Monday, December 8, 2008

Military Asks Foreigners to Fill Vital Roles Instead of Gays

(H/T Brandon Friedman at VetVoice.)

What a slap in the face to the gay community:
WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon plans to recruit more foreigners in a fresh effort to make up for chronic shortages of doctors, nurses and linguists available for wartime duty.

The Defense Department already draws from aliens living in the United States on green cards and seeking permanent residency. But under a trial program, it will now look to also recruit from pools of foreigners who've been living in the states on student and work visas, with refugee or political asylum status and other temporary visas.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has authorized the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps to recruit certain legal residents whose critical medical and language skills are "vital to the national interest," officials said, using for the first time a law passed three years ago.

Gates' action enables the services to start a one-year pilot program to find up to 1,000 foreigners who have lived in the states legally for at least two years.

In other words, the military is forced by law to recruit non-Americans for these "vital" positions over patriotic Americans who happen to be gay. Consider, the Pentagon says it has a "chronic shortage" of linguists. But the military forced out 58 gay Arabic linguists in 2007. And now, they're attempting to replace those 58 trained, gay linguists with foreigners.

Let's take a look at what's happening here: As the AP says, the Pentagon is trying to find 1,000 foreigners to fill these positions. But from 2002 through 2006, the military kicked out 3,715 troops under the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy. Think any "doctors, nurses, and linguists" were included in there?

Absolutely there were. Here are just three examples of service members discharged after their sexual orientation became an issue--service members who held the positions described above as being "vital to the national interest." These are the people the Pentagon seeks to replace with non-Americans:


Army Sergeant Bleu Copas, Arabic Linguist

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - A decorated sergeant and Arabic language specialist was dismissed from the U.S. Army under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, though he says he never admitted being gay and his accuser was never identified.

Bleu Copas, 30, told The Associated Press he is gay, but said he was "outed" by a stream of anonymous e-mails to his superiors in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.

"I knew the policy going in," Copas said in an interview on the campus of East Tennessee State University, where he is pursuing a master's degree in counseling and working as a student adviser. "I knew it was going to be difficult."

An eight-month Army investigation culminated in Copas' honorable discharge on Jan. 30 -- less than four years after he enlisted, he said, out of a post-Sept. 11 sense of duty to his country.


Air Force Doctor Martin Chin, Flight Surgeon

Martin Chin, 40, of Logan Circle, experienced that discrimination firsthand, he says, while serving the Air Force in Japan two years ago.

Chin, a psychiatrist and flight surgeon, claims things turned ugly once his commander let him know that she was aware of his sexual orientation.

''It wasn't really explicit because they're not allowed to out you,'' he says. ''So she sat me down and said, 'There is something about your personal life that I find very upsetting. I'm ordering you not to tell me anything and I'm not asking you anything.' It was kind of clear what she was talking about.''

Chin claims he was taken off ''special projects,'' and instead assigned to routine tasks. It was also during a time when people from Chin's unit were being deployed. Accordingly, their absences left Chin with more responsibilities.

''It seemed unfair that I was being asked to do basically four jobs, at the same time that they're telling me that I'm a liar and an embarrassment to Air Force and therefore I can't be on these high-profile cases.

''I felt like...I couldn't really be as effective as I needed to be,'' he continues. ''It impacted my ability to work. It impacted my ability to take care of patients, and it made me see that I didn't really have a future with the company.''


Air Force Major Margaret Witt, Flight Nurse

In 1993, Maj. Margaret Witt was a poster woman for the Air Force's flight nurse recruiting program.

In her career of 18-plus years, the decorated operating room and flight nurse from McChord Air Force Base earned stellar reviews for her work, which included helping to evacuate the nation's wounded troops and humanitarian missions to aid civilians.

In 2003, President Bush awarded her the Air Medal for her Middle East deployment and, later, the Air Force Commendation Medal, for saving the life of a Defense Department worker.

Less than a year later, after an Air Force investigation, Witt, a reservist, was drummed out.

Her offense: a committed relationship, but with another woman, a civilian, from 1997 to 2003.

I think the absurdity is apparent. And I'm not the only one. President-Elect Obama agrees. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen agrees. 75 percent of Americans agree. It's now on Congress to pass legislation that allows gays to serve openly in the Armed Forces. Foreigners shouldn't be filling these military roles when Americans are willing and able--regardless of their sexual orientation.

Brandon Friedman :: Military Asks Foreigners to Fill Vital Roles Instead of Gays

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Clearance. (0.00 / 0)

How does a non-us citizen get a clearance? I thought it was hard enough to get a clearance if you are a citizen.

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