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1,000 Plus Retired Officers Affirm Support for Law on Homosexuals in the Military

April 1, 2009

More than 1,000 respected retired Flag & General Officers for the Military, including 47 four-star leaders from all branches of the United States military, have taken a firm stand in support of the 1993 law stating that homosexuals are not eligible to serve in the military.

That law, Section 654, Title 10, U.S.C., frequently is mistaken for the administrative policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." 

On March 31, 2009, the independent Flag & General Officers for the Military project delivered 1,050 hand-written signatures, reproduced on 54 printed pages, endorsing a concise and respectful Open Letter addressed to the White House, Pentagon, and Members of Congress.  A list of the statement signers, which has since climbed to 1,099 as of this date, is posted here: 

We, the Undersigned Flag & General Officers


The Flag & General Officers for the Military website presents the brief statement of support for the law that the officers endorsed with handwritten signatures.

It also posts an Issue Overview setting forth reasons why the Flag & General Officers for the Military are concerned about the impact on recruiting, retention, and overall readiness if Congress passes legislation to repeal Section 654, Title 10. 

The law passed in 1993 with bipartisan, veto-proof majorities in both houses, and federal courts have upheld it as constitutional several times.  An introduction to the open letter notes:

"Among us are a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, several Service Chiefs, a number of combatant command, theater, and other major U.S. and allied force commanders, together with a Medal of Honor recipient and hundreds of flag and general officers who have led the men and women of our armed services at every echelon, and in both peace and war, past and present."

The 1,000+ star-studded letter, which was prompted by the re-introduction of legislation into the 111th Congress to repeal the 1993 law, could be decisive in refocusing the course of the debate:

"...Our past experience as military leaders leads us to be greatly concerned about the impact of repeal on morale, discipline, unit cohesion, and overall military readiness.  We believe that imposing this burden on our men and women in uniform would undermine recruiting and retention, impact leadership at all levels, have adverse effects on the willingness of parents who lend their sons and daughters to military service, and eventually break the All-Volunteer Force.

"As a matter of national security, we urge you to support the 1993 law regarding homosexuals in the military, and to oppose any legislative, judicial, or administrative effort to repeal or invalidate the law." 

Administrative support for the Flag & General Officers for the Military project was provided by the Center for Military Readiness, an independent public policy organization that concentrates on military/social issues. 

To schedule an interview on these issues, please call CMR President Elaine Donnelly at 734/464-9430, or Executive Director Tommy Sears in Washington, D.C. at 202/347-5333. 

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The Center for Military Readiness is an independent public policy organization that specializes in military personnel issues.  More information is available at www.cmrlink.org.

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