I was a Marine for eight years. I spent those years fixing navigation systems, and teaching other Marines how to fix navigation systems. If we messed up, planes would crash, and people would die. When we joined the military, we took an oath to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States, and we gave up many of our Constitutional rights.
Opinions that we might have expressed, might have also had the effect of landing us in the brig, facing court martial. In certain situations, we were not allowed to possess storage media, or other normally personal devices. We could not speak badly of our Commander-in-Chief. We could not do many things that the people we protected took for granted as rights. We protected the Constitution, but were not protected by many of the rights it provides to all other Americans.
I was honor graduate out of boot camp. Boot camp was HELL. After boot camp, I went to avionics/electronics school at the Naval Air Maintenance Detachment. It had a 50% fail rate. It was worse than boot camp. Marines use to break down in those conditions because they could not handle the pressure.
We got up at 5 am in the morning. My two Marine roomies and I helped each other cram as much stuff into our four closets as possible, so our room could pass inspection that day. Our shared room was about twelve-feet-by-eight-feet. We shared that room for almost two years.
We marched to school, and spent eight hours a day there studying electronics, and avionics. Our uniforms were inspected, and our boots had to shine. After school, about twelve of us used to go to Denny’s to study until about 11 pm. Studying in a crammed barracks was difficult. On weekends we sometimes had to stand duty for the whole weekend. If we didn’t have to stand duty, we would go out and get drunk.
Many of us had to endure this routine for two years. My friend who failed to make the naval school cut informed me that he was going to be sent to “grunt” land, tears streaming down his face. When we had time, we would PT (physically train) since we had to pass our Marine Corps running test.
There were a few gay girls who lived in the barracks. Some of them let everyone know they were gay, and some of them, like one of my best friends, didn’t let anyone except her dearest friends know. My friend did not act on her sexual impulses while in a military venue. The other gay girls had affairs with each other in the barracks, and “hit” on other girls in the barracks. This really freaked out some of the Marines. We were all very young, and inexperienced in these types of situations.
It was very disruptive, and very distracting. It hurt military cohesion. Since the girls who were trouble makers knew they could be thrown out of the military, they were somewhat careful not to over-step certain limits on their behavior.
If gay behavior in the military is permitted, there will not be any reprimand for this type of behavior. In situations of war, or other stressful situations our young men and women in uniform are subject to, this will only add more complexity to an already difficult situation.
When we join the military, we give up many of our Constitutional rights because we want to serve the nation. The mission of the military is to protect the nation and preserve the rule of Constitutional law. The mission of the military cannot be to provide fairness, or political correctness, in a civilian sense.
Many brave, gay personnel serve in the military without acting on their sexual impulses. They have no reason to broadcast that they are gay since they do not act on their impulses while being in a military venue. If gay behavior is legitimized in the military, the gay individuals who act on their impulses in military venues will not be reprimanded.
It does not imply a judgment of anyone’s personal orientations to see that we must not burden our young men and women in uniform with any more than what they already have to deal with.