Quote from the 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps General James F Amos
San Diego, California
Background: On Saturday 6 November Gen Amos conducted a media availability in San Diego. In response to a question he addressed the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell issue. Media reported his statement, but omitted portions that made the contextual essence of his point that, “There is nothing more intimate than combat and I want to make that point crystal clear.”
The full quote is below. In subsequent reporting, on such a divisive issue, please use the quote in the context it was made.
"There is nothing more intimate than combat and I want to make that point crystal clear. There is nothing more intimate than young men and young women, and when you're talking infantry, we're talking our young men laying out, sleeping alongside of one another, and sharing death and fear and the loss of their brothers. So I don't know what the effect of that would be on unit cohesion. I mean that's what we're looking at, unit cohesion, its combat effectiveness. So I've got questions. And that's part of the reason I'm very, not part of the reason, it is the reason why I'm very supportive of Secretary Gates' efforts to do the survey. The survey is done, the results are in. They're being collated right now. I've had a chance to look at the early returns, and towards the end of this month, I'll have an opportunity to provide the chairman and the secretary of defense on my best military advice on what I think the results would be when don't ask don't tell is repealed. So that's my position on it. There's risk involved. I'm trying to determine how to measure that risk. And this is not a social thing with me. This is combat effectiveness. That's what the country pays its Marines to do."