual orientation. If job
performance is affected by any factor then the service member must be allowed to
correct the deficiencies or be separated. But if the basis for investigation is
mere suspicion or beliefs that such behavior may affect the organization this is
not a valid principle. The military must not allow illogical prejudices to drive
personnel policies. The growing number of military organizations and para-
military organizations that accept openly gay individuals proves the Pentagons
fears are unfounded. The Pentagon has stated that openly gay service members
threaten morale and fighting effectiveness. A General Accounting Office review
found that out of seventeen foreign military forces only four explicitly ban
homosexuals from service. This shows America is in need of a policy change and
it must be fair and succinct ( House Of Representatives ).

Many veterans and soldiers feel that even if the ban were lifted it would
not improve conditions or increase acceptance levels of gays in the military.
But lifting the ban would relieve the pressure on gay members which would
translate into an increased proficiency of job performance. Lifting the ban
would also allow law enforcement and investigory agencies to re-direct their
resources toward criminal violations rather than enforcing morals upon the
minority. Research indicates that in foreign countries that allow homosexuals to
serve the number of openly gay individuals is quite small. The majority of the
members were discrete and there were few problems caused by the presence of
homosexual members. Very often the banning of a specific group causes members of
society to hold irrational beliefs and then engage in violent activity against
those classes of people they believe are a threat to the groups integrity.
Heterosexuals are often more accepting of those with alternate lifestyles when
this groupis not banned by the predominant authority. Emphasis must be placed on
behavior, conduct and work performance. Military leadership must reassure both
the minority and the majority by supporting everyone's right to choose (
Lolorado C1 ).

Clearly the evidence supports the lifting of the gay ban in full. The
military's discrimination of individual based on sexual orientation is not only
morally wrong but collides with the principles our country was founded upon,
equality and freedom. Our nation has learned important things from the
integration of African Americans into our military. The success of both our
nation and military depends upon the utilization of all of the resources that
are available. America cannot compete effectively if it relies upon outdated
prejudices which are completely without merit. Sexual orientation is a personal
private issue and not one which compromises national security.

Other sample model essays:

Реферат: Gay Dennis Essay Research Paper More About

Gay Dennis Essay, Research Paper

More About The 1968 Tet Offensive

For several thousand years, Vietnamese Lunar New Year has been a

traditional celebration that brings the Vietnamese a sense of

happiness, hope and peace. However, in recent years, It also

bring back a bitter memory full of tears. It reminds them the

1968 bloodshed, a bloodiest military campaign of the Vietnam War

the North Communists launched against the South.

The “general offensive and general uprising” of the north marked

the sharp turn of the Vietnam War. Today there have been a great

number of writings about this event. However, it seems that many

key facts in the Communist campaign are still misinterpreted or

In the mid-80, living in Saigon after being released from the

Communist “re-education camp,” I read a book published in the

early 1980’s in America about the story of the 1968 Tet

Offensive. It said that the North Vietnamese Army supreme command

had imitated one of the greatest heroes of Vietnam, King Quang

Trung, who won the most spectacular victory over the Chinese

aggressors in the 1789 counter-attack – in planning the 1968

The book quoted King Quang Trung’s tactic of surprise. He let the

troops celebrate the 1789 Tet Festival one day ahead so that he

could launch the attacks on the first three days of the lunar new

year while the Chinese troops were still feasting and not ready

to organize their defense.

Those who claimed the similarity between the two campaigns

certainly did not know the whole truth, but jumped into

conclusion with wild imagination after learning that the North

Vietnamese attacking units also celebrated Tet “one day ahead”

before the attacks.

In fact, the Tet Offensive broke out on the Tet’s Eve – in the

early morning of January 30, 1968 at many cities of Central

Vietnam, such as Da Nang and Qui Nhon, as well as cities in the

central coastal and highland areas, that lied within the

Communist 5th Military Region. The other cities to the south

that included Saigon, were attacked 24 hours later at the small

hours of January 31. Thus the offensive lost its element of total

surprise that every tactician has to respect.

But It surprised me that some in the American media were still

unaware of such tragic story.

The story started some 5 months previously. On August 8, 1967,

the North Vietnam government approved a lunar calendar

specifically compiled for the 7th time zone that covers all

Vietnam, replacing the traditional lunar calendar that had been

in use in Asia for hundreds of years.

