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December 11, 2010

DADT... Gays in the Military???

Before and during the American Revolution:

In 1776, Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben (born Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben; September 17, 1730 – November 28, 1794) was alleged to be homosexual and was accused of improper sexual behavior. Whether or not Steuben was actually intimate with other men is not entirely known, but the rumors compelled him to seek employment elsewhere.  

On September 26, 1777, the Baron, his Italian greyhound, Azor (which he took with him everywhere), his young aide de camp Louis de Pontiere, his military secretary Pierre Etienne Duponceau, and two other companions, reached Portsmouth, New Hampshire and by December 1, was extravagantly entertained in Boston. Congress was in York, Pennsylvania, after being ousted from Philadelphia by the British advance. By February 5, 1778, Steuben had offered to volunteer without pay (for the time), and by the 23rd, Steuben reported for duty to then General George Washington at Valley Forge. Steuben spoke little English and he often yelled to his translator, "Here! Come swear for me!" Colonel Alexander Hamilton and General Nathanael Greene were of great help in assisting Steuben in drafting a training program for the Army, which found approval with Washington.

Americans (and British) had been mainly dependent upon using their ammunition to win battles. Throughout the early course of the war, Americans used the bayonet mostly as a cooking skewer or tool rather than as a fighting instrument. Steuben's introduction of effective bayonet charges became crucial. Steuben, by then serving in Washington's Headquarters, was the first to determine the enemy was heading for Monmouth. Washington recommended appointment of Steuben as Inspector General on April 30, 1778; Congress approved it on May 5th.


In the Battle of Stony Point, the first results of Steuben's training were in evidence at the Battle of Barren Hill in May of 1778 and then again at the Battle of Monmouth in June of 1778. American soldiers attacked with unloaded muskets and won the battle solely on Steuben's bayonet training. He was later forced to take sick leave, rejoining the army for the final campaign at Yorktown, Virginia, where his role was as commander of one of the three divisions of Washington's troops. 

During the winter of 1778-1779, Steuben prepared Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States, commonly known as the "Blue Book." Its basis was the training plan he had devised at Valley Forge. 

Steuben gave assistance to Washington in demobilizing the army in 1783 as well as aiding in the defense plan of the new nation. He was discharged from the military with honor on March 24, 1783.

Yorktown VA is less than a half hour from my home in Portsmouth...

If, then General, George Washington can accept a gay man in the military, why can't our 21st century leaders?

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA

2 comments:

jaygeemmm said...

Our 21st century MILITARY leaders are pleading with uber-conservatives like John McCain, who, because he was a POW I guess, thinks he knows better than the Pentagon how to run the military, and is risking having the courts end DADT (upon which he can then say "I didn't have anything to do about it" to his constituents who continue to elect such a bigoted Senator to the post). The courts will end, and in some cases, already have ended DADT, though Obama (rapidly becoming the invisible president) seems content to let his DOJ appeal it, etc., costing us millions, and in the meantime, throwing the military into turmoil as they seek to instantly comply with court orders that seemingly change weekly depending on who's ruling at the moment. I am 100%, totally disgusted with the lot in Washington, but I just don't know what the heck to do about it.
Peace (which we need more of) and <3 (that, too)
Jay

truthspew said...

Wow. History we never knew about and you're right, if Washington could accept the contributions of a gay man, what the hell is the problem today? I'll tell you what it is, the neo-conservative movement.

The Neo-Con's want to wind us back to the halcyon days that never existed. It's a figment of their own demented imaginings.

The thought of progress is anathema to Neo-Con's. They'd rather see our military crumble because of their anti-gay idiocy than to admit we are EVERYWHERE in this country and we need not be false about who we are anymore.

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