Jarrod Chlapowski

Directly Addressing the Opposition: SU Web Ad 1

Filed By Jarrod Chlapowski | August 10, 2010 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Don't Ask Don't Tell, gays in the military, Servicemembers United, tv

Today brings the release of the first of several web and tv ads on DADT from Servicemembers United's new lobbying arm - the Servicemembers United Action Fund.

When planning this project at SU, we wanted to make sure we weren't creating ads just for the sake of creating ads. Instead, we wanted to create a series of hard-hitting and compelling ads that show why repealing DADT will improve military readiness. Below is the first product of our labors. Ladies and gentlemen, Staff Sergeant - and former Army Bomb Disposal Technician - Brian Muller:

More after the jump

For this ad we focused on addressing the effects of open service and the impact of losing critical talent.

Today's opposition tends to either believe that open service would be detrimental to the oft-repeated concepts of unit cohesion, troop morale, and combat readiness; that it would be in the best interest of the military to hold off on repeal until after we've completed our current overseas obligations; or that the US should not move on repeal in Congress until after the Pentagon working group completes its review in December of this year.

The logic behind all three arguments is that open service would to some degree be detrimental to military readiness, that conflict and disarray would inevitably result. This video shows - and SU's subsequent videos will show - that the exact opposite is actually true.

We as a community sometimes have a tendency to focus on how horrible DADT is and how detrimental it is to the military's mission. While true, these points do not address or challenge the perspective that the existence of openly serving gays and lesbians will be damaging to the military too. The experiences of those who were able to successfully serve openly under DADT for a period of time - those like Brian - do address this fundamental opposition claim.

Again, this is the first in a series of ads. Please, pass this video around, spread the word. And check out the web ad campaign's homepage while you're at it.

We're not done fighting DADT, and neither should you be. See you next week.


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Glad to see your first post on TBP, Jarrod! I love the ad; you're right - it makes a valid point that people often forget.

I get asked often, "Will gays serving in the military change things?" and I always say, "They already are. And openly." Hell, I know a half dozen out soldiers who's units just don't give a crap.

You know, throughout the years, I've often felt the odd man out because my story was rather boring, in that nobody cared and I was not discharged. Not really the type of story that gains headlines. I've often had to group my experiences with that of say, Alex's, so people could see, "hey, DADT sucks, and we don't even need it." Now that most people get that DADT is horrible, it's tough getting that hook so people can see the latter.

Angela Brightfeather | August 10, 2010 1:30 PM

I'm not trying to refocus any attention here to Trans people, because I truly believe in the message of this add and in the repeal of DADT for many reasons. But it should be mentioned that if successful in repealing DADT, the job is not done yet. Transgender people who serve in the military in many other countries successfully and with honor, are still refused to be able to serve this country and will continue to be refused long after DADT is successfully repealed, which I believe will happen.

Transgender people are no different that GLB people in being discriminated against and still wanting to serve their country and being capable of doing so as already proven by the large number of Trans Veteran's that exist already.

As a Trans Veteran, I will fight, write, phone and push for the repeal of DADT. My question is will the same thing ever happen for Transgender people? Or are we only willing to go 75% of the way and still be able to claim victory over discrimination?

"We as a community sometimes have a tendency to focus on how horrible DADT is and how detrimental it is to the military's mission."

Don't worry, I don't want the military to accomplish its mission! But DADT is still bad.

Hey, we have a diplomatic mission too. Having "tea with locals," and all that. In fact, first task of an army is to prevent war. But I have a feeling this is one of those never agree, evar, moments.