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MEI PRESS RELEASE: 12/11/03

Gay Alumni Open a New Chapter: Annapolis Graduates Want Academy to Recognize Calif. Group Washington Post November 28, 2004; Page C01 By Christian Davenport He guarded the secret throughout his four years at the U.S. Naval Academy, and for a few years after that as an officer. Jeff Petrie knew that if his self-described;double life; were exposed, his military career would be over. Then, on a stop in Oman during the Persian Gulf War, Petrie boarded his ship and saw a piece of paper with familiar handwriting. It was a steamy love letter from his boyfriend back in the States. Someone had opened it and placed it on the quarterdeck for everyone to read. Petrie grabbed it and began to worry about who knew. That…

MEI: Our First 6 Months

Update from the Military Education Initiative: Our First Six Months April 12, 2004 We launched the Military Education Initiative this past December and have much to report about on our first few months of educating veterans about the social science research on the gays-in-the-military issue, as well as about the lives and military service of America’s one million gay and lesbian Vets. Our efforts to reach out to Veterans Service Organizations and Military Associations are succeeding and, indeed, intensifying. We are finding widespread enthusiasm for the idea of opening a civil dialogue within the broader veteran’s community on this subject. As you know, the social science data gathered in recent years by the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military (CSSMM) continues…

MEI: Publications and Resources

Gays’ Ouster Seen Leaving Gap In Military, Study Finds WASHINGTON — More than 300 foreign language specialists considered critical in the war on terrorism have been forced out of the military in the past decade because of their sexual orientation, according to the first government study to assess both the warfighting and financial impact of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that prohibits openly gay servicemen. These soldiers had “some skills in an important foreign language such as Arabic, Farsi, and Korean,” according to a report by the Government Accountability Office to be published next month. At least 54 of the 322 language specialists spoke Arabic — more than twice as many as previous estimates. At the same time, more than 400 additional soldiers discharged…

MEI: Publications and Resources

DADT Unravels Further SLOWLY, VERY SLOWLY, the pressure is building to overturn the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) policy. “I think it’s going to end.” That is Charles Moskos talking. Moskos, a professor of military sociology at Northwestern University, is generally regarded as the principal author and staunchest proponent of DADT. Moskos told the magazine “Lingua Franca” he thinks the policy will be gone in five or ten years. It would be easy to cite several reasons for its demise, from the increasing acceptance of gays and lesbians in civil society to the growing importance of the gay vote to both political parties. But just as important, the arguments supporting the policy are unraveling and there is increasing awareness that its rationale is built…

MEI Guestbook

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Jeff Cleghorn, MEI Board Chair

Meet Jeff Cleghorn, MEI Board Chair Jeff is a former Army Major, an attorney and director of the Military Education Initiative, a non-profit public education project working to inform America’s 27 million Veterans, and organizations representing them, about current research and facts surrounding the military service of gay and lesbian Americans. Jeff was commissioned as an officer in the Army’s Military Intelligence Corps, after graduating with distinction from North Georgia College. Jeff’s military career included overseas assignments in South Korea and Germany, and two successful troop commands – one at Fort Jackson, SC, and the second in Munich. Jeff spent his final years in the Army working for the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, on the Joint Staff (Directorate for Intelligence). Jeff’s military awards…

An MEI Welcome from Chief Petty Officer Patton

The Eighth Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard 20 May 1998 – 10 October 2002   “People, Passion & Performance”     December 5, 2003   Dear Fellow Veterans:   I am writing you as a veteran and retired military member of over 30 years of active service who cares deeply about our country and our military. For my last four years of active duty, I had the pleasure of serving as my Service’s senior ranking enlisted advisor, the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, advising the Commandant and top military and civilian leaders, including our President, on quality of life, personnel matters and work environment issues affecting more than 40,000 active duty, reserve and civilian members of the U. S….

MEI IN THE MEDIA: CNN, 12/11/03

Remove Stigma From Gay Soldiers Atlanta Journal-Constitution December 1, 2003 By Jeff Cleghorn Sunday marked the 10-year anniversary of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which prohibits gay soldiers from serving in the armed forces unless they remain closeted and celibate. Interestingly, despite the U.S. military’s long hostility toward gays, fully 1 million of America’s veterans are gay and lesbian, according to the Urban Institute’s Population Studies Center. This is a striking statistic. This 10-year milestone provides an opportunity for our society to rethink how our military treats its gay soldiers. A good place to start this re-examination would be to take a look at the million experiences of our gay veterans. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” excludes openly gay troops on the belief their presence…