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.


 
 

 
Chaplain

Local chaplain helps ANG recruiting efforts

Back in August of 2014, the 163d Reconnaissance Wing Chaplain Major David Sarmiento had the opportunity to be featured in a new Air National Guard (ANG) Chaplain Corps recruitment infomercial, the first of its kind in many year...
 
 
DoD photo by Casper Manlangit

Pentagon salutes Dr. King’s life, legacy

DoD photo by Casper Manlangit Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work makes remarks during a Martin Luther King Jr. observance at the Pentagon, Jan. 15, 2015. WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Defense Department members gathered Jan. 15 at t...
 
 

CSAF utilizes new technologies to engage with Airmen

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Chief of Staff of the Air Force Mark A. Welsh III teamed up with Google to launch a live discussion with Airmen from bases around the world, using video chat technology. Airmen asked both the general and his wife, Betty Welsh, questions about Air Force life, ranging anywhere from future mission and...
 

 

TRICARE patients must attest to health care coverage

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2015 – As tax season begins, Defense Department officials want to remind TRICARE beneficiaries of changes in the tax laws, which require all Americans to have health care insurance or potentially pay a tax penalty. For the first time since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, all U.S. citizens, including service...
 
 
Department of Defense photo/ Casper Manlangit

Hagel: Fight to end sexual assault must be ‘personal’

Department of Defense photo/ Casper Manlangit Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel provides closing remarks at the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention Summit Jan. 16, 2015, on Joint Base Andrews, Md. Efforts to eliminate the baneful i...
 
 
HBI-graphic

Finding, keeping focus on the motivation to quit smoking

U.S. Air Force graphic /Senior Airman Jaimi L. Upthegrove “I can smell it, and it makes me nauseous,” he said. “I can’t kiss you or even be around you. This has to stop.” That was the exact moment I knew it was time t...
 




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