DoD

June 22, 2012

Panetta salutes gay, lesbian service members’ dedicated duty

by Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON D. C. — The pursuit of equality is fundamental to the American story, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said in a video message released June 15, to thank gay and lesbian service members and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civilians for their dedicated service to the nation.

Recognizing June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, the secretary also thanked the families of gay and lesbian service members and LGBT civilians.

Diversity is one of the department’s greatest strengths, the secretary noted.

“During Pride Month, and every month, let us celebrate our rich diversity and renew our enduring commitment to equality for all,” he said.

In his video message, Panetta emphasized the military’s diversity. “The successful repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ proved to the nation that, just like the country we defend, we share different backgrounds, different values and different beliefs,” he said. “But together we form the greatest military force in the world.”

Integrity and respect are the cornerstones of military culture, the secretary added. “The Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force implemented the repeal with a focus on respect and individual dignity,” Panetta said.

Addressing the service members who now can serve openly regardless of their sexual orientation, the secretary lauded their service before the repeal. “Before the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” he said, “you faithfully served your country with professionalism and courage. And just like your fellow service members, you put your country before yourself.” Today, he added, they can be proud not only of serving their country, but also of who they are when in uniform.

The president also recognized June as LGBT Pride Month, noting that throughout the nation’s history, ordinary Americans have advocated for change and have “led a proud and inexorable march toward freedom, fairness and full equality under the law – not just for some, but for all.”

When the president signed the repeal act into law in December 2010, he said, “We are not a nation that says, ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says, ‘Out of many, we are one.’ We are a nation that welcomes the service of every patriot. We are a nation that believes that all men and women are created equal. Those are the ideals that generations have fought for. Those are the ideals that we uphold today.”

When the repeal took effect in September 2011, Panetta said anyone who is capable of serving in uniform should be able to do so, and he re-emphasized that belief in his video message.

“Going forward,” Panetta said, “I remain committed to removing as many barriers as possible to make America’s military a model of equal opportunity, to ensure all who are qualified can serve in America’s military, and to give every man and woman in uniform the opportunity to rise to their highest potential.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
square

‘Retired Air Force Reservist finds inspiration through loss’ addendum

Angela Alexander was a member of the 56th Aerial Port Squadron, March Air Reserve Base and on annual tour in Japan when she was notified that her family had been in a severe car crash. She was told her husband, Suri and two dau...
 
 

Alcohol: how much is too much?

Alcohol is a part of the American culture — civilian and military. Many of us drink with others to socialize and celebrate important events. Or we sometimes drink alone to relax and unwind from a hard day at work. But along with the good times and good feelings associated with alcohol, there are well-known health...
 
 
BC3---women-in-combatswuare

AF begins testing phase for women in combat roles

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Marionne T. Mangrum Cpl. Daisy Romero (left) and Sgt. Jessica Dmoningo, assigned to a female engagement team (FET), speak with an Afghan man in his compound during a patrol in Marjah, Helmand pro...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashley J. Thum

Ten ways to help kids conquer military life challenges

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ashley J. Thum Capt. Adam Luber, a 334th Fighter Squadron pilot, and Jeremiah Seaberry, the 334th FS pilot for a day, watch F-15E Strike Eagles on the flightline during a 4th Fighter Wing Pilo...
 
 
BC4---wildfire

922nd Civil Engineer Flight, small unit, worldwide impact

U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Jason Saberin Members of the Army’s Northwest Division Field Engineer Support Team join the 922nd Civil Engineer Flight’s Staff Augmentation Team (S-Team) at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., Feb. 2...
 
 

AF sexual assault prevention: moving in the right direction

“I was raised in a household where you take responsibility for your own actions and don’t blame others for your downfalls,” said Tech. Sgt. Kathleen Thorburn. “Instead of seeing a crime that had occurred, all I could see were my mistakes. Why did I go to that party? Why did I accept the drink? Why...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin