The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire blog features today some snippets from an interview with “Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett, recently selected to be the senior enlisted adviser to Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos”. With a “long military resume, including combat service in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Nathan Hodges quips that “he doesn’t need a microphone to get his point across.” And when he comes to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, he cites a most important charter:
“Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution is pretty simple,” he told a group of Marines at a base in South Korea. “It says, ‘Raise an army.’ It says absolutely nothing about race, color, creed, sexual orientation.
“You all joined for a reason: to serve,” he continued. “To protect our nation, right?”
“Yes, sergeant major,” Marines replied.
“How dare we, then, exclude a group of people who want to do the same thing you do right now, something that is honorable and noble?” Sgt. Maj. Barrett continued, raising his voice just a notch. “Right?”
Sgt. Maj. Barrett then described conversations with U.K. troops, who saw a similar ban lifted a decade ago, with little disruption. And to drive the point home, he produced a pocket copy of the Constitution.
“Get over it,” he said. “We’re magnificent, we’re going to continue to be. … Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines.”
FROM THE COMMENTS: ILoveCapitalism offers:
What’s important is that the military preserve its high performance and no-nonsense attitude by applying a uniform code of conduct to punish those individual gays – or straights, whomever – who do undertake actions that disrupt morale and unit cohesion.