That old calendar was calculated for the 8th time zone that

Beijing falls right in the middle. It was accepted in general by

a few nations such as China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong and

somewhat in Japan and Korea, mostly for traditional celebrations

and religious purposes. South Vietnam used this calendar. With

common cultural origin, these countries needed not have their own

calendar, particularly it has not been used for scientific and

The North Vietnam new lunar calendar differs from the common

calendar about some dates, such as the leap months of certain

year (1984 and 1987) and the Tet’s Eve of the three Lunar New

Years: Mau Than (1968), Ky Dau (1969) and At Suu (1985). South

Vietnam celebrated the first day of the Mau Than lunar year on

January 30, 1968, while North Vietnam celebrated it on Jan 29,

It was obviously that the North Vietnamese leaders had ordered

the offensives to be launched on the night of the first day of

Tet to take the objectives by total surprise. By some reason, the

North Vietnamese Army Supreme Command was not aware of the fact

that there were different dates for Tet between North and South

Vietnam. Therefore, most NVA units in the Communist 5th Military

Region – closer to North Vietnam – probably used North Vietnamese

calendar, and conducted their attacks in the night between Jan 29

and 30, while their comrades farther to the south attacked in the

night from Jan 30 to 31.

Many in the intelligence branch of the South Vietnamese Armed

Forces were well aware of the reason why the Communist forces

launched their attacks at two different dates. Information from

sources among NVA prisoners of war and ralliers about the new

calendar of North Vietnam should have been neglected by the

American side. The information was also available in broadcast

from Hanoi Radio.

In military operations, nothing is more important than surprise.

So the Communist forces lost their advantage of surprise on more

than half of the objectives. Had the Vietnamese Communists

conducted their coordinated attacks at the same H-hour, South

Vietnam would have been in much more troubles.

The large scale offensive resulted in drastic human and morale

losses of the Communist forces. However, the offensive caused an

extreme negative effect in the American public opinion and

boosted the more bitter protests against the war.

Until lately, the Ha Noi propaganda and political indoctrination

system has always claimed the Tet offensive their military

victory, and never insisted on their victory over the morale of

the American public. Obviously, Ha Noi leaders won a priceless

victory at an unintended objective.

In South Vietnam, on the contrary, the offensive created an

unexpected attitude among the people.

After the first few hours of panic, the South Vietnamese armed

forces reacted fiercely. There were hundreds of stories of brave

soldiers and small units who fought their enemies with incredible

A large number of those who were playing fence-sitters especially

in the region around Hue City then took side with the nationalist

Several mass graves were found where thousands unarmed soldiers,

civil servants and civilians were shot, stabbed, or with skulls

mashed by clubs and buried in strings of ropes, even buried

alive. A large number of VC-sympathizers who saw the horrible

graves, undeniable evidence of the Communist barbarian crimes,

The most significant indication of such attitude could be

observed from the figures of young volunteers. to join the army.

After the first wave of Communist attacks, a great number of

youth under draft age – below 20 years old – voluntarily enrolled

in the army for combat units, so high that thousands of young

draftees were delayed reporting for boot camps.

On the Communist side, the number of ralliers known as “chieu

hoi” increased about four times. The offensive planners

apparently expected the so-called “people upraising,” so most

secret cells were ordered to emerge. When the attacking units

were crushed, cell members had to flee to the green

forests. Thus the Tet offensive helped South Vietnam neutralize

much of the Communist infrastructure before the Phoenix Campaign

got rid of many others.

Unfortunately, such achievements were nullified by the waves of

protests in America. As in any other developing countries, nobody

takes heed of a speech from a Vietnamese official. But the same

thing from an American statesman or even a protester could be

well listened to and trusted. So information from the Western

media produced rumors that the USA was about to sell off South

Vietnam to the Communist blocks.

The rumors were almost absolutely credible to the Vietnamese -

particularly the military servicemen of all ranks – because of

another hearsay that until now have a very powerful impact on the

mind of a great number of the South Vietnamese. There have been

no poll on the subject, but it was estimated that more than half

of the soldiers strongly believed that “it was the Americans who

helped the Communist attack the South Vietnamese cities.”

Hundreds of officers from all over South Vietnam asserted that

they “saw” NVA soldiers moving into the cities on US Army trucks,

or American helicopters transporting supplies to NVA units. In

Saigon, most people accepted the allegation that the Americans

deliberately let the Communists infiltrate the capital city

because the American electronic sensor defense system around

Saigon was able to detect things as small as a mouse crossing the

Another hearsay among the South Vietnamese military ran that

“none of the American military units or installation and agencies

- military or civilian – was under Communist first phase of the

offensive (February) except for the US Embassy. And only after

nearly three weeks did the US Marines engaged in the battle of

Hue, in the old Royal Palace” The allegation seemed to be true.

