March 31, 2000 |
An Air Force major was discharged Thursday, ending his fight against an order to take an anthrax vaccine. Maj. Sonnie Bates, 35, had initially faced a court-martial for refusing an order. He was believed to have been the highest-ranking officer in the Air Force to face a court-martial for refusing an order to take the vaccine. Bates, a pilot at Dover Air Force Base, said the vaccine could jeopardize his health. The Pentagon says it is safe.
March 25, 2000 |
Pentagon officials conceded Friday that they have uncovered a "disturbing" level of gay harassment in the U.S. military and ordered a new effort to implement and enforce the controversial policy governing treatment of homosexuals. Officials released a Pentagon inspector general's survey of 72,000 troops around the world that found 37% have witnessed or been targets of gay harassment directed at service members.
March 5, 2000 |
In the next few months, every member of the armed forces, from private to general, is supposed to undergo instruction to stop harassment of gays in uniform. But the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines have prepared widely differing, sometimes contradictory and often perfunctory lessons. Everyone in the Navy, for example, will see a slide show that begins with sailors working heroically together as wind-whipped waves crash around their ship.
January 17, 2000 |
An American soldier serving with the international peacekeeping force in Kosovo was charged Sunday with sexually assaulting and killing an 11-year-old ethnic Albanian girl, the U.S. military announced. Staff Sgt. Frank J. Ronghi is accused of murder and indecent acts with a child, Col. Ellis Golson told reporters. It is the first time a peacekeeper from any country has been accused of such serious crimes since the 50,000-strong NATO-led peacekeeping force entered the province June 12.
December 20, 1999 |
Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Sunday that there was no reason an avowed homosexual could not serve as president someday, but he opposed openly gay people serving in the military. In a telephone interview with Reuters, the Arizona senator said a candidate's religion or sexual orientation should not be a bar to the presidency. "People make judgments based on a candidate's qualifications," he said. "I don't think that would rule anybody out."
December 14, 1999 |
Vice President Al Gore said Monday that, if elected president, he would end the ban on acknowledged gays and lesbians serving in the nation's military forces. Stepping directly into a controversy with which President Clinton wrestled unsuccessfully at the start of his presidency seven years ago--and tried to resolve with a compromise that he acknowledged just last weekend was a failure--Gore said the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy should be eliminated.
December 10, 1999 |
Hillary Rodham Clinton scored with the gay community Thursday, saying she doesn't support the "don't ask, don't tell" policy intended to make it easier for gays and lesbians to serve in the military. She then stepped into the middle of a local controversy by saying she'd march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade. The parade excludes the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization, and many Democratic politicians steer clear of it.
November 24, 1999 |
Defense Secretary William S. Cohen called for a military-wide review of conduct Tuesday after a Pentagon study said up to 75% of blacks and other ethnic minorities reported experiencing racially offensive behavior. At the same time, a companion study indicated the percentage of minority and female officers had more than doubled in 20 years.
November 11, 1999 |
Capt. Earl R. Fox, the last World War II veteran still on active duty in the U.S. armed forces, is retiring next week. Fox will have breakfast at the White House today and then speak at a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. This will be his final Veterans Day in uniform and he describes himself as "the last direct physical link" between today's military and the warriors of Midway, Normandy and Iwo Jima.