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Leaders Issue Statement Opposing Roll-Back of Military Inclusion of Women and LGBT Troops

Today, AMPA praised a statement from 31 retired military officers warning against efforts to politicize personnel policies for minority service members, including women and LGBT troops.

In response to potential Trump administration members’ comments this week targeting minority military members and calling for the elimination of merit-based personnel policies, the Palm Center released the statement today signed by 31 retired Flag and General Officers warning against making military personnel decisions on the basis of social judgments and political agendas.

“We applaud these 31 retired military officers for speaking out against any attempts to undermine the incredibly important progress we’ve made for LGBT service members and their families,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack.  “Many of our LGBT military families are on edge over comments that have been made by potential new administration officials, and it’s a distraction from the mission that no military family should have to face. All of our nation’s heroes, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. It’s crucially important that any efforts by anti-LGBT activists to target minority service members be stopped.”

The statement from the 31 retired Flag and General Officers reads:

“As retired Flag and General Officers, we believe the incoming administration must firmly commit to ensuring steady leadership of our armed forces based on proven principles of military readiness. More than half a century of history and research has made clear that an inclusive military that prioritizes talent and ability over social judgment and personal prejudice is an essential ingredient of an effective fighting force. This is especially true in a diverse nation like ours, which molds millions of individuals from countless different backgrounds into a unified whole capable of defending our nation and its interests. For generations, women and LGBT service members have been a crucial part of the most effective military in the world, and their service has shown that they are highly capable warriors and that their peers are capable of serving alongside them. No action should be taken to denigrate their honorable service, or to deprive the armed forces of their indispensable contributions.”

Vice Admiral Don Arthur, USN (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Gen Joseph Ballard, USA (Ret.)
Vice Admiral Kevin Green, USN (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Claudia J. Kennedy, USA (Ret.)
Lieutenant General David Poythress, USAF (Ret.)
Major General Donna Barbisch, USA (Ret.)
Rear Admiral Christopher Cole, USN (Ret.)
Major General Vance Coleman, USA (Ret.)
Major General J. Gary Cooper, USMC (Ret.)
Major General Paul Eaton, USA (Ret.)
Major General Mari K. Eder, USA (Ret.)
Rear Admiral John D. Hutson, USN (Ret.)
Major General Dennis Laich, USA (Ret.)
Major General Fred Leigh, USA (Ret.)
Major General Randy Manner, USA (Ret.)
Major General Melvyn Montaño, USAF (Ret.)
Major General Gale S. Pollock, USA (Ret.)
Rear Admiral Paul Rosser, USN (Ret.)
Rear Admiral Joe Sestak, USN (Ret.)
Rear Admiral Alan M. Steinman, USPHS/USCG (Ret.)
Major General Antonio Taguba, USA (Ret.)
Rear Admiral Dick Young, USN (Ret.)
Brigadier General Clara Adams-Ender, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General Roosevelt Barfield, USA (Ret.)
Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett, USN (Ret.)
Rear Admiral Jay Deloach, USN (Ret.)
Brigadier General Pat Foote, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General David McGinnis, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General Ronald Rokosz, USA (Ret.)
Brigadier General John Schuster, USA (Ret.)
Rear Admiral Michael Smith, USN (Ret.)