The American combat units, however, were fighting fierce battles

in phase 2 (May 1968) and phase 3 (September 1968).

Similar rumors might have been of no importance if they were in

America.But in Vietnam, they did convince a lot of people. In the

military, they dealt deadly blows on the soldiers’ morale. Their

impacts still lingered on until the last days of April 1975.

The truth in the rumors did not matter much. But the fact that a

great numbers of the fighting men strongly believed the rumors

turned them into a deadly psychological weapon which very few or

maybe none has ever properly treated in writU.S Involvement in the Vietnam War

“No new taxes.” This is a quote that most all of us

remember from the 1992 presidential election. Along with it we

remember that there were new taxes during that presidents term in

office. There are a myriad of promises made and things done in a

presidential election year that have questionable motives as to

whether they are done in the best interest of the people or in

the interests of the presidential candidate. These hidden

interests are one of the biggest problems with the political

aspects of government in modern society. One of the prime

examples of this is the Vietnam War. Although South Vietnam

asked for our help, which we had previously promised, the entire

conflict was managed in order to meet personal political agendas

and to remain politically correct in the world’s eyes rather than

to bring a quick and decisive end to the conflict. This can be

seen in the selective bombing of Hanoi throughout the course of

the Vietnam War. Politically this strategy looked very good.

However, militarily it was ludicrous. War is the one arena in

which politicians have no place. War is the military’s sole

purpose. Therefore, the U. S. Military should be allowed to

conduct any war, conflict, or police action that it has been

committed to without political interference or control because of

the problems and hidden interests which are always present when

dealing with polit

United States involvement in the Vietnam War actually

began in 1950 when the U. S. began to subsidize the French Army

in South Vietnam. This involvement continued to escalate

throughout the 1950’s and into the early 1960’s. On August 4,

1964 the Gulf of Tonkin incident occurred in which American Naval

Vessels in South Vietnamese waters were fired upon by North

Vietnam. On August 5, 1964 President Johnson requested a

resolution expressing the determination of the United Sates in

supporting freedom and in protecting peace in southeast Asia (

Johnson ). On August 7, 1964, in response to the presidential

request, Congress authorized President Johnson to take all

necessary measures to repel any attack and to prevent aggression

against the U. S. in southeast Asia ( United States ). The

selective bombing of North Vietnam began immediately in response

to this resolution. In March of the following year U. S. troops

began to arrive.

Although the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution specifically

stated that we had no military, political, or territorial

ambitions in southeast Asia, the interests back home were quite

a different story ( Johnson ). The political involvement in

Vietnam was about much more than just promised aid to a weak

country in order to prevent the spread of communism. It was

about money. After all, wars require equipment, guns, tools and

machinery. Most of which was produced in the United States. It

was about proving America’s commitment to stop communism. Or

rather to confine communism in its present boundaries But most

of all it was about politics. The presidential political

involvement in Vietnam had little to do with Vietnam at all. It

was about China for Eisenhower, about Russia for Kennedy, about

Washington D.C. for Johnson, and about himself for Nixon ( Post

). The last two of which were the major players in America’s

involvement in regards to U. S. Troops being used ( Wittman ).

The military involvement in Vietnam is directly related

to the political management of the military throughout the war.

The military controlled by the politicians. The micro

management of the military by the White House for political gain

is the primary reason for both the length and cost, both monetary

and human, of the Vietnam War ( Pelland ). One of the largest

problems was the lack of a clear objective in the war and the

support to accomplish it. The predominant military opinion of

the military’s role in Vietnam in respect to the political

involvement is seen in the following quote by General Colin

Powell, “If you’re going to put into something then you owe the

armed forces, you owe the American People, you owe just you’re

own desire to succeed, a clear statement of what political

objective you’re trying to achieve and then you put the

sufficient force to that objective so that you know when you’ve

accomplished it.” The politicians dictated the war in Vietnam,

it was a limited war, the military was never allowed to fight the

war in the manner that they thought that they needed to in order

to win it ( Baker ).

To conclude on the Vietnam War, the political management

of the war made it unwinnable. The military was at the mercy of

politicians who knew very little about what needed to be done

militarily in order to win the war. There is an enormous

difference between political judgment and military judgment.

This difference is the primary reason for the outcome of the

Vietnam War ( Schwarzkopf ).

