Welcome to Current TV
Military: Felons OK, Gays Not
The information, released Monday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, shows that the number of soldiers admitted to the Army with felony records jumped from 249 in 2006 to 511 in 2007. And the number of Marines with felonies rose from 208 to 350.
The bulk of the crimes involved were burglaries, other thefts, and drug offenses, but nine involved sex crimes and six involved manslaughter or vehicular homicide convictions. Several dozen Army and Marine recruits had aggravated assault or robbery convictions, including incidents involving weapons.
The use of felons to the fill the ranks comes as 2 people every day are dropped from the military for being gay under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" the ban on gays serving openly in the armed services.
In the 10 years that DADT has been in force more than 10,000 personnel have been discharged as a result of thed policy, including 800 with skills deemed 'mission critical,' such as pilots, combat engineers, and linguists.
The number of gay men and lesbians turned way by military recruiters is unknown.
A study conducted last year for SLDN concluded that the U.S. military could attract as many as 41,000 new recruits if gays and lesbians in the military were able to be open about their sexual orientation.
Legislation to repeal DADT is before Congress. The Military Readiness Enhancement Act has bipartisan support but is unlikely to get out of committee during this election year, but hearings could be held.
more from Community:
from the community