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Straight Talk from the Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps

By TinSoldier - Posted on 23 June 2011

“Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution is pretty simple,” he told a group of Marines at a base in South Korea. “It says, ‘Raise an army.’ It says absolutely nothing about race, color, creed, sexual orientation.

“You all joined for a reason: to serve,” he continued. “To protect our nation, right?”


“How dare we, then, exclude a group of people who want to do the same thing you do right now, something that is honorable and noble?” Sgt. Maj. Barrett continued, raising his voice just a notch. “Right?”

[...] And to drive the point home, he produced a pocket copy of the Constitution.

“Get over it,” he said. “We’re magnificent, we’re going to continue to be. … Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines.” 

I'm just impressed, but not surprised, that the Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps carries a pocket Constitution. 

Ooh-rah, Sgt. Major. Semper fi. 

Everyone will fall in line. Despite some reports hinting at widespread dissent in the ranks, I think this will go a lot more smoothly than expected. It's so far been a non-issue for us in the Navy. I heard literally 2-3 small jokes about DADT a few months ago, but since then, absolutely zero mention from anyone. We've always known there were gay people among us, so this won't be any big change at all.

I haven't been in for awhile, but I still know a few die-hard vets. And in my last stint, in an NG infantry unit, even the anti-woman stuff was a bit thick IMO.

I never knew anyone in the military who was actively gay, although there were some rumors about certain women. *shrug*.

Needless to say, I still agree with the Sgt. Major. There will be some adjustment, some incidents of violence and discrimination, and the military still has to figure out how to deal with relationships/base housing/family stuff, etc. (I think the Navy was taking the lead on this until Congress slapped em around a bit). I don't think it will be as easy for us as for the Brits or other Europeans, but I think it will probably be a total non-issue in less than five years. 

And Sgt. Major Barrett's assertiveness is very sexy...

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