Command Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps vs. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

It almost seems like the repeal of the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy against gays and lesbians is a foregone conclusion… The Marines’ top enlisted leader sure seems to think it’s a done deal, though he may not be familiar with ongoing attempts by Republicans in Congress to delay or otherwise sabotage the repeal process. Check out his recent address to a group of fellow Marines in an address last week:

Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett joined Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos at some Marine bases in the Pacific last week, and made his views pretty clear on the matter:

“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?”

“Yes, sergeant major,” Marines replied.

“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?”

Sgt. Maj. Barrett then described conversations with U.K. troops, who saw a similar ban lifted a decade ago, with little disruption. 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.”

Well damn… I’m not sure I could’ve said it any better, Sgt. Major.

Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps Micheal P. Barrett speaks to III Marine Expeditionary Force Marines and Sailors at Camp Kinser, Okinawa, Japan, June 13, 2011. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. J.L. Wright, Jr.)

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