Wednesday, December 30, 2009

About The State of Diversity Today

The Army Times published my letter on 12-03-09:

Letter to the Editor: The Army Times, Maj. Gen. Dennis J. Laich (ret.)
"A policy of delusion"
Letter to the editor
December 7, 2009
The Army Times

As news media reported the tragic events at Fort Hood, Texas, I read with particular interest the comments of Gen. George Casey, the Army chief of staff. He said, “Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as the tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”

He expressed the legitimate concerns of a senior leader. However, I find his comments ironic at best and hypocritical at worst given that the Army legitimizes discrimination and bludgeons diversity every day as it executes its don’t ask, don’t tell policy, which forces the 65,000 patriots currently serving in our military to hide or lie about their own identity.

It is also an affront to those 13,000 veterans separated under this policy, many of whom were combat veterans or had critical skills. Don’t ask, don’t tell is a policy of delusion that acknowledges that gays and lesbians serve in our military but pretends they’re not there.

In the spirit of his expressed concerns regarding protecting diversity in our Army, I would urge Gen. Casey to aggressively advocate for the repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell. Diversity is best supported by the courageous expression of truth.

— Maj. Gen. Dennis J. Laich (ret.), Powell, Ohio

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Retired Major General Dennis Laich, AUS Laich had a distinguished 35-year career in the Army Reserve, 14 of which were spent in various command positions, the last as commander of the 94 th Regional Readiness Command in Ft. Devens, MA. His business career began in 1972 with Corning Glass Works and included positions with LTV Steel and Navistar International.

Laich holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Lafayette College, and master’s degrees from West Virginia University and St. Francis College in Business Administration and Labor Relations. He completed postgraduate studies at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and is a graduate of the Army War College.

He is currently serving as Ohio Dominican’s PATRIOTS Program Director. General Laich is the University’s support liaison for veterans applying for the PATRIOTS program, providing one-on-one assistance and linking them with resources they need to meet their educational goals.