Center for American Progress

Applying a Fairer Military’s Promotion System Without Prejudice to Sexual Orientation
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Applying a Fairer Military’s Promotion System Without Prejudice to Sexual Orientation

The United States should adopt an overall personnel policy that is explicitly neutral on sexual orientation, like the British.

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The fear that allowing openly homosexual men and women to serve in the U.S. military will undermine good order and discipline is without any rational basis. Existing rules and regulations are largely adequate to address these issues with minor revisions needed at  most.

The military’s promotion system—the fairest promotion system within our society—can be applied without prejudice to sexual orientation. Basic criteria for promotion include time in service and time in the rank from which the service member is to be promoted. The services prescribe clear additional requirements for promotion, such as physical fitness and education,  and candidates for promotion in the officer ranks are examined by promotion boards comprised of senior officers.

The United States should adopt an overall personnel policy that is explicitly neutral on sexual orientation, like the British. This could be done through modifying the Department of Defense’s existing directives on the Military Equal Opportunity program to specifically prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. With the introduction of openly gay and lesbian service members, our military must strive harder than ever to ensure that all regulations regarding good discipline and promotion are implemented at every level of the chain of command.

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