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Yank RFI: Gays in the British Army-Policy, POVs

#2
Perhaps surprisingly, the Army is probably one of the least 'homophobic' organisations around. Naturally, lads take the piss, but no more than they do out of everbody else for other reasons. It has very little to do with policy, and a lot to do with mutual repsect amongst soldiers doing the same job. It's also the nature of the organisation, in that any personality conflicts tend to get sorted out as soon as they occur - and because of the 'family' nature of most regiments, new lads accept the values that already exist, rather than bringing their own in with them.

There are no dramas, as far as I'm aware, with blokes bringing their gay lovers along to mess do's and the like.

There are very few religious folk in the British Army, and even fewer 'anti-gay' religious types.
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
Personally I couldn't give a toss about what anyones sexuallity,religion or any other bollacks is as long as they are one of the lads and can have a bit of banter

When they start banging on about it and needing to form special groups and get outraged over the slightest little thing then I get annoyed

Live and let live but why they need time off to take part in Gay pride and all that bollax
If they stayed as one of the lads nobody would probably know or care

I used to go out wirh a wraf who liked it up the arrse
She didn't walk about London or Manchester with a big banner telling the world how proud she was about it

The only problem I ever knew about was when someone got all offended about some remarks on here and caused all sorts of grief
 
#5
Ten years ago I was on a Junior Staff Course for Captains and the ban on homosexuality was lifted during it. There was quite a lot of talk by some of the senior external speakers but I recall at our level, it was a non-issue. 'So what?' probably sums up peoples reactions...

Ten years later, I am back in an Infantry Battalion as Coy Commander. One of the Platoon Commanders is 'openly gay' - he makes no secret about his sexuality.

He has been on operations with his Platoon in Afghanistan; he is very good at his job. His sexuality has not been an issue for his subordinates or superiors - he is judged on his ability as a leader and nothing else.

He gets a fair amount of flak at times, in the mess and round the Battalion - but so do lots of other people for other things.

In all honesty, the whole thing is just a non-issue. The existing rules and regulations would be more than sufficient to deal with any discipline issues - should they arise - but there has been no need for this.

Adjt
 
#6
It is only an issue when it is made one, I have seen guys savaged over a poor choice of t-shirt, bad hair cut but most people accept your choice of partner as it is your choice. I have also heard comments like he may be a fucking poof but he is a good soldier. There are organisations like stonewall who become militant over their rights and cause more problems for gays than they solve as they draw lines where there should be none.

The most bitterness I have ever seen is toward homosexuals who use their sexuality as a weapon to achieve what they are not normally considered for ie I was not promoted because I’m gay, no mate you weren’t promoted because your shite.
 
#7
In A Soldier's Song by Ken Lukowiak, he mentions an occasion when a Para (from another battalion IIRC) made a comment about 'Wendy' the- steward-of-a-certain-persuasion, whereupon the speaker was savaged by the other Paras who respected Wendy for his staunch support of the troops, his willingness to run many of the same risks, and his ability to give at least as good as he got in the slagging stakes.

The attitude was 'he may be a poof, but he's OUR poof'
 
#8
When I served in the 80s and 90s, we had a couple of lads who were well known as being gay, no-one cared, there were no issues with them sharing rooms in the block and the busybodies in the command chain just didn't need to know. The only time it ever became an issue was when one nosy subbie found out after hearing some robust banter and threatened to make it official knowledge, he was given quiet "instruction" by another more senior officer to keep it quiet.

Most people who are mildly homophobic lose that homophobia after a small time working with gay people when they realise that they're not all Julian Clary types and aren't going to slip you a length if you bend over to pick something up. It tends to be an experience thing.
 
#9
When we shared a certain barracks in Germany with a certain artillery regiment in the mid-eighties, two of the artillery regiment had apparently been found locked in **** combat.

Nobody really cared that much but in time honoured tradition, we made sure they knew we knew about it. :lol:
 
#10
NathanHale said:
Your opinions and practical experience would be greatly appreciated...i.e.,

- If a gay officer or NCO was in the Coldstream Guards or the Rifles
I don't believe it's a question of if...

However as long as the soldiering gets done -who one dines with is somewhat moot.

It's ridiculous to read of experienced vets with necessary skills - language experts, fighter jock colonels - being dispensed with at the time of two wars.
The religious hypocrisy that exists within the US political scene is so corrosive & self-defeating.
Just look at the recent shenanigans going on with group The Family and scandals surrounding congressmen, senators & governors.

Soldiers should have no fear about whom they serve with,
providing their behaviour or health does not impede their ability to fight.
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#11
When they binned the Womens Royal Army Corps and integrated lumpy jumpers into the units proper, the US Army was held up as the shining example of how well it worked.

