I am pretty certain that I was one of the, like, 3 Gazillion people that predicted this.
American combat troops will get sensitivity training directly on the battlefield about the military’s new policy on gays instead of waiting until they return to home base in the United States, the senior enlisted man in Afghanistan said Thursday.
Yep, Sergeant Major Hill says OPTEMPO, patrol schedules and insurgency be damned. Cancel that KD machinegun range and tell the mortars to shift their H & I fire plan; we have to talk about how not to get all vaclempt and uptight about the gays and do interpretive dances to demonstrate our proficiency in understanding the new policy....
And SECDEF backs that up by saying:
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has ordered a detailed training regime to make sure both sides, homosexuals and heterosexuals, treat each other with respect. He has said gays will be able to declare their sexual preference openly before end of the year.
Man, if only we could get this kind of "laser like focus" on a "detailed training regime" that would get us ready to actually win the war against the Taliban and ensure that the training for the Afghan Army was moving forward in a productive way. I mean, I have never seen this kind of focus on a problem since President Reagan decided we needed a 600 ship navy. I would like it if the SECDEF could declare his "victory" preference openly before end of the year.
No one leaving the wire does a checklist that includes "proper attitude and outlook on the gay community" as part of their pre-combat inspection. I know that it wasn't on my checklist of things that would ensure my survival somewhere between "check IR Strobe batteries" and "get comms check on fire support frequency."
And we get the repeat of Admiral Mullen's line on how servicemembers can GTFO if they don't like it.
“If there are people who cannot deal with the change, then they’re going to have to do what’s best for their troops and best for the organization and best for the military service and exit the military service, so that we can move forward - if that’s the way that we have to go..."
Well Sergeant Major, at least the people in your command know exactly where you stand, but the CINC can't seem to get himself onboard with your policy... And just based upon my observations Sergeant Major, I can already tell from the limited interview time that you have had with the media that you know little about what might actually be best for "the troops" because if you did, as the primary tactical advisor and head enlisted liaison to the guy running the whole shootin' match in Afghanistan; you would send these REMF's packing and tell them they can get this inserted into the training cycle sometime after block leave and All Saints Day when the troops are home.
I am gonna guess that many units will be on patrol the day that the Sergeant Major and his merry band of Power Point Rangers show up to tell the hardest men on the planet (WOW!, was that a bad metaphor) how to get along with girls who dress and act like boys, but "like" girls, and men with awesome fashion sense and a passion for the color fuchsia.
I know I would be outside the wire, just long enough to put my out-processing to-do list in order....