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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  June 30, 2012 7:00pm-1:00am EDT

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to our jurisdiction because it relates to states collecting tax across state lines, and that is another whole jurisdictional area. that is an issue that affects transactions. we also have an issue of state attempting to collect other types of taxes from businesses that are briefly in their state. it is not things on the internet necessarily. the could be driving a certain number of trucks through your state and you get past six or seven tracks. i have legislation that it tends to create a bright line test so we can promote competition, encourage small businesses that are reluctant to do business in other states because of the
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complexity of when they might get hit by another contact. we ought to tell them that this is the line. other states can taxi. think that would benefit not only businesses but also help the fact that we waste a lot of resources. they would not know under what circumstances they attacked an entity. it would allow them to impose these taxes. less than that, businesses should not have to worry about that. -- if you go to a trade show, is that said that again contact? i would argue definitely not. if you go into that state
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instead of a business and operate it, to me a state to be able to impose their state and local taxes on that. >> we are out of time. he is co-chair of the internet caucus. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] correct this week we are joined by henry waxman the democrats talked about the supreme court's decision upholding the affordable care act. they will also talk about energy issues including the exxon pipeline and republican plans for the budget. join us this evening at 6:00 eastern. -- sunday evening at 6:00
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eastern. >> coming up, a roundtable discussion on the political reaction following the supreme court's ruling on the affordable care act. we are joined by them. it is followed by an analysis of the policy implications of the supreme court's decision including replacing in repealing the law. this is live at 7:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> this is the conversation we need to have that nobody is willing to have. what role should the government play in housing finance. >> correction mo -- gretchen morgenson de tells the housing
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collapse. >> if you want to subsidize housing in this country and the populace agrees it is something we should subsidize, then put it on the balance sheet. make it clear. we deliver the subsidy for a public company with private shareholders and executives who can distract a bunch of that for themselves, that is not a good way to subsidize home ownership. >> afghan security forces are not ready to stand on their own in 2014.
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former army vice chief of staff urged congress not to reduce funding for training afghan forces and said the pace should be put down. this is a little under an hour. >> i want to call to order the house armed services committee on oversight and investigations. a subcommittee convened a series of hearings related to the afghan security forces. we will receive testimony from what theyporexperts about are using to train them. our panel today includes the senior fellow for national security studies at the council of foreign relations. welcome.
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and the director of research at the senior fellow a foreign policy program at the brookings institute. thank you so much for joining us today. >> we look forward to your testimony. my views have been informed by a recent trip to afghanistan. i have several opportunities to talk with folks and provinces and will leaders. i had the opportunity to talk to our commanders on the ground to provide their impressions of the level of support that will be needed to create a self sustaining af. i hope our witnesses can provide some further context i want to highlight the efforts. these brave men and women conducted daily combat operations against the taliban and al qaeda networks.
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i saw their sacrifice first chance. i want to commend my appreciation. i think them and their families for the services they provide. i recognize that members of other subcommittees have joined us. thank you for joining us. but this i will turn to our acting ranking member for the opening statement he may have. >> i just want to say at thank you for coming in as we move toward the transition in afghanistan. we're trying to make sure we have as much information so we can make the best decision for our men and women in uniform for the effort made there. >> thank you. we will begin with the
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testimony. important spotlight. since the focus of the hearings at ansf, thing the capabilities are increasing. they need considerable support for american forces in terms of medevac and all sorts of other things about which there would not be nearly as effective as they are. they still have tremendous challenges of securing a country with 30 million people. the council on foreign relations issued a policy memo in which
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has seven concrete steps to secure the gains that have been made by our troops to pay tribute. i fear that if we do not do enough follow a gains will be lost and we will be facing too much of a burden on the afghan security forces. i realize our time is limited. let me run down the seven sets i think are important. is important not to reduce funding. it reduces funding from about $6 billion a year to about $1.4 billion a year.
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they serve a working for drug lords and insurgents. i do not see the subsidy of doing so when all we would be saving is approximately $2 billion a year. i realize that is a lot of money. we should certainly do more to get our allies to pay. it is incumbent on us not to shortchange the ansf which could have calamitous consequences for afghan security. the second recommendation is not to reduce our own force of its levels precipitously. i would recommend that we keep
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these levels at the felt 60,000. what the troops have been able to do is improve the security situation. we not seen any such improvement in the east where have connie sanctuaries remain intact. this is a very dangerous situation to leave behind which could lead to an overthrow of the government. this of the difficult to do a 68,000 troops. it would be impossible to go below that number. we need to make sure that we do not precipitously cut our forces after 2014. there is a magical thinking that leaving only a handful of operators out there to cure all our interests are far even if we want to maintain the current
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level of operations that requires a fast interest structure, air support, all sorts of platforms to enable our men and women. if we get levels below 30,000 after 2014, we will not have any structure in place to carry out even the minimal advisory's. most of those we agree need to be reformed. in terms of the other recommendations, i will run through them quickly. we need to go slow on peace talks. we need to identify the successor to president karzai. we need to identify subsidies for the pakistani military that is currently subsidizing the other side. we need to launch drone or special operations sites on leader targets.
