Litkicks Message Board Archive

solution to the military personnel shortage...

Posted to Poetry and Politics

concerned when learned that some who have completed their tour of duty are now being called back into the fiasco... and with questions arising now about reinstating the draft when i read this article in Time Magazine... i couldn't help myself... just another reason to be irked at the current administration.

this is from Time Magazine.

How To Meet The Troop Need? Don't Ask

With a troop shortage, the military's policy on gays makes things more difficult


So urgent is the Army's need for more troops in Iraq and Afghanistan that it recently summoned 5,600 ex-active duty soldiers back into uniform. But the need might not have been so great if the Army hadn't cashiered 6,300 troops for being gay over the past six years. The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) in Washington released data last week showing that of the gay troops removed, 3,100 held jobs that are currently in demand. Those kicked out included truck drivers, medics, radio operators and combat engineers — the same kinds of soldiers the Pentagon is now seeking. SLDN, a gay advocacy group, says it got the breakdown from a military source it would not identify. An Army spokesman declined to comment on the numbers except to say the service is merely carrying out the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy, which allows the service to discharge soldiers who reveal they are gay.

One specialty seems particularly depleted. Seven of the gay soldiers kicked out were musicians. Now the Army says it needs to fill 15 musician slots, including two trumpeters, four clarinetists, three saxophonists and a euphonium player. "Is there not a way to do without the euphonium player?" Representative Vic Snyder asked General Richard Cody, the Army's No. 2 officer. Cody insisted, "Bands are being stressed quite a bit," since they perform at burial services for troops killed in combat as well as for the growing number of World War II veterans passing on.

From the Jul. 19, 2004 issue of TIME magazine