Support ban

I am currently a United States Marine Reservist who is in unit Weapons Company 2nd BTN 24th Marines stationed in Waukegan, Ill. I feel that the U.S. Military is no place for homosexuals. First, our military leadership is quick to point out that lifting the ban on homosexuals will adversely affect the discipline, morale, cohesiveness and esprit de corps. Unfortunately too few outside the profession understand how important these factors are to the military’s effectiveness.

“There are few human experiences comparable to the camaraderie and brother-love of a marine infantry unit in combat. It does not matter what your background is, what your skin color is, how much schooling you have had, how much money your father makes. All that matters are the men in your squad or platoon. The whole world revolves around helping them. This was true in World War II and Korea, and was true again in Vietnam (Keith W. Nolans Battle for Hue, Tet 1968).”

Some claim that homosexuals are already there and that as much as 10 percent of the military is already homosexual. Those claims are probably based on studies that indicate that from five to 10 percent of the general population does not ban or aggressively discharge homosexuals. Therefore the number of homosexuals in the military may be less than the gay supporters claim. In any case the real issue is the impact of openly homosexual people, and their behavior, on military effectiveness. The presence of closet homosexuals in today’s military is useless in predicting that impact.

It is absurd to argue that anyone has an inherent right to service in the military. The military exists to defend our nation and its interests. The military was never intended to function as some kind of employment agency or social laboratory. Its ranks must be filled with whomever can best contribute to the common defense. In selecting who can best contribute to the common defense, the military necessarily discriminates to a degree that would never be tolerated in civilian institutions. The military excludes people based on physical disabilities, age, weight, vision, hearing, physical fitness, intelligence, citizenship, and a number of other factors that are not necessarily under an individual’s control. Homosexuals have no more right than these other individuals to place their career aspirations above military necessity.

Policies of other nations involving homosexuals are irrelevant for several reasons. First, Americans do not serve in large numbers in any foreign military unit that openly allows homosexuals into it ranks, and it is foolish to say that an American raised in Tennessee will react to homosexuals the same way as a Frenchman or Spaniard due to cultural differences. Also, many of these countries have some form of compulsory military services; we are all volunteers. Please be in favor of keeping the ban on homosexuals in our nation’s military, especially in the combat arms field.

John E. Yazel