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.


 
 

 
DoD
MOMC_graphic

DOD salutes children during military child month

The Defense Department believes military children serve their country alongside their service member parents, DOD’s director of the office of family policy/children and youth said. When military children serve, they do so by ...
 
 
DoD

CSAF: Every budget decision hurts

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The U.S. Air Force is the finest in the world, “and we need to keep it that way,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, said March 14. The Air Force’s fiscal 2015 budget request was built to ensure its combat power remains unequaled, Welsh told members of the House Armed...
 
 
DoD
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christine Jones

Defense budget proposal inactivates March squadron

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christine Jones U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Efren Lopez, 4th Combat Camera Squadron, shows digital photographs to an Afghan soldier in Shabila Kalan, Zabul province, Afghanistan. Monday’s rele...
 

 
DoD

Military Saves week approaches

This year’s Military Saves Week begins 24 February and concludes 1 March. It is a great opportunity for service members and their families to insure financial readiness through incentivized savings accounts and available services at financial institutions, as well as the resources provided through the Military Saves Campaign. Military Saves is a social marketing campaign...
 
 
DoD
Defense Department photo/

Spotlight Shines on Sports Programmers during Winter Olympics

Defense Department photo/ Steve McGill Sports Programming Specialist, Willie Price (left), and Chief, Sports Programming, Corey Slutsky, American Forces Network Broadcast Center, each scheduled more than 500 hours of Winter Oly...
 
 
DoD

VA launches online tools — calculate Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits; provide feedback

WASHINGTON, D. C. — The Veterans Affairs Department launched new online tools this week to make it easier for veterans, service members and family members to calculate their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and learn more about VA’s approved colleges, universities and other education and training programs across the country, as well as to provide feedback...
 




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