Top Iraq General on Gays in MilitaryFebruary 22, 2010 - 1:34 PM | by: Justin Fishel
Asked repeatedly about his stance on the gays in the military, the top commander in Iraq told reporters at the Pentagon, “I dont have time to think about it.” General Raymond Odierno said he hasn’t been focusing on the issue because “we’re kind of busy right now, trying to do our job in Iraq.”
When pressed on his personal opinion he said, “my opinion is everyone should be allowed to serve, as long as we’re still able to fight our wars and we’re able to have forces that are capable of doing whatever we’re asked to do.”
Odierno said he supports the decision by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to conduct a year long review that explores repealing the current “Dont Ask Dont Tell” policy and allowing gays to openly serve. “Let’s give the soldiers a chance to give their opinion, and then move out from there.”
Odierno did not say which way he felt the military was leaning on the issue as a whole, but said if asked they’ll make it clear. “I think the soldiers will — soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines — when teams are out and they go out and they conduct surveys and they talk to people, I think they will get exactly what they want, in terms of how people feel about it. I truly believe that.”
A “Military Times” poll published in early February shows 51 percent of active duty military are opposed to allowing gays to serve openly.