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they cannot have impunity to operate within afghanistan. that concludes my testimony. >> thank you for your viewpoint. we look forward to your questioning. >> thank you. thank you for inviting me to testify today. it is a pleasure to be back in front of the house home services committee and to talk about an important subject. i am delighted to be up here. i know these guys for years. i admire and think them for their contribution to national security. as you know, i have done for assessments in afghanistan for our commanders. the last one was for general in january.tis
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i spent considerable time. we began to turn the momentum in the east. we do not have the generation because of the pullout that we had in the south and southwest. i believe the ansf is a cable for is stepping up to the task -- is capable to step up to the task. on the political and economic
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side it has considerable effort in the transition. it has been on the securities side from my perspective even though that was not the major part of my assessments. you cannot be immune to what is going on around the security situation. i think there are four key decisions that are facing us in the next year or 1.5 years that will be made that will influence the stability and security of afghanistan. all four of them will impact dramatically on ansf's success. one is the post forces. we cannot prematurely reduce that force. if we do we drive the rest up far too much. when their training side-by-side with us what they get out of
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that in terms of their own growth and development is exponential. they see what this looks like every single day. key nnumber two is the funding for the ansf. it is largely provided by u.s. dollars. discussions have taken place as we know with discussions on the table to reduce that to 230,000. think about that. this makes no sense. how can we expect them to protect the people with one- third less force only a year after we 0 out the nato force. the issue is about $2 billion a year. we spent a decade in the training and equipping.
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by 2014 we will have the results. in terms of the timetable, the fundfunding should remain throuh 2012. afghans are able to pay a greater share than that should be expected. let it be the conditions and not an arbitrarily financial number. to under 30,000 ansf -- 230,000 ansf would have an impact. it guarantees a return of taliban domination. the decision is the residual force post 2014. it should be sized for the
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missions that are vital to continued success. it should not be an arbitrary number. those missions are counter terrorism, security, and then you need the enablers. enablers are needed for all three of the forces. for counter-terrorism we need this. we also need enablers for the international community residual forces and the ansf. are some of the things they truly need? when you look at the army that is on the battlefield, it is largely a maneuver. what am i talking about? intelligence. logistics to include this.
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it is almost exclusively human intelligence. they have no technologiy are listening devices. some of this is mostly russian made. every one of those are on the tarmac for months. at some point we should transition them out of those aircraft as part of a long-term partnership with the afghans. some time there will be able to pay for it themselves. if they have no route in mine clearing equipment. none. this should be part of a package that is provided. if we shut down our intel system and they're left out there by themselves, this will spy.
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we have one. the way you should think about this, think of these sanctuaries as loosely indebted military bases with the following functions. training and logistics to include family housing. leaders said the strategy in afghanistan and have leaders to the fight to afghanistan, provide intelligence to commanders, and provide resources and logistics. the pakistan army, particular provides operations. they provide training and logistics. as a result, the taliban have managed to contract a war for over eight years that has eroded the american people.
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something must be done about the sanctuary's if we intend to succeed beyond 2014. we should start building the polders now. it should be a major collection item. then we should start having this in the same way we are having success against the al qaeda leaders. what would be the request? they became a defensive organization of pakistan. no longer able to project power outside of it. that would have the game changer in afghanistan if we started to systematically change the behavior of the taliban leaders a.
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these decisions will determine whether we will be successful in afghanistan or not. we are on the cusp of ending our participation. never before have so few served so long. war is fundamentally a test of will. that is why leadership is always at a premium. this has endured your support and it begs for your continued leadership. ryan crocker who you all know well, former ambassador in iraq and pakistan, has said "how we leave a war and what really behind is far more important than how we began it." thank you. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. i think you have frame the discussion beautifully.
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i would like to underscore my concern as well about the projected intention to downsidze the afghan forces. i agree with the argument that we have to be careful about our own forces. i am concerned about the potential downside to the afghan forces. i want to get a quick antidote of how this concept of downsizing rapidly began and how it has been misconstrued. as i understood things the united states initiated a discussion about what long-term forces might be for their size and capability. just trying to get emotional concept on the table.
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this was one of four scenarios. it is based on a certain environment. 228,500 is a lot less than we have now. we have about 130,000 nato troops. right now we have more than 400,000 combine forces. this is one of four scenarios. they have done a good job with a different portfolio. something to plan for. you could expect this to be a minimal requirement.
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this is a way to go out. i do not know when or how this happened. we should assume they should stay at three under 50,000 -- 350,000 for some time. it is real money but nothing compared to thewhat we're spendg on operations. if we had to add more troops to compensate that would consume all the savings right there. i just wanted to add my voice and explained the genesis of what i think has become misconstrued. this is in the. of reminding some of the broader debate in construction.
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the kidneys to be kept in mind. -- this needs to be kept in mind. these are typically the easier ones. we have to be clear and transparent about that. these are handled primarily by the afghan security forces. they to the primary role. that forces are becoming pretty good. i think that is worth bearing in
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mind. >> the afghan local police tend to make the news when they do something wrong. or when some militia claims to the afghan local police in gaza and does something wrong. i think this is doing extremely well. there have been investigations on the various the stealing's. it is different than the army or the police. there have been some cases of abuse. they suggested that one or two were serious violations of proper procedure for law.
