DoD

June 13, 2014

DOD holds Pride Month celebration

Tags:
Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work delivers remarks at the 2014 Defense Department Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month ceremony at the Pentagon, June 5, 2014. Work emphasized the importance of diversity within the department as he delivered the keynote address to hundreds of attendees.

The Defense Department (DOD) and the nation depend every day on the service of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender personnel, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said June 5.

“They are an integral part of our armed forces and our Department of Defense and our nation.”

Speaking at the DOD Pride Month ceremony at the Pentagon, Work recalled that for far too long, gay, lesbian and bisexual service members, LGBT DOD civilians, and their partners and families were unable to serve.

“They were forced by law to compromise their values. To choose between serving the country they love and … being true to themselves,” he said. “Today we celebrate that that chapter in our history is now over and increasingly forgotten.”

The ceremony, and all of DOD Pride Month, is an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the importance of diversity within the department, “and the values that make our department strong,” Work said.

He noted that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said at the signing ceremony for the Human Goals Charter in April that “‘What matters is an individual’s patriotism, their willingness to serve their country and their qualifications to do so. And that’s all that ever should.’”

“I firmly believe that our all-volunteer force is now stronger because of the diversity and culture of inclusion we celebrate this very day and this entire month,” Work said. “The United States military is, without a doubt, the finest in the world today.”
While many attribute that strength to technology, he said, in reality the U.S. military’s power is provided by its uniformed members and civilians.

“They are the heart and soul of this force,” Work said.

And that force is at its best when it reflects the diversity of the nation, he added.

America has made a lot of progress since his 27 years in the Marine Corps, Work said.

“Back then … if it was discovered that you were gay or lesbian, you would have been ostracized. You would have been made to feel incapable. You would have been made to feel unworthy of serving our nation.”

“I think almost everybody in this room probably knows many phenomenal service members that were separated from the military — either because they were found out, or because they themselves became tired of living a lie,” the deputy secretary told the audience.

“We as a department (and) as a nation have worked to fix this — to re-instill trust, faith, dignity and respect in our system.”
Still he said the department must pay particular attention to removing any existing barriers for families and partners of LGBT personnel.

“We must therefore continue to work every day — every day — to ensure that DOD is a model of equal opportunity and fair treatment.”

“Because, if there is any single thing that we have learned since the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” it is that all the predictions by some that our force would be weakened could not have been further from the truth,” he added.

Instead, Work said, the military has gained strength and skill from its rich diversity.

“Upholding the individual liberties and worth of every American is the bedrock principle upon which our nation was founded, and generations of American troops — including many gays and lesbians — have fought and died to preserve that principle,” the deputy secretary said.

“I am extremely proud to be a member of a Department of Defense that is committed to upholding these ideals.”




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Megan Crusher

Air Force JROTC cadets graduate Summer Leadership School

U.S. Air Force photo/Megan Crusher Air Force JROTC cadets from Rancho Verde High School in Moreno Valley and Arlington High School in Riverside, graduate from a two week Summer Leadership School, held at March Air Reserve Base,...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan

Airmen attend second annual Norton-March reunion

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan Senior Master Sgt. Paul Mitt, detachment chief, 163rd Reconnaissance Wing, answers questions about the MQ-9 Reaper at March Air Reserve Base on June 20. Members of the Nort...
 
 
Halle-Berry

Halle Berry Connects With the U.S. Military

Halle Berry stars in the Science-Fiction show “Extant,” which just began its second season. Finding out someone values and appreciates what you do can keep you floating at cloud level for weeks, especially when the someone ...
 

 
Courtesy photo

Charles “Chuck” Flood, Satellite Services, Inc., passed away unexpectedly, June 17, 2015

Courtesy photo Chuck Flood: March 16, 1963 – June 17, 2015 Flood had been employed by SSI since February, 2005. He had been the fire truck mechanic, responsible for over 15 fire fighting vehicles at Edwards Air Force Base and...
 
 
Watchara Phomicinda — LA Daily News staff  photographer

March honor guard gives final honors to America’s veterans

(Final in a two-part series on honor guard, reprinted with permission) Watchara Phomicinda — LA Daily News staff photographer Brittarose Morgan, 77, right, wife of the late Airman First Class Roland Morgan with daughter, Kym ...
 
 
HBI-photo

Fitness at a glance – It’s all about timing!

Ever notice how your anxiety tends to increase around your fitness assessment time (FA)? It is amazing that in 20 minutes (or less) your FA is over, but your anxiety level has cumulatively increased over the 30-90 days (or more...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>