This article was published on November 1st, 2022
According to a lengthy analysis released by a prestigious Pentagon research department, both high command and the ranks and file had exaggerated worries that gay, lesbian, and bisexual personnel would serve openly.
The Joint History and Research Office of the military, a research institute for the Joint Chiefs of Staff that gives them either secret or declassified material and records their operations, produced the 196-page study.
The 2011 abolishment of the prohibition on openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans serving in the military had no adverse effects on combat capability, according to the study, which is centered on an in-depth study and interviews and details confidential files and discussions between many top army and political authorities at the time of overturn.
The paper, Repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: A Historical Perspective from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is a published work that resembles a classified study of the same name from 2016. The report’s initial classification is unknown. The Palm Center for comment contacted the Joint History and Research Office, but no answer was given.
The analysis compares severe concerns of possible damage during the 2009–2010 period leading up to the removal of the prohibition with persistent evidence of no impact. A few commanders who had resisted repeal or feared harm to unit cohesiveness and effectiveness admitted that their fears were baseless and that readiness issues were frequently based on misconceptions and exaggerations in the section marked “a non-issue.”
Repeal “has great potential for interruption at the small military tier as it will no doubt redirect governance eyes away from a nearly solitary concentration on preparing elements for battle”, states Gen. James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps and the most fierce critic of incorporation in the top ranks of the army, had told Congress.
On the other hand, “two months later, General James Amos told journalists that the policy shift had been a ‘non-event'” and that he was “quite happy” with how the policy change had proceeded. Parallel to this, two months after the prohibition was lifted, when the military’s regional commanders were requested to evaluate the effects of repeal on preparedness, efficiency, cohesiveness, recruitment, and loyalty, they “found no effect on any of these areas.”
The U.S. military has a long history of investigating whether sexual minorities endanger preparedness, only to ignore it or even bury it. There has never been any proof connecting the service of LGBTQ+ persons to a reduction in cohesiveness, efficacy, or overall preparedness. However, as detailed in countless historical accounts, statements of anxiety and warnings of serious harm to cohesiveness and preparedness that were never realized dominated the national discussion about inclusive duty for decades.