Out of the Closet: Addressing Policy Options
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The status of American culture in the year 2000 indicates a liberalized change in attitude toward lesbians and gays, particularly in the area of military service. However, the military is staunchly opposed to full inclusion of known lesbians and gays in its ranks and, like other controversial social issues, has failed to consider a plan for implementing full integration in the event current policy should change. The paper seeks to answer the question whether previous social changes within a military institution can provide an experiential basis for prescribing a contingency plan in the event known lesbian and gay persons are granted permission to serve in the US military. The paper concludes that, although past military social transformations cannot provide an exact blue print for integration of lesbians and gays, the experiences can provide a framework. The highly controversial and historic integration of black soldiers in the US military in 1948 and Canadas litigious complete integration of lesbian and gay soldiers in 1992, together provide the social construct to which a change model for large organizations is applied and used for analysis and the papers conclusions. The paper argues for anticipating change and initiating an early start to the planning process and to shaping operations. Most importantly, the paper argues for visionary leadership. The monograph concludes that a contingency plan is needed, and suggests a conceptual framework for the plan.
- Sociology and Law
- Military Forces and Organizations