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Legion: Listen to Marines' commandant

The American Legion has called on Congress, the president and the Pentagon to carefully consider the concerns voiced by the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps regarding the lifting of the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on homosexuals.

“The motto of the Marine Corps is ‘Semper Fidelis,’ which means ‘always faithful,’” said National Commander Jimmie L. Foster, a Marine Corps veteran. “Gen. James F. Amos, who was appointed by President Obama to oversee the operations of that military service, is concerned that allowing homosexuals to serve openly will hurt combat effectiveness. Just as the Marines are ‘always faithful’ to protecting our country, we must be always faithful to protecting them. The American Legion opposes any action or social policy that undermines combat effectiveness.”

Amos pointed out that the Marine Corps often houses its troops two per room. “There is nothing more intimate than young men and young women and when you talk of infantry, we’re talking of young men – laying out, sleeping alongside of one another and sharing death, fear and loss of brothers. I don’t know what the effect of that will be on cohesion. I mean, that’s what we’re looking at. It’s unit cohesion. It’s combat effectiveness.”

Foster added that the timing of such a change, while the United States is engaged in two wars, is ill-conceived. “We agree with Gen. Amos that ‘this is not a social thing. It is combat effectiveness.’ I have no doubt that homosexuals have and continue to serve this country honorably. This is not about fairness, it’s about military readiness,” said Foster.