July 8, 2008

52 Military Leaders Say Gays Should Serve

Professional Service Members Effective Despite Differences

SANTA BARBARA,  – CNN, USA Today, and the San Francisco Chronicle have reported that more than 50 retired U.S. Generals and Admirals urged Congress to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law in a July 7

The statement urges Congress to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law that prohibits gays and lesbians from serving openly. The statement reflects the largest number of military leadership to call for repeal to date, and was first released with 28 signatories at an event called “12,000 Flags for 12,000 Patriots” in Washington, D.C., November 2007. The full text and signatories are below (click on the title for a pdf version).


We respectfully urge Congress to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Those of us signing this letter have dedicated our lives to defending the rights of our citizens to believe whatever they wish. As General Colin Powell, Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs said when the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was enacted, it is not the place of the military or those in senior leadership to make moral judgments.  Scholarly data shows there are approximately one million gay and lesbian veterans in the United States today, as well as 65,000 gays and lesbians currently serving in our armed forces. They have served our nation honorably.

We support the recent comments of another former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General John Shalikashvili, who has concluded that repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy would not harm, and would indeed help our armed forces. As is the case in Britain, Israel, and other nations which allow gays and lesbians to serve openly, our service members are professionals who are able to work together effectively despite differences in race, gender, religion, and sexuality. Such collaboration reflects the strength and the best traditions of our democracy.

Former Secretary of the Army Clifford Alexander, (ret.)
Lieutenant General Jerry Hilmes, USA (ret.)
Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, USA (ret.)
Lieutenant General Donald Kerrick, USA (ret.)
Vice Admiral Harold Koenig, USN (ret.)
Vice Admiral James Zimble, USN (ret.)
Major General Les Burger, USA (ret.)
Major General Alex Burgin, USANG (ret.)
Major General Rosetta Burke, AUS (ret.)
Major General Michael Conrad, USA (ret.)
Major General James Delk, USA (ret.)
Major General Jack Farris, USAF (ret.)
Major General Fred Forster, USANG (ret.)
Major General Robert Gamrath, AUS (ret.)
Major General David Hale, USA (ret.)
Major General Randy Jayne, USANG (ret.)
Major General Lawrence Johnson, USA (ret.)
Major General Dennis Laich, USA (ret.)
Major General Dennis Malcor, USA (ret.)
Major General Michael Scotti, USA (ret.)*
Major General Alan Salisbury, USA (ret.)
Major General Harry Sieben, USANG (ret.)
Major General Charles Starr Jr., USA (ret.)
Brigadier General John C. Adams, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Clara Adams-Ender, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General John “Joe” Allen, USAF (ret.)
Brigadier General Patricia Anderson, AUS (ret.)
Brigadier General Dale Barber, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General George Baxter, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Robert Baxter, USAF (ret.)
Brigadier General Harold Bowman, USANG (ret.)
Brigadier General Douglas Bradley, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Jack Capps, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Richard Carter, AUS (ret.)
Brigadier General Steve Chapplis, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General BG David Cole, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General William Colvin, USANG (ret.)
Brigadier General Joseph Cutrona, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Tom Daniels, USAF (ret.)
Brigadier General Evelyn Foote, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Robert Giffen, USAF (ret.)
Brigadier General Bob Hardy, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Edwin Heffelfinger, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General J.D Johnson, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General James Martin, USAF (ret.)
Brigadier General Phil Peay, USANG (ret.)
Brigadier General Robert Poirot, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Philip Pushkin, USANG (ret.)
Brigadier General Virgil Richard, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Donald Schenk, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Daniel Wardrop, USA (ret.)
Rear Admiral Robert Krasner, USN (ret.)
Rear Admiral Charles Rauch, USN (ret.)

*General Scotti passed away in September, 2007. His widow asked that his name remain on this statement.
**Rear Admiral William Retz was incorrectly listed as a signatory on a previous version of this statement.