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Family Readiness Focus of Pentagon Military Spouse DADT Survey

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The Pentagon has sent out the second part to its military survey on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", this time to approximately 150,000 military spouses, and it shows much of the same insensitivity that the first survey did.

The survey, according to Politico, was accompanied by a letter from Defense Sec'y Robert Gates, which read:

"“As you know, in his State of the Union address this year, President Obama called upon the Congress to repeal the law commonly known as Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Following that, I directed the Department of Defense to consider how to best implement a repeal of this law should that occur. This survey is part of that effort. Your responses to this survey will help us assess the impact of a change in the Don't Ask, Don't Tell law and policy on family readiness and recruiting and retention.”  

Servicemembers United has posted the survey.

Said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United, regarding the survey:

"This survey of military spouses contains many of the same insulting and derogatory assumptions and insinuations about gays and lesbians that ran throughout the last survey. Answer choices suggest things like the Defense Department possibly distributing flyers in military neighborhoods if, as they say, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is repealed and that the 'readiness' of military families might somehow be impacted. Again we stress that neither the President, the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff nor anyone else would ever stand for such insulting questions being asked about any other minority group in the military in this day and age. The Pentagon's senior leadership should seriously consider Servicemembers United's offer to meet with them in person to talk about the insensitivity of these surveys and how the poor handling of these surveys might negatively impact implementation."

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  1. I had to laugh at Gate's introductory letter for the survey. "it's not my fault; the president made me do it"

    Posted by: Alan | Aug 21, 2010 3:37:27 PM


  2. There are a lot of timid, mousey military wives. A lot of these surveys will be completed as instructed by their husbands.

    Posted by: Alan | Aug 21, 2010 3:40:36 PM


  3. Both SU and Politico missed THE most devious part of the survey. Under question #15, "What are the MOST IMPORTANT factors you and your spouse consider when making decisions about his or her future in the military? PLEASE MARK UP TO 3 FACTORS,” optional answers include: “Our children’s well-being.” Was it necessary for them to have actually written it as, “Knowing my children are safe from fags” for people not to get their intent?

    In the last survey, it was implying that servicemembers might be in danger from the fags in their bunks, showers, and bathrooms. Now those who oppose an end to the ban are hinting to mothers and fathers about dangers to their children if the fags are allowed anywhere on base or in military family housing.

    From Anita Bryant's "Save Our Children" crusade in 1977 through passage of Prop 8 in 2008 and repealing marriage equality in Maine last year, the bigots always go for the jugular of fear about The Children. Now it's the Pentagon's turn.

    Forget trying to have meetings to play patty-cake with the Pentagon about repairing the damage. The homophobic horse has left the barn. Both self-fulfilling prophecy surveys have been paid for and are out there. WHEN is all of Gay, Inc., going to put down the Kool Aid and step away from the Obama-Gates Clown Car and stop believing that the POWERS-that-be actually WANT to end the ban but it's just that someone at Westat keeps slipping up, and UNITE to publicly DENOUNCE not just the transparent motivation behind “the study’s” execution but the very idea of it as they SHOULD have when it was announced in February?

    “The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house”. – Audre Lorde.

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Aug 21, 2010 3:55:10 PM


  4. ...Servicemembers United's offer to meet with them in person to talk about the insensitivity of these surveys and how the poor handling of these surveys might negatively impact implementation." /endquote

    But the whole POINT of these surveys is to negatively impact implementation. No amount of chatting these assholes up is going to help anything. They're our enemies. They're right out in the open about it.

    Posted by: Kurt | Aug 21, 2010 4:25:59 PM


  5. Could somebody please explain what "family readiness" is?

    Posted by: Confused | Aug 21, 2010 4:44:06 PM


  6. "...a repeal of this law should that occur..."

    It's the last three words of the above that should tell you exactly where the Pentagon thinks this is going.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Aug 21, 2010 5:31:00 PM


  7. Why don't they ask the military families "How would it affect your family readiness should your loved one, either the father or mother of your child, be sent to die on foreign soil for a worthless, tiresome, counter-productive effort?" What do you think the response would be?

    Aren't military families and service people USED to getting ORDERS to do whatever it is the fuck the military tells them to do??

    Posted by: princely54 | Aug 21, 2010 5:55:38 PM


  8. Based on the wording of the questions the military is presenting the repeal as a scary and horrible transition. Seems the military is going to have to provide addition counseling services for the frightened heterosexuals in order to maintain family readiness. (I’ve been in the military 20 years – I don’t know what they mean by “family readiness”)

    Posted by: Alan | Aug 21, 2010 6:30:07 PM


  9. These very insulting surveys just cement Obama's bigotry, homophobia and utter lack of conviction and leadership. What a disgraceful wimp. Asking his inferiors, soldiers of the military (!), if they agree with equality.

    Dumbass treats the military as if it were a direct democracy.

    Posted by: galore | Aug 21, 2010 6:39:48 PM


  10. @GALORE I do want to say one thing in Obama's defense, as it were. Truman also had the same thing done when it came time to integrate the troops and a poll was commissioned. I doubt it was any more sensitive than this questionnaire is. (Although, I am not sure, the actual poll may have been done while Roosevelt was still in office...in any case, neither of these guys were considered wimps.) And, of course the numbers were in the 80s, I believe, AGAINST integration.

    But, I agree that we CANNOT count on Obama to have Truman-sized balls and just fucking make it happen.

    Posted by: princely54 | Aug 21, 2010 9:19:20 PM


  11. America is such a crock!!! ARGH, when will gays be equal? Why do people pledge allegiance to a country that hurts them? When will this change????

    Posted by: X | Aug 21, 2010 10:34:24 PM


  12. Am I the only one who noticed the utter irony of the section containing questions 31 - 36, Family Readiness?

    So, because DADT exists, and because the Congress and the DoD REFUSED OUTRIGHT to grant waivers / suspensions / provide some means for GLBTQ Service member AND their family's participation, this ENTIRE section is utterly biased(kind of like the whole survey, but in an entirely different realm). eg- Question 32 asks about DADT repeal impact on readiness.... Now what group is MOST likely to report that such a repeal would "IMPROVE family readiness"???? Any guesses?

    As a gradute student in economics, a social science, I can't believe how utterly flawed just in the aspects of basic social science research this POS is! That example is a big no brainer! What a joke our military is if they make such blatantly flawed decisions like this survey.

    Posted by: NVAgBoi | Aug 22, 2010 12:59:42 AM


  13. There will NEED to be some kind of special assistance for heterosexuals if DADT is repealed?? WTF? If "Hispanic" were substituted for "gay service members," what would be the reaction? I daresay cries of disbelief. Gays have been in the military for years. Thirty years ago, my partner was in the Navy and had no problems. We had gay friends who were also in the service.

    Posted by: Michael | Aug 22, 2010 11:43:14 AM


  14. What the heck is "family readiness?" Coping with long absences while wondering if their hubby is diddling the captain in Kandahar? What a crock.

    Posted by: Art Weiss | Aug 22, 2010 11:14:17 PM


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