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they're holding their own. even when they are overmatched they're holding their ground '80s arm of the town. i think they deserve credit. the bad news here is that the reason they are good is we're being very careful on how we build them up. this is not an out of control reincarnation of the afghan militia. we're having them operate here. there is only top thousand of them right now. this is not want to be the silver bullet. it is not going to be that big of a contribution to afghan security. it is still a useful one. people talk and loose ways about how the afghan security forces
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are dominated by the minority groups. it is true the we have to hide a dependence on those officers and parts of the afghan security forces. the overall ethnic composition almost exactly mayors the demographics of afghanistan -- mirrors the demographics of afghanistan. where we do see this behavior and corruption and to some extent ethnic partiality, the afghan leadership of trying to get rid of these people. the afghan army leaders replace it the last year.
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they may go see them. there is an exchange of views. the afghans control their own security forces. we provide them with information. then the minister of interior, some people think he is too aggressive and now a buyer's people. some be -- and how he fires people. his firing incompetent leaders of whatever persuasion they may be. he has replace 70 in iraq. i see a lot of hopefulness. >> thank you. thank you so much. we will begin with our line of questioning. i want to go back to my conversation.
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there is an assessment of where we are and where they see the need going forward. one of the concerns i have looking at this going forward. they make the decision to how we progress by 2014. in doing that in a transition of five trenches. as you look at these be easier transition's take place up front. to me this is counterintuitive. capabilityve less there. you have less capabilities facing a transition time. fesses logically makes sense and have to transition?
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the interesting point is somewhat of a different approach as far as the total number of forces after 2014 and a drawdown with ansf forces not long after. he feels that going to 230,000 at that time will lead a power backing. they are concerned about being able to transition those people into some productive element of society. i think there are a number of different areas. it looks like there is some counter intuitive this about the plan going forward. you touched on certain points of that.
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i want to get your thoughts about what impact that has on our success and the current track and what the contingency should be as these are plan now knowing what has been proposed. what should the contingency be if those elements of the plan do not work out as proposed? >> i would just reiterate what he said. all of our decisions need to be conditions based. i think they ought to correspond to the conditions on the ground. we need to be very careful about the drawdown in managing that in a responsible way so we do not leave a power backing. i think that will be the result
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of the current trajectory. we need to be very careful and go slow and make sure we're not shrinking the ansf prematurely. mostly been focused on the south. i would urge the condition based approach. >> it is pretty interesting what has happened to us. i think the administration urges i will get the five years to solve this war. i will give you the resources to do it. that is what we have. what is the problem? the problem is right from the beginning. the first one was petraeus recommended a minimal force of
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40. what did that do to us that they wanted to conduct simultaneous campaigns in the south and east to put as much pressure on the enemy. we had to do it sequentially. what did that do? drives of casualties. -- drives up casualty. .es petraeus had this a much higher level. they are all gone. that is where we are. given those dynamics that are happening, there's pressure on the commander to stay on a schedule that transitions are combat forces and then be out of there by 2014. in my judgment what is happening is far from condition based.
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that is what we are moving to. we should take that pressure often been said that they can come back and say we have to slow this down. that is a major issue. we have two major issues. we have to slow down the transition. >> i will put in these terms. i agree with what my colleagues have said. president obama had been adamantly against the iraq war. he gave his talk to execute the drawdown. it is better than their original intention to go small. it gave them time to think about what the drawdown will be. they were allowed to keep the forces through the election of
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2010. i think something similar is going to be necessary and advisable with whoever is in the white house come january. i hope they get the commanders the same leeway. as it do this transition we need to have substantial capability that we still maintain. what i would anticipate is that if we stay at 68,000, which i hope will be the case, then we do a review by the newly elected president whether it is governor romney or president obama. the present largely defers to commanders. this is my instinct about where we need to go. >> i want to thank the bacrankig
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member. cried thank you. let me defer to my colleague who was more prompt than i was. >> thank you. maybe more of the commanders were is the leadership graphic? maybe they were set up a something further down the road? and other tribal areas have different commanders? >> let me ask my colleagues who may know certain areas there
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than i do appeared generous speaking i believe a while many of the tajik leaders come from the northern parts many are thought the country. the main problem, there are ethnic issues. they have done very well with that even only try to incentivize them. there are challenges. i do not want to trivialize it. so that they have to rely on the kurds from other provinces. >> you are saying that we have this tax >?
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>> i think the elite paramilitary, acting as if the 50% + tajik. that causes you some concern. the units are individually integrated. it is not bad. a feeling nationwide, they are somewhat underrepresented. >> he made a statement one of them was that this was here. what is your prediction as to what that will yield?
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>> i cannot say for certain what would happen. i do know we have given them tens of billions of dollars of subsidy. >> if you are going to make that statement, you're going to figure out that at some impact. >> we have tried that and to wean them away from the talent then to bribe them into becoming our allies. that failed. we need to recognize that the pakistani is remain as deeply committed to the afghan town again as they wear. i am not saying cut off all aid.
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they dominated the national security policy. we need to recognize that pakistan is not our friend here. i think it would lead to the kind of confidence. it is very good in its internal control. will still be able to remain in power. these resources will be decreased. >> thank you. i have no further questions. >> thank you.
