MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division conducted Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal training at the Camp Margarita, 33 Area chapel, April 26. The Marines and sailors of Headquarters Bn. learned about the changes to the policy.
Service members were given a chance to ask questions during the training session.
The repeal of DADT will give gays and lesbians equal opportunity rights to serve openly and without harassment in the military.
“Sexual orientation is a personal and private matter,” said Col. Rudolph Janiczek, commanding officer of Headquarters Bn. “Whether I know or not, I am obliged to treat you equally.”
The training covered Marines’ privacy as well as and Marine standards and conduct.
Topics of discussion and concern included possible cohabitation of Marines of different sexual orientation and the possibility of base housing allowances for same-sex marriages.
“The way Marines are quartered has not changed,” said Janiczek. “It is not by sexual orientation, age or job; it’s by gender and will stay that way.”
The Department of Defense only recognizes marriage as defined by the Defense Marriage Act. Same-sex couples will not receive housing allowances or any extra entitlements in the military. The Defense Marriage Act states that marriage is a legal union between one man and one woman for purposes of all federal laws.
Janiczek believes the repeal will change very little in the Marine Corps.
“I remember back in the 90s when the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy was going into effect, because it was a big national debate at the time,” said Janiczek. “I was a series commander at Paris Island. I came in, physically trained with the recruits, went to chow and carried out a normal day, and every day since then has been the same.”
“I don’t think the change will be much of a problem in the military,” said Lance Cpl. Armando Coronado, a motor vehicle operator, with Truck Company Alpha, Headquarters Bn. “I’ve grown up with homosexuals in my family, and it never really affected me.”
According to Marine Corps Order 1000.9, officer, enlisted and civilians are obligated to uphold and protect the dignity of all Marine Corps personnel.
Janiczek said harassment of military members because of their beliefs or sexual orientation will still not be tolerated in military service.
“When you go out and deploy, you’re relying on that Marine to your left and right. There’s no time to worry about something as small as this repeal,” Janiczek said.