Marine Commandant Calls for Faithful Implementation of DADT Repeal
January 31, 2011 by Anthony Moll
As Pentagon leaders announced last week the path to implement the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Marine Commandant General James Amos, joined by Sergeant Major of the Marine Corp Carlton Kent, issued a call to Marines of all ranks reminding them of their long history of discipline and fidelity as repeal moves forward.
The call is a departure from Amos’ rhetoric before legislation was finalized. In December, Amos expressed a strong opposition to repeal when he testified before Congress, but did say that Marines would lead the way in a post-repeal environment. In a video from the two leaders, General Amos addressed Marines on the issue of repeal, asking them to “Step out smartly,” to “faithfully implement this new law.”
Most notable, Amos echoed a call which service members, veterans and advocates have stated throughout the fight for repeal, that “It is important that we value the diversity of backgrounds, cultures and skills that all Marines bring to the service of our nation.” As a military veteran, I am honored to see these men stand up and express leadership. As a former enlisted man, I am most proud to hear the call from the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, who called on Marines to continue to treat each other with dignity and respect. Having served in silence, it feels like a monumental step forward to see the Marine Corp’s top leaders call for equal respect for our gay, lesbian and bisexual service members. In his statement, General Amos sums up the ideas of loyalty and dignity that veteran advocates have cited as among the best tools for implementation. “We are Marines,” stated Amos. “We care for one and other, and respect the rights of all that wear this uniform."