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i do not believe it likely that this congress will sustain up to 20,000 g i's and afghanistan to a cost of 25 billion a year. will not be able to do some things have been suggested. we also got a request of $25 million annually. they're going to reduce this to approximately 4 billion.
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i'm going to ask you about where the money is lent to come from that year asking for. we blew through the $15 trillion debt market. we are going into our fourth one of $1 trillion. they would have already been in insolvency in bankruptcy. i do not know many in similar situations that would help the united states if we continue on this path. if we do there is more than one
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outcome. we may have no money for national defense. think about that. even with the sequestration it is a tip of the iceberg situation. your of looking at laying off 700,000 american uniform personnel. they're so inspired by other nations elsewhere they put this far and above what our enemies can typically feel. given this type of situation and the afghan economy, how do not think there are economy will be able to support their own defense needs. it have to be a mecca of will continue to put money into this.
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where you think they are needed to stabilize the afghan situation as we drawdown our troops tha? do you want to cut entitlement programs t? >> i agree with the about the dire state of our finances. i do not agree that defense is the primary key to beating factor. defense is only taking about four% of our gross domestic product. this is not the park for afghanistan. you're talking about eight 2/3
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reduction. this is a lot of money. what is the alternative tax and we're trying to stabilize the situation, it allows it to affect the development. we are able to prevent the out can get allies. cu >> i do agree they should take a hit. you had mentioned entitlements. is that we think we should cover ?his t >> we need to go with the money
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is. >> if you could please provide your comments and writing. we will go to mr. cooper. >> thank you. i want to be brief on two issues. one is the vulnerability of our trips to cut off supplies, particularly if we make a dramatic and hellman's. secondly, at the allegiance of ansf troops. what risk me we face tax -- may we face? >> we have had a main supply route) and number of months. we're able to sustain the force. also the line of communication that we have established.
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i think it is overstated. it certainly is desirable. it is less costly. i speak we could take the issue of the table. we do have alternatives. we refer to it as green on blue. there is no doubt on how we get out of u.s. forces.
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the other strategy is infiltration into the security forces to be able to attack u.s. forces. that has taken place. the good news in talking last night that they believe they have stopped at about 785 some of what has happened. they are increasing this. the way our forces look at it as debilitating as it is, it is something the enemy is looking as the enemy is using an ied against us. it is pressuring for our forces to deal with that. at the same time, our soldiers are pretty tough.
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it does not diminish their performance nor the quality of that performance nor the morale that have had. >> with the witnesses generally agree that we should take the pakistan supply route of the table? >> i certainly agree that we're in a much better place. it is an amazing alternative. it increases are dependent on vladimir putin. something not require explicit permission. i think the green on good situation is still very troublesome. it does run a risk of our ability to run with afghan
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forces. it is a strategic concern. there are serious efforts to try to cap it. this may be the best we can do in the short term. if i could briefly comment on to whom the afghan forces are loyal. a lot of this will turn on the 2014 election. i talked to a top afghan general when i was visiting last month. what is your number one concern? he said the 2014 election. if you get the wrong person all bets are off. i do not think press the karzai has been a stellar leader but there are a couple of things he has done correctly. shtuns to have a non-cash tupa
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president. in terms of the ministers of security, you need at least one. these are some of the elements i think will be important. the president cannot be more corrupt than karzai's family. we need to find a way to the tow. that is the point i was trying to get at. at cannot imagine this congress funding 5 billion a year for aid if it is even more problematic. i think we need to send this message soon. >> thank you. >> thank you for the testimony. thank you for the bison have given us over the weeks and
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years on strategic issues. -- for the advice he have given us over the weeks and years on strategic issues. the sabres afghans have no desire to be ruled by the taliban. they need our aid to consolidate their post-2000 efforts to create a more moderate state. how committed to a more inclusive state duty in the karzai is? think karzai is? >> there are obviously deep issues of corruption. it is possible to work with them and the recent agreements that were reached in the detention facility. at the end of the day, there is no question that the karzai is i tried to get the most they can out of the state.
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a lot of them doing well. we are encouraging that by not having the control of our spending and by setting deadlines for our departure. get as much as you can now. >> the other half is saying we will stay indefinitely. they are encouraging that behavior. i completely agree that an extension of taliban rule is wholly undesirable. i am concerned that the regime might find it quite acceptable to have an unwritten agreement were they would stay in power but there would be part of the country that would be run by the taliban and do whatever they want. are we address that this regime with double bank us, reserve there on well -- their own
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wealth? what is wrong with that hypothesis? >> first of all this regime is going. thank god for that. ryan crocker has worked, how capable is he as an ambassador. he is the best in the world. he is confident that it will be a political transition. that was not always the view. there is some speculation that karzai would have some means to hang on a constitutional reform. i do not think we will get a transformational leader. i do think we will get a beater who will clearly understand the legacy of the past and the problems it has caused this country. it is much more along the lines of what we had seen in korea.
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i am not of the mind that the regime will get worse. there is potential for that. i think we should be all in vain to influence that. >> if i could paraphrase my question. how confident are we that the afghan interests are truly with hours that's what can we do to come in line with the deaths it is not predict in line with it? -- can we do to come in line with it? >> i was going to answer that question. there are those who would be willing to see any of the
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country. for all the obvious reasons in terms of that tyrannical role and what that means inside of their country, there would be no toleration for political leaders doing something like that. one of the much remarkable things that it place was what took place last summer asking for the relationships with the united states. the participation came with virtually every province in the country. >> i sometimes think there are a majority in years we've been asking the wrong question. how confident are we at transitioning over to afghan security? how willing are they to except that?