Aint payback a bitch :D
 
#12
If you're gay in the British Army, you'll get slagged off for it. But not as much as if you were a gwarr or Welsh. Then you'd have real problems.....
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#13
sfub said:
If you're gay in the British Army, you'll get slagged off for it. But not as much as if you were a gwarr or Welsh. Then you'd have real problems.....
I knew a ginger, welsh lezzer when I was in - to be honest I was too scared of her to slag her off :oops:
Thanks for putting that long forgotten image back into my head BTW.....
 
#14
the_boy_syrup said:
Personally I couldn't give a toss about what anyones sexuallity,religion or any other bollacks is as long as they are one of the lads and can have a bit of banter

When they start banging on about it and needing to form special groups and get outraged over the slightest little thing then I get annoyed

Live and let live but why they need time off to take part in Gay pride and all that bollax
If they stayed as one of the lads nobody would probably know or care

I used to go out wirh a wraf who liked it up the arrse
She didn't walk about London or Manchester with a big banner telling the world how proud she was about it

The only problem I ever knew about was when someone got all offended about some remarks on here and caused all sorts of grief
I think that this post sums up my position almost perfectly.

I have to say that I was on an exercise in Baumholder a few years back when the official photographer was a US airman from Spangdahlem and he was as ghey as they came. He made a comment to a USMC (who we had nicknamed Captain America, as he was the stereotypical Jarhead) and I can't recall the last time I laughed so much at his rant at the lad. Just dripping in intolerance and hatred. It was brilliant to watch.

There clearly a few parts of the US military that have some work to do :)
 
#15
Although Service Support rather than Teeth, I have to say that I concur with the observations above - its a Non issue.

Having also worked on the investigatory side, the number of complaints about predatory homosexual behaviour are vanishingly small (to the best of my knowledge, although someone with more currency in the Police station may put me right on it??).

Partners are welcomed to the mess as any other partner would be, and if the RSM forsees issues then he is sensible enough to deal with those issues prior to any drink being taken.

I know of at least one conversation involving an SNCO that went "Sir, I don't think Sgt X should be allowed to bring his partner to the Ball, because he is a raving shirtlifter and the thought of those two giving each other a tongue Tonsillectomy makes me want to vomit"
The RSM replied "Then you wont mind being on duty will you."

It really is simple. Like anything else, you may not like it, but thems the rules and you crack on. Slowly but surely, less and less people give a damn about it. Your just a Soldier. What you choose to do in your private life is just that. Private.
 
#16
auscam said:
In A Soldier's Song by Ken Lukowiak, he mentions an occasion when a Para (from another battalion IIRC) made a comment about 'Wendy' the- steward-of-a-certain-persuasion, whereupon the speaker was savaged by the other Paras who respected Wendy for his staunch support of the troops, his willingness to run many of the same risks, and his ability to give at least as good as he got in the slagging stakes.

The attitude was 'he may be a poof, but he's OUR poof'
I understand this story to be very true from a few former Para Reg chaps that i used to work with.

From what i know "Wendy" was adopted by the unit and looked after.

Also, there are a great many stories of gays serving during the WW2 and after, it seems that only in the last 30 years do we have a problem with this.
 
#18
JoeCivvie said:
Was 'Wendy' a Steward on the Canberra or QE2 during Corporate?
Wendy was on the Norland - 2 Para went south on that. 3 Para were on the canberra, and 5 Inf Brigade were on the QE2. IIRC Wendy came to either the 20th or the 25th Anniversary thing organised by SAMA82 in Gosport.
 
#19
As others have said, it is only a problem when you make it a problem.

The establishment might be scared that letting gays serve openly my mean they're cruising for bum love with all and sundry or that puffters may use their positions of authority to obtain sexual services, but hey ho, that's hetro life in the Army anyway..... in a very, very small way!
 
#20
I agree about the success (or rather lack of failure) of lifting the banning policy, but for me it rests mainly on the qualities of tolerance and restraint (otherwise known as couldn't give a fcuk) among britsh society in general and the british army in particular.

If someone decided to become militant about their own beliefs and preferences whether sexual, religious or political, they would very rapidly become extremely unpopular. That is predominantly because most brits are not constantly striving to stand out in a crowd; they just get on with it. Unfortunately more and more in US culture the opposite is true; everyone is special and has the right to show everyone else how special they are and why. Even in the forces.

In all probability though any change in policy for gays in the US forces, would result in the same damp squib as it did with us. Lots of people getting agitated about hordes of predatory gay soldiers ruining unit cohesion and upsetting the whole military ethos; but what happened.......next to nothing. A 2* general came out of the closet and then everyone just carried on the way they had before.

If you are gay people will take the piss, just as they will if you have a funny name, a big nose, support a crap football team or are different in any other way.

I work with a lot of americans and they really don't care. (or at least that's what they say)

Baggy
 

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