So anyway I feel like I'm kind of in a probationary period here. Your thoughts on that are welcome. So with that in mind I am going to bring back a little bit of "Classic SC." For the foreseeable future I will be reviving posts from my first blogging venture. Starting with my second post which was brought on by a few disgruntled students of a local university after I sent a mass recruiting email to them.
The names have been amended to protect the ignorant (Which is part of my job description as a soldier anyway)
Here is my first email:
As your local Army Recruiter, I’d like to tell you about the many opportunities the Army has to offer students like yourself. Whether you know the path you want to take after college or are still deciding, the Army has many opportunities to suit your needs.
As a Soldier in the Army Reserve, you can train near home and be ready to serve full time when needed. As a Soldier in the Army Reserve, you may qualify for:
* An enlistment bonus of up to $20,000
* More than $23,000 in education benefits through the Montgomery GI Bill with the Army Reserve “Kicker”
* Up to $20,000 to pay off your federally insured student loans through the Army Loan Repayment Program
* An extra paycheck every month
If you’re close to graduating or are simply thinking about giving college a break, you may want to consider serving full time on Active Duty. As a Soldier in the U.S. Army, you may qualify for:
* An enlistment bonus of up to $40,000
* An option to enlist for as little as 15 months plus training time
* Up to $71,424 in college education benefits through The Army College Fund and Montgomery GI Bill
* Up to $65,000 to pay off federally insured student loans through the Army Loan Repayment Program
* Up to 100% tuition assistance for classes taken while serving
* Officer and Warrant Officer Flight programs
As an active duty Soldier, you will be entitled to 30 days paid vacation a year, medical and dental coverage, access to superb recreation facilities, and low-cost shopping in post stores. You may also have an opportunity to request a specific duty assignment.
Of course, the benefits of joining the U.S. Army go beyond just the monetary. In addition to becoming a stronger individual as you gain new training and experiences, you’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment, experience true camaraderie and teamwork, and develop discipline and leadership skills that today’s employers value.
If you do not wish to receive email about new Army offers and information, please respond back to this email with the word “Remove” in the Subject line and I will remove your name from my mailing list.
If you’d like to learn more about opportunities the U.S. Army and Army Reserve offer, contact me:
The response I recieved:
I find your email laughable and rather ironic.
The army doesn't have a place for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender persons, now does it?
Amused by ineptitude,
(At this point I was oblivious to the debate that was going on)
In truth, the military does allow LBGT people. The rule is “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” While this may not be exactly what you were going for, your statement is actually false.
Hope that clears things up, I wouldn’t want there to be any confusion.
Amused by just about everything,
While it is true that the army and all U.S. military have a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” rule, it does not make the military a safe or respecting place for gay people. Between 1994 and the end of 2001, more than 7,800 service members were forced out of the military because of the homophobia implied in the policy. Since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the rate of discharge of gay and lesbian service people has dropped a bit (as has always happened in war time), but as Eric E. said gay people are actively pursued and discharged. Most people would have problems hiding their personal lives completely especially in a war situation where support from home is so important. Certainly there are gay and lesbian people who are willing to put their lives on hold to be in the service just as there are heterosexual people who postpone marriage when duty calls. But to ask a person to deny their loved ones, to lie or make up stories about what they did on leave, to pretend they are alone in the world, or to pretend that they have a heterosexual significant other when it is really a same-sex partner of many years, is just not acceptable. We are asking them to
reject values that have been with them since they were children…honesty, integrity, fidelity.
Also, as you may know, a recent Supreme Court decision that colleges cannot ban military recruitment on their campus because the college believes the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is discriminatory, and therefore, breaks the non-discrimination clause in the student or college bylaws. Once again the courts have legalized discrimination against gays and lesbians. So while in theory, the military “allows” gays, it really doesn’t. It allows people who keep their mouths shut and pretend they are not gay. If it is known or even suspected that they are gay, they are discharged. Even after they retire, they have to be very careful because they will lose their retirement if they are found out. I have a friend who retired after 22 years in the reserves. She was scared to death that I’d meet someone in one of my
classes who was also in the reserves, and I would out her, and she’d lose her years in and be thrown out! She’d say, “Just pretend you don’t know me.” Fear has kept gay people in their “place” for eons. Eric was brave to make the statements he did. That we all could be so.
First off, E. , I was in the military. So your hearsay and second-hand information does nothing to phase me in the slightest. Been there, done that, MYSELF, and I’m much more likely to believe what I’ve seen and done than what you say “your friend” has seen and done. Sorry, but you’re wrong.