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our troops are doing a fantastic job there. i think they have given us very safe tactical advice in how to achieve it. tactical measures fail. i wonder if it exists there. >> thank you. we appreciate that. thank you so much for spending the time with us today. we're on the front end of a series. i want to make sure we have an opportunity if there any questions the panel has to ask, that they submit those en writing. with that, thank you for appearing before us. with that this hearing is adjourned.
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> african american marines are honored at a congressional gold medal ceremony. microsoft chairman bill gates on the value of higher education. >> the purchasing power of gold, was constant for a period of four centuries. it seems to me the record of the gold standard is a record by and large of growth in the macro sense and personal accountability. >> this week and on american history tv, james grant looks at
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the departures and arguments for returning to the gold standard. more from "the contenders." our series on those who ran for president and lost. that is at 7:30 p.m. >> from 1942 until 1949, 19,000 african american marines were stationed at the segregated camp. on wednesday they were awarded the congressional gold medal. we will hear from john boehner, nancy pelosi, harry reid and mitch mcconnell, and rip brown.
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this is one hour. >> our colleagues from the senate, senator hagan and burr, senator brown and west, mcconnell, gold medal recipients, your families and friends and everybody who made this ceremony today possible. welcome to your nation's capital into emancipation hall. it was signed by president barack obama last november. section 2 reads as follows. the speaker of the house of representatives and the president pro tem of the senate shall make arrangements for the award on behalf of the congress for a single gold medal of appropriate design in honor of the monfort. marines collectively and rip for -- recognition of their
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service and sacrifice of this country. it is my privilege to welcome all of the recipients. on behalf of every american, we are humbled by your presence here today. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the presentation of colors by the united states marine corps color guard. ♪
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♪ [star spangled banner] ♪
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please remain standing as the chaplain of the united states senate gives the indication. >> let us pray. eternal lord god, we thank you for your constant love throughout the days of our for this opportunity to correct a past injustice. we praise you for the more than
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19,000 african american marines who trained at monfort. , a segregated facility after president franklin roosevelt's desegregated the marine corps during world war ii. while we have already recognized the tuskegee airmen, we are grateful for the nearly 13,000 black marines from montford point who served overseas during world war ii, prepared to give the last full measure of devotion to protect freedoms which they themselves were denied at home. we acknowledge our debt of gratitude to rip brown who
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sponsored the resolution that makes this day possible. although we cannot be erased the mistakes of the past, thank you for these opportunities to seek to make amends and to narrow the creedsween our nation's and deeds. may what we do here today prompt us to anticipate your coming judgment when many who are first will be last and many who are classed will be first. made this congressional gold medal ceremony brings glory and honor to your name, amen. >> please be seated.
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ladies and gentlemen, the representative from the 22nd district of florida, the honorable allan west. >> thank you speaker banner. -- speaker john boehner. thank you for being here. welcome and friends and family and to all the men and women today who are in uniform and to those who have served. i stand here today because once upon a time there were giants that what this country. these were men who were giants not because of their stature but because of their importance. these were giants because of their honor and integrity and impeccable character.
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they were giants because their resolve, their commitment to a country that had not yet to them. through history we know not all of their names, but we know them from the group's upon which they were organized. the 54th fighting massachusetts, the buffalo soldiers of the ninth and 10th calvary, the hell fighters from harlem, the tank destroyer battalions, the 322nd fired -- fighter group tuskegee airmen. the smoke jumpers. these were the giants from the era of my own father who served in world war ii. we are gathered here today to remember another group of
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giants. i first learned of these giants as a young boy growing up in atlanta, georgia listening to the stories of dark green marines who were with my mother at the marine headquarters. their story made me proud. hearing their triumph made me just a little bit taller. i learned more about these giants from my older brother who decided to follow their footsteps and the legacy and volunteered to serve during the time of the vietnam war. he joined their line of service as a member of charlie company first battalion 26 marine regiment and was wounded. when presented with a choice of black and gold or scarlet and gold, my dad was the old soldier. he ended up winning out. as fate would have it in 1999,
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17 years after being commissioned as a second lieutenant in the united states army, i received orders to report to united states marine corps base for a three-year joint exchange assignment. i finally was able to walk the sacred ground of montfort point. it was truly an blessing that a young army major was promoted to lieutenant colonel, my final promotion by a marine general. somehow it seemed as if the ghosts of these giants looked over to the second marine expedition headquarters from across on slow day. with a tear in their eye and with a smile on their face i heard them say,hoorah, we are
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proud of you. today my journey is complete. i have come full circle to a member of the united states house of representatives and a retired lieutenant army colonel who now stands before these giants, these great men saying thank you for the inspiration that you gave me. these giants, the few, the crowd, the montfort point marines. may god, country, coeur -- never forget your service, your sacrifice to this republic. it may future generations of army, navy, air force, marines, all americans remember you and find inspiration. may we all for ever bombarded the legacy you have given to this great nation.
