In what appears to be an extraordinary reversal of military policy, members of the U.S. armed forces say they have been given permission by their commanding officers to march in a “gay pride” parade Saturday – while wearing their service-issued uniforms.
Meanwhile, WND has learned, one of the top officers who approved the decision has since entered retirement.
The top echelons of the U.S. Air Force approved a request by a senior recruiter based in Arizona to join “a uniformed, active-duty military contingent” in a San Diego homosexual pride event, the San Diego Union Tribune reported.
The decision breaks down generations of tight limits on when and where a service member is allowed to appear in uniform, and appears to stray from the Department of Defense regulations on the use of uniforms, dated 2005 and signed by Defense Undersecretary David S.C. Chu, which says using the U.S. military uniform is prohibited in a number of scenarios.
Those include “in connection with furthering political activities, private employment or commercial interests, when an inference of official sponsorship of the activity or interest may be drawn.”
Using the uniform also is banned “When wearing the uniform may tend to bring discredit upon the armed forces,” and while former members are allowed to wear them for funerals, memorial services, weddings, and “other parades … in which any active or reserve United States military unit is taking part,” the regulations state, “wearing of the uniform or any part thereof at any other time or for any other purpose is prohibited.”
Current Air Force rules say members may appear in uniform “at local community-wide civic-sponsored events only when the approving commander believes participating is appropriate and in good taste; the individuals volunteer for the assignment; there is no interference with military duties or operations; participation involves no additional cost to the government; and the event meets the basic participation criteria below.”
That section specifies that an event “intended to, or which appears to endorse, selectively benefit, or favor any private individual, special interest group, business, religious, ideological movement, commercial venture, political candidate, or organization” would be “disapproved.”
Yet Joanna Gasca, a reserve Air Force recruiter, told the San Diego Union Times that she has been given permission by her chain of command to appear in uniform at Saturday’s San Diego “Gay Pride Parade.”…………
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