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Servicemembers ignore DADT survey

Timothy Kincaid

July 27th, 2010

Those opposed to lifting the ban on gay men and women serving in the military like to couch their objections in terms of protecting the servicemembers. We must listen to them and hear their concerns!

Well, it looks like not very many of them have any concerns that they want to share. In fact, nearly three weeks after the Military requested the opinions of 400,000 active and reserve troops, 90% of them haven’t gotten around to responding. (US Army)

A total of 200,000 active servicemembers and another 200,000 in the Reserve and National Guard were e-mailed July 7 with a link to an online questionnaire about possible impacts of repealing the law that bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

So far, only about 40,000 of those randomly selected have completed the survey instrument, Smith said. Respondents have until Aug. 15 to complete the questionnaire.

The Department of Defense is encouraging the officers soldiers to go ahead and take 30 minutes and answer the survey.

“It’s important for them to return the survey so we understand possible impacts associated by repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law,” said DoD spokesperson Cynthia Smith. She added that officials need to know how the repeal would impact unit cohesion, military readiness, recruiting, retention and family readiness.

It seems to me that they already have an answer from the vast majority of military personnel, and that answer is “not much at all.”

Comments

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Tommy
July 27th, 2010 | LINK

Someone needs to answer for the fact that $4,500,000 of taxpayers’ money was just flushed down the toilet.

Bearchewtoy75
July 27th, 2010 | LINK

Can ANYONE explain to me how an online survey costs 4.5 million?!

Elliot
July 28th, 2010 | LINK

I like to imagine that some crafty internet programmer just got 4.5 million dollars richer.

Craig Wagner
July 28th, 2010 | LINK

A request for clarification:

“A total of 200,000 active servicemembers and another 200,000 in the Reserve and National Guard…”

“The Department of Defense is encouraging the officers to go ahead and take 30 minutes and answer the survey”

I was under the impression that the survey was being sent to “servicemembers,” not “officers.” There are significant differences between these two populations — especially concerning some of the questions asked in the survey. I believe it’s important to know who is being surveyed.

Fred
July 28th, 2010 | LINK

What bothers me about the lack of response
to the survey is that those that have provided a reply are probably the extremists. In all likelihood, extremely
against.

This is going to provide ammunition to the people that don’t want DADT to be over-turned. They will ignore the 90% who appear to not care about a change,
or don’t consider it to be an issue.

For example, if all 10% are against, then it will be stated that 100% of the service-persons are against over-turning DADT.

I don’t think a survey should have even been considered. If word came down from the top that it was over-turned, then service persons would adjust. The
military is not a democracy. You follow orders. You don’t get to pick and choose.

The people at the top need to be decisive. The troops will do as told.

TampaZeke
July 28th, 2010 | LINK

To the contrary, I think they will be forced to report that 90% didn’t care either way and the 10% that did care, one way or the other, broke down thus…

This should be considered the absolute WORST case scenario for the pro DADT people.

The real numbers will look more like this:

92% Don’t care either way
5% support keeping DADT
3% support abolishing DADT

There’s NO WAY to use those numbers to support keeping DADT in light of the stated positions of the President and the Secretary of Defense. It also takes away the argument of those who claim that their support of DADT is based on the high level of support for in amongst the troops on the ground.

MAJOR FAIL for the anti-gays!

TampaZeke
July 28th, 2010 | LINK

And don’t forget, the SLDN advised gay servicemembers (I think unwisely) NOT to participate in the survey.

Timothy Kincaid
July 28th, 2010 | LINK

Thanks, Craig. That was a typo on my part.

Priya Lynn
July 28th, 2010 | LINK

Fred said “For example, if all 10% are against, then it will be stated that 100% of the service-persons are against over-turning DADT.”

TampaZeke said “To the contrary, I think they will be forced to report that 90% didn’t care either way and the 10% that did care, one way or the other, broke down thus…

92% Don’t care either way
5% support keeping DADT
3% support abolishing DADT”.

I think Fred is right, if most of the 10% responding are against repeal the anti-gay activists at least will claim the majority of service members are against repeal.

customartist
July 28th, 2010 | LINK

Is the actual survey out there somewhere?

Is answering the survey OPTIONAL?

What is the NAME of the survey company?

Was the Contract to condct the survey put out for bids? If not, Why not? How do we know if those entrusted with conducting surveys are impartial?

I’ll gladly conduct an online survey for the government for $4,500,000 – just in case a government official is reading…

Jim in MA
July 28th, 2010 | LINK

“And don’t forget, the SLDN advised gay servicemembers (I think unwisely) NOT to participate in the survey.”

Well, if 92% aren’t taking the survey, maybe they’re not participating because they’re gay.
Just sayin

John in the Bay Area
July 28th, 2010 | LINK

Gay servicemembers are given no protections from discharge for filling out the survey. Honest answers from servicemembers could cost them their careers. At this time, with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in effect, the only responsible thing to tell gay servicemembers who do not want to end their military careers is to not fill out the survey.

Despite Pentagon officials trying to encourage gay servicemembers to fill out the survey, these same officials acknowledge that there are no protections for those who do. SDLN is correct in their advice.

Duncan
July 28th, 2010 | LINK

This is how DADT will end; crushed under an unstoppable juggernaught of apathy.

Craig
July 28th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy,
You’re welcome, but (and this may sound picky to some) it’s still not right. Soldiers are only in the *Army*. The survey (from everything I’ve seen) is being sent to servicemembers from all services.

Timothy Kincaid
July 28th, 2010 | LINK

OK, Craig. Sorry about that.

I used the layperson’s all inclusive “soldiers”. But I think folks know what I meant.

cd
July 28th, 2010 | LINK

I think seasoned military people get this 30 page ‘survey’ and, knowing military corporate practices and skullduggery, realize very little good will come from filling it out.

I agree with Tim’s interpretation that the 90% are saying “get rid of DADT and order me to comply and I’m fine with it. Don’t make me fill out 30 pages about my subjective particular opinions as if they mattered to my fulfilling my duties- they don’t- or the military is a democracy- it isn’t. And it shouldn’t be.”

A survey of this kind is to a large extent a Kook Identifier. It might even be that the 400,000 copies sent out are a red herring and only those received from people of rank X and higher get read at all. And then largely to put the potential troublemakers on an internal watchlist. Gay people should avoid filling it out for obvious reasons as well.

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