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i salute you, and i say semper fidelis. [applause] >> the honorable brown. >>god is good. all the time. and you sure look good today. tfort pointthe mon marine a hand. [applause] to defeaon behalf of a very gral
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nation, in the house of representatives we have what we call -- if you give me a few minutes, i will take my seat. we have to remember a little about history. the marines or the last group to integrate. i have to tell you that the montfort poitn marines set the standard for the marines. they laid the groundwork as to what a america could stand for before jackie robinson, before martin luther king when these men went out to war and fought and represented this country, they were so great -- they had
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to integrate the armed services. let's give them another hand. [applause] and i think it is very important that we define history. recently i was on a program with several women from the different branches. we were talking about the tuskegee airmen. i mentioned the montfort point marines. they were not aware of it. marines are boots on the ground. boots on the ground. we owe a debt of gratitude to the general. stand up. he led the fight. [applause] i have to tell you, this bill was probably the most bipartisan bill we have passed and we will pass in this congress.
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290 signatures in order to get it engendered in the house and you needed a about 90 in the senate. and so when we got it passed in the house, you know, i thought my work was over. the general said, do you know anybody in the senate. i said, sir, what happens when failure is not an option? you get it done. he said, corrine, you should have been a marine. we got it done. and so i am so pleased that you are here today. we are honoring you and your capital. your capital. let's give them another hand. [applause] as i take my seat, there are so
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many people we want to thank. whether it was the state senator who brought me the information about monfort point, whether the speaker of the house or leader policy, this is one of the most bipartisan issues we had everybody worked together to honor you montfort point marines. thank you so much for your service. you have to help me. my stepfather was navy. i want to be able to do a, what is it? let's do it better. hoorah. thank you again. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the junior united states senator from the state of north
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carolina, the honorable kay hagan. >> senator reid, senator mcconnell, congressman john boehner, congressman -- congresswoman nancy pelosi, thank you for being here and coming down. we are so honored to be here. good afternoon, everybody. it is truly one of the greatest honors of my career to be here as a u.s. senator today to recognize the most heroic and courageous veterans in our nation's history. i can think of no group more deserving of this congressional gold medal than the monfort point marines and all of you that are with us today. when these men walked through the gates at monfort point in my home state in north carolina in the 1940's, you came young,
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brave, and committed to serving a country that did not yet appreciate the sacrifices. a country that measured a warrior, measured a man not by his courage or dedication but by the color of his skin. your road was not easy. to be simply allowed onto the nearby camp where the white counterparts were trained and bass, the monfort pint marines needed to be accompanied by a white marine. those challenges did not stop them or you. they did not stop james patterson who after president roosevelt signed his historic executive order in 1941, james patterson was one of the first african-americans to list -- annalist in the core. these did not stop turner who followed his training led a 24- year career in the marine corps
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serving in world war ii, korea, and vietnam. the monfort pint marines served our country with honor and distinction. for that, they are true heroes. he rose to each and every one of us today. -- heroes to each and everyone of us today. these men led the path for those that came after them. mr. white he was represented today by his daughter gina had a deep love for the marine corps that never had the opportunity to rise through the ranks. a story i recently heard took place several years ago. mr. white had the opportunity to meet grover lewis. he served as one of the first african american commanding officers in north carolina. despite his failing health, mr.
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white rose to his feet and stood at attention. colonel lewis recalled that as he sat down mr. white said, i never thought i would see this in my life. it was later at his funeral in 2011 that colonel lewis remarked on this encounter saying, that was the moment when he realized as a commander he represented 19,000 african american marines who never had the opportunity to serve under a commanding officer who shared their skin color. [applause] you and all of the monfort piont marines forged a new path in our armed services, all the while you never lost your love for our country, love for your family, or for the pride in the marine corps. to these american heroes, to
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your families we owe an incredible deal of gratitude. the congressional gold medal is a small token of appreciation that you deserve. to those monfort piont marines here today and those who have gone before, thank you for your service and sacrifice. may god bless you and may god bless the united states of america. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the senior united states senator from north carolina, richard burr. >> mr. speaker, leaders from the senate and the house, my colleagues from both bodies, what a great day and what a wonderful event we are here to
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celebrate. good afternoon and welcome to everyone. thank you to the monfort point marines and their families who have traveled here to be at this occasion today. the marines in the audience, especially those of you who are seasoned veterans, know that the history of the core you read about in books and see in movies does not begin to capture the true essence of what it means to be a marine, the sacrifice and commitment it requires, the demand of leadership and the responsibility to lead up to the -- live up to the legacy of those who have gone before you. the story of the monfort point marines encompasses all of that effort and something more. something uniquely american and inspiring. in no other nation could such a story have unfolded at a time when our commitment to racial
