Peace Time: December 7, 2002


The US military has in the last year discharged seven linguists specializing in Arabic because they were homosexuals. At the same time, the military has complained that it does not have enough people who can speak or understand Arabic. This particular situation brings to light a problem with the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Non-homosexual troops who want to get out of uniform early have found that they can often do this by just proclaiming their homosexuality. But as this ploy has become widely known, commanders have stopped giving automatic discharges for such declarations. Troops who have received extensive training in valuable skills, at army expense, have sometimes used the "homosexual declaration" ploy to get out of uniform and get a better paying job with those new skills. And there is still an element of culture clash in all of this. Many soldiers, for religious or cultural reasons, are uncomfortable serving with homosexual soldiers. This causes headaches for commanders. 


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