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Mission-Critical Troops Fired Under DADT

Mission-Critical Troops Fired Under DADT

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New data from the Palm Center shows that the military continued to discharge openly gay mission-critical troops under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy in 2009, while a disproportionately high number of women and minorities were discharged under the policy.

The data, released Monday morning, shows that discharges included eight linguists, 20 infantrymen, 16 medical aides, seven combat engineers, six missile artillery operating crew members, one member of the Special Forces, and others, according to a news release from the Palm Center.

The Defense Manpower Data Center collected the data, which under law was made available to the House Armed Services Committee. The disclosure arrives as the Senate is expected to vote on repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy when it returns from the August recess on September 13.

In a continuation of another trend, the data showed that racial minorities and women were discharged at rates higher than their level of representation in the military.

"In the Navy, two officers were discharged in FY 2009 and both were Asian," said the release. "In the Army, of the five Officers discharged, two were African American, one was Asian and two were white."

Where women in the armed forces are concerned, "Although women comprise only 14% of the Army, lesbians received 48% of the Army's 'don't ask, don't tell' discharges in FYI 2009. In the Marines, women comprise just 6% of the force, but received 23% of discharges under the policy. The numbers represent a dramatic shift from last year, when women received 36% of Army discharges and 18% of Marine Corps discharges. In the Air Force, women comprise 20% of the service but received 51% of 'don't ask, don't tell' discharges in FY 2009. Women comprise 14% of the Navy but received 27% of the discharges last year."

A complete set of data is available from the Palm Center.

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