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equality was still restrained by segregation. when those who wanted to serve were often relegated to carrying ammunition for -- or serving as the words rather than leading assaults. what is uniquely american about what he tolerated and in toward is what you accomplished and the way in which you overcame the prevailing attitudes of your day. with persistence, with grit, with courage, and in doing so, you ensured this nation could no longer ignore the necessity of living up to the ideals that it is founded upon. today the core is stronger because of your service. today america is greater because of your sacrifices. god bless the monfort point marines. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, the democratic leader of the house of representatives, the honorable nancy pelosi. [applause] >> good afternoon, everyone. mr. william et al., the representative of the monfort point marines, to each and every marine who is here. some survivors are here. many members of the families are here as well. a welcome to each and every one of the. let us applaud our marines, but let us applaud their families as well for their patriotism to our country. i am honored to be here with our
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other senators here, the representatives of north carolina, burr and hagan, i am delighted to join our colleagues on the house side. thank you for your service to our country. corrine brown, the author of the resolution. she did not tell you that she collected the signatures in record time. with the work of our congressional black caucus in the house of representatives, many who are with us this afternoon. what was also not mentioned is that she is the second ranking democrat on the veteran affairs committee. she continues her work in support of our men and women in uniform as a leader on veterans affairs as well. thank you. [applause]
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it is indeed as others have said a privilege to welcome you here to emancipation hall. an appropriate name for this place. you served our country at a time when it took an extra dose of patriotism to do so. an extra dose of courage because all of the freedoms that you were fighting for were not afforded to everyone in our country at that time. here we come together to honor the roles that african americans played in world war ii in the service of our country. we pay tribute to perseverance and courage of a small group of giants in american history, the monfort point marines. in the time of these marines in the age of inequality, breaking the color barrier took nothing less than perserverance,
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patriotism, and courage of extraordinary proportions fighting for a segregated america required that extra dose of patriotism. for the men of monfort. ,-- montfort point the reason to join was more basic, there was a war abroad and they saw it as their duty to fight for their country. as one of the first recruits would say, i joined the marine corps because i felt it was the proper thing to do to be patriotic to my country. i felt the this is history in the making. they were not just a part of history though as he said, they made history. there were patriots. you are patriots and pioneers. he proved yourselves to be in a world war -- earning their respect on the battlefields of
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the south pacific, on the beaches of the world jima and okinawa. you helped protect our country. you helped change our nation. today as we give the gold medal to the marines, this ceremony takes place in the capital and it sits comfortably among other events we have had here to honor the bravery of african american patriots. as have been mentioned, we had the tuskegee airmen ceremony not that long ago. it was also long overdue. a few years ago we had a ceremony which:hal was our speaker to observe the anniversary of the desegregation of the military, an order signed by president truman. was that not a historic time for our country? thank you so much for being with
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us today. it is an honor to welcome you and all the others as well. as we recognize these monfort point marines as part of a long drive to break down barriers in the military and our country. coming together in the middle of the 20th century when you did, you share the pioneer spirit of those who have fought for civil rights of the national movement to realize the promise we are all created equal. later these brave men came to understand what their sacrifice meant. as one former young marine put it, they had created -- you had created a legacy of young african americans that will have an important role to play in this nation what ever disciplined e like to follow. the legacy that you created change the face of a country and altered the course of our history. like all marines, there were
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few, they were proud, they were december 5, always faithful to the corps and to the country -- semper fi, always faithful to the core into the country. their actions and courage, it paved the way for justice at home. you overcame adversity and open the door of opportunity, you drove americans to live up to their ideals, civil rights, freedom and equality which is our heritage and hope. your place in history was earned, not given. you earned the thanks of a grateful nation. god truly blessed america with the service and patriotism and courage of the monfort point marines. today you received the highest civilian honor that congress can bestow, the congrsional gold medal. thank you for your courage and
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your service. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the republican leader of the united states senate, of the honorable mitch mcconnell. [applause] >> today we gather to honor the marines of monfort. . not just for their pioneering role in breaking down the color barrier in the u.s. marine corps, but for their courage and their sacrifice amid the indignity of racial discrimination. in particular i would like to recognize six marines from my home state of kentucky who i understand are here today. edward church hill, thomas clark, senior, james foreman,
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luther goodwin, albert jones. for volunteering to defend our nation in world war ii, all men we recognize today secured a permanent place of honor in our national memory. for doing so, in the face of mistreatment and injustice, we owe them a greater measure of respect and gratitude. they are among the greatest of the greatest generation. the nearly 20,000 marines to train that monfort point, between the years of 1942 and 1949 trained in difficult conditions. instead of standard derricks like the ones are white counterparts slut then, the living quarters at monfort opint were more like overcrowded hats.
