In a move that surprised some, Senator John McCain, who had previously said he would follow the advise of senior military leaders concerning the ban against allowing blacks to fly missions, has gone against the advise of senior military leaders, who now say that repealing the ban would do no long term harm to military readiness.
“At this time, we should be inherently cautious about making any changes that would affect our military, and what changes we do make should be the product of careful and deliberate consideration,”
McCain, who retired at the rank of Captain in 1981, was directly challenged by current Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, the military’s top uniformed officer who chairs the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“Repeal of the law will not prove unacceptable risk to military readiness. Unit cohesion will not suffer if our units are well-led. And families will not encourage their loved ones to leave the service in droves.”
Mullen also said that Congress should act before the courts do, and that wartime is an ideal time for repeal.
“War does not stifle change; it demands it,” he said. “It does not make it harder; it facilitates it.”
“Gates? He was never in the military… What does he know”!
Concerning Mullen, he added this:
“Yes, he’s an Admiral, but he hasn’t actually served in theater with the troops for years. He doesn’t know what’s going on, on the ground. He simply doesn’t understand how much damage this will cause to troop cohesiveness”
Major General Frank O’Driscoll Hunter defended McCain’s position:
“Racial friction will occur if colored and while pilots are trained together.”
Actual Story Here.