Does the repeal of Dont ask dont tell apply to AS?

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mikey1138
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17 Jan 2011, 11:24 am

Hello, I have the answer. Don't Ask Don't Tell only concerns one's sexual preference, not neurological make-up but I wish that were the case. However, Asperger's was just officially included last summer in the Department of Defense policy on health issues barring one from enlisting or serving in the Armed Forces.

Here is the actual document: http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corr ... 13003p.pdf

See pg. 42, specifically:
c. Pervasive developmental disorders (299 series) including Asperger Syndrome, autistic spectrum disorders, and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (299.9).

I found all this when I was undergoing the diagnosis process last summer. The military health officials weren't even aware of it. I've served in the U.S. military for over ten years now and am writing this post from Afghanistan. My chain of command knows about my AS but are "looking the other way" if you will, as long as it doesn't become an apparent problem (which it hasn't for the past decade). Luckily, as far as sensory issues go, I'm hyposensitive to loud noises, light flashes, etc, so the warzone doesn't affect me in ways it might other autistics.

I hope this information helps.



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17 Jan 2011, 12:00 pm

Descartes wrote:
DADT was a bad policy because otherwise qualified individuals were kicked out of the military because they were found out to be homosexual. I'm glad it was repealed because it was a travesty on justice and an embarrassment on this country's behalf. My only regret is that it took so long to do so.

Exactly, and thank you for saying so.


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Arminius
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17 Jan 2011, 1:21 pm

DandelionFireworks wrote:
I'm pretty sure we're still barred from rendering service to this country. That's fine; why give your life to protect a country that oppresses you and your fellows?


I agree except that I would not say it was as direct and willful as oppression. The country is profoundly indifferent to us. It makes no effort to help us. Its systems, policies, and cultural mores often hurt us. America does not care about us. I dreamed of a military career as a kid but decided against it as I got older. I am not someone who blames society for all my problems. I fought and struggled and worked my fingers to the bone and ended up at a good college with a big, merit scholarship and straight As my first semester. Still, I succeed despite this country, not becasue of it. Nothing short of an invasion could convince me to join up.



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17 Jan 2011, 1:34 pm

kfisherx wrote:
I served in both the Army and the USMC so I know that Aspies can serve..... BUT with the liklihood of meltdowns due to anxiety it probably is the fact that they should not serve. From my experience most of us probably cannot really do well when the high stress part of the job (ie war) happens.


I must be in a very small minority in this then. The structure of the Army allowed me to do quite well and as for war happening, I know this is going to sound really bad to most people but I enjoyed being in combat and never felt a bit of anxiety. I actually wished there was a way to stay in Iraq rather than go back to Germany. I only got out because of unit politics and political BS.

As for DADT and Apies serving openly, I never explicitly knew there was a ban on us serving but knowing the Army it doesn't surprise me. It is because of these kinds of attitudes in the workplace that I will never officialize my DX or tell just anyone about it. I intend to get into law enforcement after finishing my CJ degree and I'd bet most police depts have similar restrictions.



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17 Jan 2011, 2:16 pm

_Square_Peg_ wrote:
I used to serve in the United States Navy. When it became too stressful and had meltdowns every other day, I decided to get help. I told the counselor that the base provided me that I had Asperger's, that way he could get a better understanding and be able to help me out. But instead of getting help, I got honorable discharge due to medical reasons. I knew the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy applied to one's sexuality, but I had no idea it applied to one's mental conditions as well. After all, one of my ship-mates was bi-polar and was taking medication, but she still stayed in the Navy, so why couldn't an Aspie?
That happened two years ago.
Now that Don't Ask Don't Tell has been repealed, I want to know if Aspies can openly join the military too (not that I want to go back, I'm just curious.) But every article I've read only mentions gays & bis. Nothing about Aspies, Auties, or any mental condition.
I was wondering if anybody here knows about it or can help me find out.


Gays were discriminated via DADT merely based on what people were concerned with as a major distraction for the straight soldiers. It's completely different for AS people (least I hope it is) because it is a question of whether or not the people who say they have Asperger's are capable of fighting in the field. If I had a breakdown like that and got dismissed, I would be thanking them.

This doesn't mean that Aspies/Auties wouldn't be able to take part in Army careers all together...there's plenty of opportunities to take part in the computer/digital aspects of the military if they show the military that they got the chops for it.



mikey1138
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17 Jan 2011, 3:04 pm

[/quote]This doesn't mean that Aspies/Auties wouldn't be able to take part in Army careers all together...there's plenty of opportunities to take part in the computer/digital aspects of the military if they show the military that they got the chops for it.[/quote]

Technically, that is incorrect. Regardless of your skills, ASD's are automatic disqualifications for military service in any U.S. branch. But I like the aspie computer geek stereotype you mention. As a matter of fact, I have parachuted out of airplanes, repelled out of helicopters, I shoot guns, oh yeah... and my job involves calling in airstrikes in close proximity to myself and other friendly forces to kill enemy combatants and break their toys. I enjoy my job immensely and am good at it regardless of AS but it is hardly a computer/tech-centric career.



