The Pentagon's top brass admonished an
Army general Thursday for publicly advocating in favor of “don't
ask, don't tell,” the 1993 policy that bans gay troops from serving
Defense Secretary Robert Gates told
reporters that Lt. General Benjamin Mixon's comments on the policy
were “inappropriate” for an active duty officer.
In a March 8 letter published in Stars
and Stripes, the US military's independent news source, Mixon
said he disagreed with conventional wisdom that a majority of
Americans oppose the law.
“I suspect many servicemembers, their
families, veterans and citizens are wondering what to do to stop this
ill-advised repeal of a policy that has achieved a balance between a
citizen's desire to serve and acceptable conduct,” Mixon wrote.
Mixon also urged people to speak up in
favor of the policy that prescribes discharge for gay and lesbian
servicemembers who do not remain celibate or closeted.
“Now is the time to write your
elected officials and chain of command and express your views,” he
said. “If those of us who are in favor of retaining the current
policy do not speak up, there is no chance to retain the current
Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, also admonished Mixon, adding that the Army
was looking into the issue.
“I've spoken with General Casey
specifically about this,” Mullen said. “And General Mixon
specifically is – the issue is being addressed with him.”
Mullen added that in light of President
Obama's “strategic intent” to repeal the law the letter was “not
“And in the end, if there is either
policy direction that someone in uniform disagrees with … you know,
the answer is not advocacy, it is in fact to vote with your feet,”
The rebuke comes on the same day the
Pentagon unveiled stricter guidelines on the firing gay troops under