Academic journal article Parameters

Recruiting Gays and Lesbians

Academic journal article Parameters

Recruiting Gays and Lesbians

Article excerpt

To the Editor:

Having read Professor Peter Karsten's article "The US Citizen-Soldier's Past, Present, and Likely Future" (Parameters, Summer 2001), I take exception to his recommendation in the last paragraph that gays and lesbians should be recruited by the US military. This group of people has no place in our military. Professor Karsten seems to be suggesting that because we cannot recruit the caliber of personnel we once recruited, we should try to get anyone we can whether they hurt morale or not. We continue to follow in the footsteps of the previous Administration in incorporating the low standards of the civilian world into the military world. The military is not and should not be part of social experimentation. Preparing for war and being in combat are serious business, and we should not waste time, money, and effort on those who want a "touchy, feely" military experience.

I would much rather have a guy next to me who takes his job seriously, who joined the military to be the best soldier, sailor, airman, or marine he could be, as opposed to some kid who wants the prestige of being a military man, but doesn't really want to do the job.

The military is a society unto itself, and we should keep the civilian mores and experimentation out of it. If we cannot recruit dedicated men and women, then let's make the most of the good people we do have.

I am surprised that someone with prior military service would make the suggestion Professor Karsten has made.

SP/4 Robert W. Boatwright, ARNG

Memphis, Tennessee

The Author Replies:

Specialist Boatwright has me calling for the recruiting of gays and lesbians "whether they hurt morale or not. …

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