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17 Jan 2011, 3:06 pm

raisedbyignorance wrote:
Gays were discriminated via DADT merely based on what people were concerned with as a major distraction for the straight soldiers. It's completely different for AS people (least I hope it is) because it is a question of whether or not the people who say they have Asperger's are capable of fighting in the field. If I had a breakdown like that and got dismissed, I would be thanking them.

This doesn't mean that Aspies/Auties wouldn't be able to take part in Army careers all together...there's plenty of opportunities to take part in the computer/digital aspects of the military if they show the military that they got the chops for it.


But I wasn't fighting in the field. I was a Sonar Technician. I got stressed out a lot because I had to memorize so many things in a short amount of time. I felt like I couldn't keep up. When I was being discharged, my master chief told me that I didn't fail the Navy, but rather the Navy failed me. The whole time I kept thinking to myself: "So why don't they just change their ways to be more effective for modern times?"



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17 Jan 2011, 5:00 pm

Cornflake wrote:
2ukenkerl wrote:
It was a COMPROMISE that said they were allowed as long as they didn't make it an issue or obvious. THEN, they make it sound like DADT was a BAD thing for them and claimed they "repealed" it. It wasn't repealed, the original rule was overturned. This really only allowed the homosexuals to make it an issue.

Being forced to deny who you are should be an issue for everyone, not just gays willing to sacrifice their lives for their country.

You say: "as long as they didn't make it an issue or obvious"
I say: "but that would require me to live a lie".

How would you set about denying your sexuality, if you were required to?
And how do you think doing that might affect your ability to function?
Think about it for a while...


It didn't require denying one's sexuality. It simply required not expressing it. Straight people go around not expressing that they are straight quite often. The difference with don't ask don't tell is that the homosexuals had to always be in that don't express your sexuality mode. Something that's normal for everyone as a some of the time thing, they had to do all the time.

And really not comparable to Asperger's.


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17 Jan 2011, 5:04 pm

mikey1138 wrote:
Don't Ask Don't Tell only concerns one's sexual preference, not neurological make-up but I wish that were the case.


I get what you are saying, and this doesn't have to do with the point of your post. However, it's worth pointing out, one's sexual preference (as far as homosexuality and such) is part of one's neurological make-up.


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17 Jan 2011, 5:56 pm

Cornflake wrote:
Hmm, Ok. :roll:
You present the argument and all the rationality of an unthinking mob, and as such I'm backing out right now.
Thanks for driving by.


THANKS! Coming from you, that is a real compliment.



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17 Jan 2011, 5:58 pm

Mysty wrote:
Something that's normal for everyone as a some of the time thing, they had to do all the time.
:? Which to me, sounds remarkably like denying it.

Quote:
And really not comparable to Asperger's.
Agreed. :lol:
Different thing altogether.


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17 Jan 2011, 6:01 pm

2ukenkerl wrote:
Cornflake wrote:
Hmm, Ok. :roll:
You present the argument and all the rationality of an unthinking mob, and as such I'm backing out right now.
Thanks for driving by.


THANKS! Coming from you, that is a real compliment.

Aww bless, aren't you a little sweetie. :lol:
(Sorry; couldn't find a "blows kiss" smiley)


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17 Jan 2011, 6:25 pm

Hmm ... I assume the reason autistics are left out is because of the stereotypes out there most people believe. I think this should be on an individual basis, since not all autistics are exactly the same. But that won't happen.

I'm curious ... are there any other jobs besides the military that autistics are barred from that anyone knows of?



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17 Jan 2011, 8:12 pm

Does anyone know what the actual policy is, regarding autism and military service? From what I can find searching the internet, there's no blanket ban on people with autism, or Asperger's, serving in the military. Rather, if they can serve relates to abilities. And since the original poster was having issues with functioning in the military (meltdowns every other day), perhaps the counselor thought that the honorable discharge was appropriate, not because of any blanket policy on Asperger's, but because in her particular case it was (the counselor felt) an issue.


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mikey1138
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17 Jan 2011, 10:43 pm

Again, here is the official Department of Defense document that names ASD's as well as a bevy of other health issues that preclude one from joining the Armed Forces: http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corr ... 13003p.pdf
See pg. 42, specifically:
c. Pervasive developmental disorders (299 series) including Asperger Syndrome, autistic spectrum disorders, and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (299.9).

And I agree with you Mysty, that sexual-preference does pertain to neurological make-up... so I guess I misspoke. It's kinda funny... the best troop I ever supervised got out of the military after his four year enlistment because he couldn't stand living a lie and being "in the closet" about his homosexuality. But if we were both to be out nowadays, he would be allowed to serve openly and I would get discharged because of my AS.



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18 Jan 2011, 8:42 am

clumsybee wrote:
Hmm ... I assume the reason autistics are left out is because of the stereotypes out there most people believe. I think this should be on an individual basis, since not all autistics are exactly the same. But that won't happen.


Yeah, I agree with this.


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