SecDef Hagel, Federalize The Guard   Leave a comment

Late last week, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, speaking before the Anti-Defamation League, called on several states which had, up to now, refused to carry out DoD policies regarding treatment of same-sex spouses on Defense Dept. facilities (including Air & Army National Guard installations), to carry out those policies or risk violating both federal law and DoD policy.

Well, we now know what those states (Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia) have decided to do…quoting AmericaBlog:

South Carolina, on the other hand, has decided to stop issuing IDs all together, and making all National Guard spouses, straight and gay, travel the often- long distance to a federal military base to get their ID.

The other states are so far refusing to budge, which is a direct challenge to Secretary Hagel and the Pentagon’s authority over the National Guard.

In essence, those eight states (it was nine but Indiana has decided to begin issuing military IDs’ to same-sex spouses of those serving in the Indiana Guard) have effectively thumbed their noses at Washington…which is why, in my opinion, the Secretary of Defense, with the approval of the President, should do the following:

  • Publicly federalize the Air & Army National Guards in all eight states
  • As they are being federalized, order the states’ Adjutants General to the Pentagon
  • Once their, publicly say to them, “Either you will carry out those orders or you will resign your commissions, immediately.”

Now, why do this publicly? Several reasons come to mind but two in particular are important here. First, it would be a strong reminder to those involved that federal law (and the U.S. Constitution, for that matter) supercede state laws and constitutions and that, second, just as a police officer, once they put on the uniform, doesn’t get to pick and choose the laws they want to obey, those entrusted with defending this country don’t get to do likewise. 

Don’t like a law or a political viewpoint or a certain lifestyle? Fine, that’s your business…once you put on the nation’s uniform, you don’t get to make that choice; as my dad, a veteran Marine, would put it, “Either you carry out the orders assigned to you or you get the hell out of the way.”

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