Over the years, the military has gone through – and eventually embraced – several changes, as described in a feature on the Navy Times.
First, there was the integration of blacks, which, at that time, was rather controversial. America has come a long way since then, though. We now have an African-American president in the White House, and there are many blacks in various positions of influence and power in the military, in politics, and in entertainment.
Then came the integration of women, something that is, until now, a work in progress. Women can now – at least largely – serve alongside men in the military. Just recently, women were able to overcome another obstacle: the first female submariners are now in training.
With the repeal of the policy that has come to be known as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the United States military once again finds itself at a crossroads. It is a change that needs to be done carefully, taking note of the “cautionary lessons” learned from history.
Some female veterans gave the opinion that it is possible for the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell” to be easier this time around, for as long as commanders are vigilant about preventing harassment against gays.
Another reason why adjustment to the repeal of DADT may go smoother than the other major changes that it dealt with in its history, since the change in policy seems to have more support now than, say, desegregation 60 years ago. As a comparison, a study conducted in 1947 revealed that four out of five enlisted men in the Army oppose having blacks serve in their units, while two-thirds of the over-all force said that they believed there would be minimal problems if the policy is repealed.