Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell Debate Hits Fordham ROTC


Published: April 1, 2010

The Pentagon announced on March 25 that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy, enacted in 1993 to prevent gay and lesbian servicemen and women from openly serving in the military, will be eased until Congress can vote on its repealing, the Washington Post reported. At Fordham’s ROTC program, the changes are not yet being felt, though the program does differ from the military’s official stance on gays in the military.

“We do not address sexual orientation when admitting students to ROTC so we anticipate no impact on Army accessions at this time,” said Enrik M. Reyes, Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and assistant professor in the department of military science at Fordham University. Citing the ROTC’s Administrative Advising Council’s “talking points,” Reyes said that “Fordham Army ROTC follows Cadet Command’s Policy for enrolling/disenrolling cadets in the program,” and that “bottom line up front: no change to policy as of now.”

The possible repeal, proposed by Senator Joseph Lieberman (DI-CT), would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation within the military in both the selection of new members and the continuance of current ones.

“If Americans want to serve, they ought to have the right to be considered for that service regardless of characteristics such as race, religion, gender or sexual orientation,” Lieberman said.

Reyes continued, “While the Commander-in-Chief has made a renewed call to repeal the Department of Defense’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, he has also stated that the military must not ignore the law that now governs that policy.

“One of the seven Army values is respect and it is expected that all Soldiers treat each other with dignity and respect,” he said.

Fordham’s ROTC program is the second largest program of its kind in the Northeast region, with over 160 cadets enrolled.