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Pentagon’s New Gender Order Takes “Diversity” to Extremes

June 22, 2015
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The Pentagon Makes Sexual Orientation a Special Class

In the classic TV series “M*A*S*H*,” Corp. Maxwell Klinger, played by Jamie Farr, dressed in women’s clothes in hopes that he might be sent home from the Korean War.  Decades later, Pentagon officials have embraced policies that might encourage real-life “Corp. Klingers” to cross-dress in order to qualify for “sexual orientation” diversity promotions. 

This is not an outlandish scenario, given what Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said during the 4th Annual LGBT Equality Day celebration at the Pentagon on June 9.   The event celebrated lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders in the military, with Army Brig. Gen. Randy Taylor making news by introducing his husband from the podium.  Even more significant was Secretary Carter’s announcement that “sexual orientation” will be covered in Military Equal Opportunity (MEO) programs. [1]

This not a symbolic change.  Adding undefined “sexual orientation” to other MEO covered protected classes, such as race, gender, religion, age, and national origin, ushers in a New Gender Order enforced by LGBT law in the military. 

The 1964 Civil Rights Act and other equal opportunity laws do not apply to the armed forces. [2]  The Obama Administration nevertheless has decided to make “sexual orientation” a special class.  The new policy belies disingenuous promises that the administration made when it was pressuring Congress to repeal the 1993 law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

The 2010 Comprehensive Review Working Group (CRWG), co-chaired by then-Defense General Counsel Jeh Johnson, opposed placement of sexual orientation alongside race, color, religion, sex, and national origin, as a class eligible for various diversity programs, tracking initiatives, and complaint resolutions processes under the Military Equal Opportunity Program. 

Quoting the working group report,“We believe that doing so could produce a sense, rightly or wrongly, that gay men and lesbians are being elevated to a special status as a ‘protected class’ and will receive special treatment.” [3]

Four years later, the administration is doing just that.  At the June 9 Gay Pride event, Defense Secretary Carter called for “diversity and inclusion [that] is critical to recruiting and retaining the force of the future [and] developing our military’s future leaders, innovators, and strategists.”  Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen used to call this “diversity as a strategic imperative.” [4]  

Group Rights and Deliberate Discrimination

In 1948 the U.S. military banned racial discrimination for reasons of military necessity as well as equal opportunity. [5]  The agenda today, however, is not about individual rights, recognition of merit, or non-discrimination.  According to the Pentagon’s Military Leadership Diversity Commission (MLDC), this is about group rights and “diversity metrics,” another name for “quotas.”

The commission’s 2011 final report admits that the new egalitarian agenda is “. . . not about treating everyone the same.  This can be a difficult concept to grasp, especially for leaders who grew up with the EO-inspired mandate to be both color and gender blind.”  [6]  

In an institution that follows orders, egalitarian mandates have consequences.  At the U.S. Military Academy, for example, the announced 20% goal for female cadets will displace otherwise deserving men. [7] And Army General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has called for a “critical mass” of women in currently all-male combat arms units such as the infantry, armor, artillery, and Special Operations Forces. [8]

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus wants one in four Marines to be women, with some of them assigned to physically-demanding Special Operations Command (MARSOC) positions.    Given recruiting-retention and physical ability differences that are not going to change, these gender diversity metrics will lower standards and elevate risks for men and women alike. [9]

In March 2015, Air Force Secretary Debra James announced her intent to increase the pool of promotable female officers to 30%.  She added that anyone who does not support this goal will not be eligible for promotion. [10]  

Ms. James’ position reflects the MLDC report, which recommended that a “Chief Diversity Officer” (CDO) be established to monitor accountability for “diversity management.”  With compliance becoming a criterion for promotions at all levels, including three- and four-star ranks, dissent is not an option. [11]

Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michelle Howard wants 25% women in all Navy ship crews and squadrons.  Adm. Howard believes in “critical mass” theories, even though there are no credible “studies” proving the value of high-percentage diversity quotas in the military.  Efforts to enforce Adm. Howard's diversity quotas would hurt morale and heighten undeserved resentment against women.     

The new “sexual orientation” equal opportunity policy does not repeal regulations regarding transgenders in uniform, but in the military’s New Gender Order, Military Equal Opportunity programs likely will stretch to cover persons “identifying” with the opposite sex.

In 2006, Michigan voters overwhelmingly passed a proposal to end government-mandated discrimination, and the Supreme Court approved the referendum’s constitutionality.  Apparently oblivious to the controversy, military leaders are marching in the opposite direction.

So to get a fair shot at promotion, what’s a regular, sexual-majority kind of guy supposed to do?  Corp. Klinger was a fictional character, but he may have been ahead of his time.

Note: The article above, by CMR President Elaine Donnelly, was published in the Washington Times Commentary section on June 22, 2015.



[2] The 1992 Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces recognized that “Warfare is a supranational survival contest in which opposing sides vie for any advantage; unilateral policies adopted to promote principles other than military necessity may place the adopting party at increased risk of defeat.”  (Commission Finding 1.32, p. C-40)

[4] Navy News Service, “CNO Calls Diversity a Strategic Imperative,” June 30, 2006.

[5] Report of the Presidential Commission, supra.  Racial integration of the military Services was ordered by President Harry Truman in 1948 “based upon existing manpower needs” as well as equal opportunity considerations. Findings CF 1.33 and 1.33A, p. C-38.

[6]  MLDC Final Report, From Representation to Inclusion: Diversity Leadership for the 21st Century Military, Mar. 15, 2011, p. 18, available at http://cmrlink.org/data/sites/85/CMRDocuments/MLDC_Final.pdf.

[7] Kevin Lilly, Army Times, West Point Adds Female Cadets as Gender Barriers Fall, Apr. 2, 2015.

[8] Department of Defense, News Briefing Transcript, Jan. 24, 2013

[9] Hope Hodge Seck, Marine Corps Times – Mabus: I’d Like to Do Better Than 1 in 4 Female Recruiting Goal, June 2, 2015, and Meghann Myers, SecNav: MARSOC Should Open to Women, May 26, 2015.

[10]  Jonah Bennett, Daily Caller, “No Promotion Unless a Commitment to Diversity is Demonstrated,” Air Force Sec Says,” Mar. 12, 2015, and Stephen Losey, Air Force Times, “More Women and Minorities: The Secretary’s Sweeping Plan for a More Diverse Service,” Mar. 16, 2015, p. 22.  Col. Terry Stevens, a former Air Force Personnel Center official quoted in the article, predicted that “a lot of really high-quality people who are disappointed enough [will] leave the service because people who are less qualified are promoted over them.”

[11] MLDC Report, supra, Executive Summary, pp. xvii – xviii.

 


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