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
Extra-app

New Exchange EXTRA app puts savings and more at shoppers’ fingertips

DALLAS – With the swipe of a finger, military shoppers can launch a brand-new way to connect with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service through its free Exchange EXTRA app. The app gives shoppers quick access to informati...
 
 
DoD

DOD releases 2015 military pay, compensation rates

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Defense Department announced the 2015 military pay and compensation rates for service members Dec. 22, with most service members receiving a 1 percent increase in basic pay. The new rates for basic pay, basic allowance for housing (BAH), basic allowance for subsistence (BAS), and the cost of living allowance (COLA) rates...
 
 
DoD
(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Scott Saldukas)

President Obama expresses gratitude to troops, civilians

(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Scott Saldukas) President Barrack Obama thanks service members and Defense Department civilians for their service and dedication to their nation, during a speech given Dec. 15, at Joint Base McG...
 

 
DoD
blood-drive

Thanks for giving to the red, white and blue

January is National Blood Donor Month, and this year, the Armed Services Blood Program would like to thank you for “giving to the red, white and blue.” “2014 was a great year for the Armed Services Blood Program,” Navy ...
 
 
DoD
(Courtesy photo)

President announces Hagel’s resignation as Defense Secretary

(Courtesy photo) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel shakes hands with President Barack Obama at the White House Nov 24. The president announced that Hagel would resign his position as defense secretary. Praising Defense Secretary Ch...
 
 
DoD

Work explains strategy behind DoD innovation initiative

The Defense Innovation Initiative will help to develop more innovative leaders and identify new operational concepts, but sequestration is still “a problem we need to address as a nation,” Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said yesterday. Work discussed the new initiative on Gannett’s “DefenseNews With Vago Muradian” program. Echoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s announcement last...
 




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