The Gulf War in the Middle East was almost the exact

opposite in respect to the political influence on the war. In

respect to the military objective of the war the two are

relatively similar. The objective was to liberate a weaker

country from their aggressor. The United Nation’s resolution was

explicit in its wording regarding military force in the Persian

Gulf. The resolution specifically stated “by all means

The President was very aware of the problems with

political management of warfare throughout the war. He was very

determined to let the military call the shots about how the war

was conducted. He made a specific effort to prevent the

suggestion that civilians were going to try to run the war (

Baker ). Painful lessons had been learned in the Vietnam War,

which was still fresh on the minds of many of those involved in

this war ( Baker ).

The military was given full control to use force as they

saw fit. Many of the top military leaders had also been involved

in the Vietnam War. These men exhibited a very strong never

again attitude throughout the planning stages of this war.

General Schwarzkopf made the following statement about the

proposed bombing of Iraq in regards to the limited bombing in

Vietnam, “I had no doubt we would bomb Iraq if I was going to be

the Military Commander.” He went on to say that it would be

absolutely stupid to go into a military campaign against his,

Iraq’s, forces who had a tremendous advantage on us on the

ground, numbers wise. It would be ludicrous not to fight the

war in the air as much, if not more, than on the ground (

The result of the Gulf War in which the military was

given control, as we know, was a quick, decisive victory. There

were many other factors involved in this than just the military

being given control, particularly in contrast to Vietnam, but the

military having control played a major part in this victory.

In conclusion, although there are some major differences

between the two conflicts one fact can be seen very clearly.

That is the fact that the military is best suited for conducting

wars. Politicians are not. It is not the place of a politicians

to be involved in the decision making process in regards to war

or military strategy. The White House has significant control in

military matters. That control should be used to help the

military in achieving its goals as it was in the Gulf War where

George Bush said specifically to let the military do its job.

The only alternative to this is to use political influence in the

ege Station. 9-10 Jan. 1996.

“Interview with Secretary of State, James Baker.” Frontline WGBH

Educational Foundation. PBS, College Station. 9-10 Jan. 1996.

Johnson, Lyndon B. “The Tonkin Gulf Incident.” Message to

Congress. Aug. 5, 1964. Department of State Bulletin 24 Aug.

Leyden, Andrew P. “The Operation Desert Storm Debriefing Book”

Internet Page. University of Notre Dame Law School. 15 Feb.

Pelland, Paul. E-mail to the author. 25 June 1996.

Post, James N. E-mail to the author. 26 June 1996

Roush, Gary. Statistics about the Vietnam War Internet Page.

United States, Joint Resolution of Congress H. J. RES 1145.

Aug. 7, 1964. Department of State Bulletin 24 Aug. 1965.

Wittman, Sandra M. “Chronology of the Vietnam War.” Vietnam:

Yesterday and Today Oakton Community College. Skokie, Illinois.

16 May 1996: n.p.ings about the

Vietnam War. Most authors studied the war at high echelons, but

neglected the morale of the buck privates and the effect of the

media in the Vietnam War. No military plan even by top

strategists in the White House could succeed if half of the

privates believed that they would be defeated before long. So why

should they go on fighting?

For years, I have been wondering how much the American public was

uninformed about the Vietnam War.

From “My War” (unpublished) by L.T.

Johnson, Lyndon B. “The Tonkin Gulf Incident.” Message to

Congress. Aug. 5, 1964. Department of State Bulletin 24 Aug.

Leyden, Andrew P. “The Operation Desert Storm Debriefing Book”

Internet Page. University of Notre Dame Law School. 15 Feb.

Pelland, Paul. E-mail to the author. 25 June 1996.

Post, James N. E-mail to the author. 26 June 1996

Roush, Gary. Statistics about the Vietnam War Internet Page.

United States, Joint Resolution of Congress H. J. RES 1145.

Aug. 7, 1964. Department of State Bulletin 24 Aug. 1965.

Wittman, Sandra M. “Chronology of the Vietnam War.” Vietnam:

Yesterday and Today Oakton Community College. Skokie, Illinois.

16 May 1996: n.p.ings about the

Vietnam War. Most authors studied the war at high echelons, but

neglected the morale of the buck privates and the effect of the

media in the Vietnam War. No military plan even by top

strategists in the White House could succeed if half of the

privates believed that they would be defeated before long. So why

should they go on fighting?

For years, I have been wondering how much the American public was

uninformed about the Vietnam War.

From “My War” (unpublished) by L.T.