S – The reason the courts decided that is because the schools accept federal aid. And don’t try to tell me about state-sponsored schools, the ones in the lawsuit were private schools whose students accept federal aid. As such, they are not allowed to tell government, including military, recruiters they are not allowed on campus. If you’re going to quote facts and other such, make sure you include ALL the facts, not just what suits you and/or your argument.
As for your friend that retired from the reserves, read my first paragraph. Been there, done that, got the tattoos.
Finally, I didn’t say the situation with allowing LBGT in the military was ideal, nor something everyone agrees with. I simply said his statement was false, which it is. Period. No need to read anything else into it. I didn’t say the policy was right. I didn’t say it was something to believe in. Nor did I say the policy was wrong or something to not believe in. I said it exists, no more, no less.
So if a LBGT puts that down as his sexual orientation on the recruitment form, or tells the recruiter their LGBT orientation will that person be allowed into the army or not? Because they are people too right with US citizenships, they should be. But, if they put down that they are LGBT from what I have understood they will not be allowed to die for their country. The ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy supports this, why would they have a policy like that if they had a recognized place in the military. As it is now, as the policy states, LGBT are still discriminated against, not allowed in, and not allowed to stay if discovered. So in essence, according to the policy, you’re wrong; they do not have a place in the Military. That’s cool that you were in the army, too bad that you always had to follow orders, and were never really allowed to think for yourself about anything you experienced. Keep on with that policy that the Government can’t be wrong and you’ll go far.
Thanks and have a great day!!!
Hope those super cool tattoos don’t stretch and fade with age
(That was the one that compelled me to get involved)
Wow. Who would have thought a canned email would have stirred this up.
The world is full of bias and I think servicemen and women are subjected to far more of it than most people think. Mr. E implied that I bear ill will towards LBGT people simply based on the fact that I am an Army Recruiter. Mr. S assumes that because we choose to serve that we have "always had to follow orders, and were never really allowed to think for yourself about anything you experienced." I suppose Mr. S doesn't do his homework when a professor instructs him to. Who has made assumptions about who? Who has judged a book by its cover?
People forget that we all make choices in life and choices have consequences. I have chosen to 1, be in the Army, and 2, be a recruiter (and yes I made those choices without being lied to.) Those choices have consequences. #1 comes with the consequence that people think bad things about me and what I do. #2 comes with the consequence that people actually say what they think instead of just thinking it. I made my choices and accept those consequences. However those choices I did not make lightly. Few people who are able to actually make choice number 1. Even fewer make number 2. There is a reason for that. They are not easy jobs. I believe that both are so important that I was willing to deal with the consequences. If I new certain things were going to happen and accepted that when I made those choices why would I be offended when they actually happen? I see it as a blessing when I have personal bias projected towards me, especially when people say it to my face. It just reinforces to me the fact that I truly believe in my choices and am successful at what I do. As long a a civilian can come up to a soldier and say negative things (the things said by Mr. S pale in comparison to some of the things I've heard) then you know we live in a free society. That is due to the blood that was spilled by my brethren two hundred and thirty or so years ago and the men and women who served in every conflict since.
I would encourage the people who were offended that I sent them an email to consider a few things.
1. No one can offend you without your permission.
2. If you believe in your choices then see it as a badge of honor if you are persecuted for them. It proves that they are important to you and demonstrates your personal courage.
3. If you subscribe to the concept of tolerance then apply it universally to include choice of occupation.
4. When you see a soldier don't see a mindless minion of the government. See a real person who has a family, ideas, beliefs, dreams, independent political
thought, and above all an opinion that was not issued to him or her. I have served with some extremely liberal people, some extremely conservative people, and
everything in between. I have served with straight people and gay people. I have served with people of every imaginable mixture of race, color, creed, and
background. I was proud to stand next to every one of them.
5. If you have completely read my email it states that if you ask me to I will remove you from my list. About 15 people asked me to do so. Those people will
never hear from me again.
The beauty of our military is that the protection of freedom is an unconditional gift that doesn't rely on your beliefs, color, creed, religion, political affiliation or sexual orientation. All that is needed is to live in this country to receive it. I assure everyone that I do not bear ill will towards LBGT people. Regardless of any ill will born towards me I will continue to provide this country and every citizen in it with my VOLUNTARY service.
My first email was canned, this one is not.
Next one up - "Results of a Springboard"