by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
When a commanding officer, regardless of service branch, commands you to do something, you do it.
The concept is not new, and in fact, the military simply could not be as effective as it is without such structure. Questioning an order is unwelcome, against regulation, and not tolerated.
This policy can be sometimes difficult for civilians to understand. Veterans and active duty service members, however, not only understand it, we live by it.
During the national debate over whether or not the U.S. armed forces could successfully repeal DADT and implement a policy that did not have a negative impact on unit readiness, civilian journalists, bloggers, etc., tirelessly wrote the 'what if' story.
What if this doesn't work? What if service members leave because they don't want to serve with Gays? What if, what if, what if?
The answer to that hypothetical question was there all the time. It's called command structure. Leadership. Military policy. I'll say it again: When a commanding officer tells you to do something, you do it.
Such was the case this week when Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett, the top non-commissioned officer of the U.S. Marine Corps, told fellow marines they had to 'get over it' in regards to DADT and do their job.
And they will, too.
Barrett, who was recently chosen to be the senior enlisted adviser to Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos (who, for a time, was against DADT repeal) visited a base in South Korea last week, where he delivered his opinions on DADT and the plans to repeal the ban.
It is reported that Barrett brought out a small copy of the Constitution and referenced Article 1, Section 8. 'It says, 'Raise an army.' It says absolutely nothing about race, color, creed, or sexual orientation.'
He then asked if everyone in the group joined the Marines to protect their nation. He then said, '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 concluded by saying 'Get over it. ... Let's just move on, treat everybody with fairness, dignity, compassion, and respect. Let's be Marines.'
Now that is how you lead! His direct boss, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos, said Barrett is 'the best of the best.'
Get over it, indeed. DADT is history. Serve or get out of the way.
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