Peter J. Smith


Just-released Pentagon report shows combat troops concerned about gays in military

Peter J. Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 30, 2010 ( – The Pentagon’s new study on the repeal of the congressional ban on homosexuals serving in the Armed Forces reveals a majority of combat troops are concerned that homosexual service would harm their units’ cohesion and effectiveness.

Among combat troops, 47.5 percent of U.S. Army soldiers and 57.5 percent of Marines said allowing open homosexuals to serve alongside them would have a “negative effect” on their unit’s task cohesion.

Also, 48.9 percent of Army combat troops and 59.7 percent of Marine combat troops said having an open homosexual or lesbian member of their unit would damage their mutual trust.

The report, however, took a more sanguine look at these concerns in the long term.

“[W]e are convinced that the U.S. military can adjust and accommodate this change, just as it has others in its history,” it said.

On Wednesday, however, the Washington Times reported that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates admitted that the chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines believe the data in the report indicated the services would create upheaval in the military.

Gates said, “the uniformed service chiefs are less sanguine than the working group about the level of risk of repeal with regard to combat readiness.”

Developing …

The full report is available here.

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