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a single stove supplied heat for more than 40 men. most just brushed these things aside. as 1 cent, we were so gung-ho and patriotic, we were not concerned at all what we would do. we wanted to get out there and fight. restricted to training for support roles, african and american marines had to wait for their chance to prove themselves on the battlefield. -- african american marines had a chance to prove themselves on the battlefield. they carried out their duties with great courage. i want to publicly commanded the marine corps -- commend the marine corps, for bringing to
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light the importance of the marines of monfort point. recognition of their accomplishments is long overdue. still for many of these men it was never for gaining recognition. it was about defending the nation they love. paving a path for the generations of african-american men and women who would follow them into the marine corps. this point was driven home six years ago when one of them showed up at a reunion. while there, he came across a senior marine officer who happened to be an african- american. you cannot imagine how much pride i feel seeing you in that uniform, he told the officer. it is enough to make an old marine cry. the officer replied, i owe much
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of this to you. and so we honor the monfort point marines who are here today and the thousands who are no longer with us for rising above and beyond the call of duty to defend this nation. for in during a great injustice with dignity and forbearance. for your bravery and your service, congress recognizes you today with our nation's highest civilian honor. thank you, gentlemen, and congratulations. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the majority leader of the senate, the honorable harry reid. [applause]
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>> their barracks where nothing more than little shacks. mosquitos worth it. there were snakes. there were poisonous snakes. the training was brutal. the private first class of las vegas, that was what he was supposed to do. in a swampy peninsula on the north carolina coast, leon became one of the first african- americans admitted into the marine corps. leon, raise your hand. he is here. i saw him earlier. where is leon? there we go. [applause]
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thank you for your service. although the core was forced by president roosevelt to accept black recruits, it was not forced to treat them equally. the monster. marines road in the back of the train, at the it had separate counters and use different bathrooms. even sometimes different drinking fountains. they were trying to fight injustice overseas. meanwhile, they suffer discrimination every day. they were trained to fight tyranny abroad but their friends and families suffer depression here at home. they tried to break these trainees, but the men at monfort point showed the same tough stuff as other leathernecks. they prove themselves and
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training. although they were assigned to support roles in pacific theater, these were not really support roles. many had the challenge to prove themselves in battle as well. some fought in the deathly beaches of iwo jima, solomon islands and other pacific islands. some claim that the ash after the bomb was dropped in japan. some witness the flag raising. many made the ultimate sacrifice for their country dying at the hands of japanese forces. unlike the marine corps, an emmy, bonds, and bullets did not discriminate between black soldiers and white soldiers. it also pave the way for future generations after the american
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marines. corporal odom is also from las vegas, fought and okinawa. i met ervin later today. raise your hand. 70 years he has been married to the lady sitting next to him. [applause] almost 70 years later, his grandson died after 21 years of service in the marine corps. nearly ervin or leon join the marines intending to be trailblazers. there will always be heroes. i congratulate mr. odom and every man who trained at montfort point.
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elmer brown cannot be with us today. i congratulate him as well. unfortunately, 03 and -- only three nobody in to train that monfort point are still alive. congratulations to each and everyone of you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the speaker of the united states house of representatives, the honorable john boehner. >> this is a happy occasion. there are so many people who worked hard to make this a possible. corrine brown, alan west, hag en, burr.
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they all deserve a big round of applause. [applause] who told their soldiers they were supermen because of their race. the ratio experiments of nazi germany and imperial japan have failed utterly. they failed in part due to the bayonets, bombs, bullets of black american war fighters. they not only helped defeat tyranny overseas, they thoroughly discredited a poisonous philosophy deeply held and long defended by th the it's near home. for generations it justified bigotry, segregation. this is why allowing blacks to serve in the marine corps was
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called an experiment. if it was an experiment, it did not last very long. before the end of the war, he said the experiment was over. the men trained at monfort point were "marines, period." [applause] the commandant had witnessed firsthand a black marine fighting in hand-to-hand combat during the battle of sight and. he saw what other white marines saw. he saw what monfort. marines already knew, they had the right stuff. they could live by a code. they could meet the high quality of the eagle, globe, and the anger. monfort point remained open another five years after the end
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of the war. the continued preparing young black men for ward giving them the tools they needed for the challenges of military service. he was 16 years old when he lied to get into the marine corps. after monfort, he went on to witness the full integration of the marines. he also saw combat in korea and vietnam. barnett was awarded the silver star for engagement in vietnam in 1967 while he was a tanker in the third marine division. his unit was surrounded and attacked by overwhelming enemy force. savett's persons bravery his unit's position. his actions "undoubtedly turn what could have been a dangerous
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situation into a complete route to the enemy superior force. by his son, leadership, careless action, and selfless -- he upheld the highest traditions of the marine corps in the united states naval service. this is the legacy of monfort point. unflinching devotion, courageous under any and all circumstances and an example now etched in gold to any marine of any color. thank god for the marines of monfort point. [applause] thank god for this occasion that the american people through
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their representatives can demonstrate our love, our respect, and all our thanks for what you have endured for our freedom. thank you all very much. [applause] if i could invite mr. william et al. of the. point marines to come forward to receive the medal. >> please remain seated for the presentation of the gold medal by members of the united states congress and mr. william mcdowell. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, mr. william mcdowell, representative of the monfort point marines, united states marine corps. [applause] >> good afternoon. if i do not talk loud enough. let me know. for 167 years, negros were not
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permitted to join the marine corps to defend this country. that change did 1941 and entreated begin in 1942. unfortunately, it took a world war to make it happen. it happened. on behalf of those who came forward and said, i want to be a marine, i welcome you to this occasion because you all were directly involved. at this very proud moment and in this magnificent then you, i want to thank the honorable speaker of the house, mr. john boehner for his kind invitation to each of us that are here today. [applause]
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i want to thank the members of the united states senate and the house of representatives who supported the bill to honor the monfort point marines with a congressional gold medal and a particular thanks to corrine brown of florida. [cheers and applause] senator hagen of north carolina who made it happen. [applause]
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joe carpenter, lieutenant- colonel retired united states marine corps. [cheers and applause] i would like to personally thank the officers and staff of the marine corps special project, colonel smith and her operations planning team, you guys did a hell of a job putting it all together. last but not least, on february 25 of last year, at the camp based theater, -- i happen to be there -- a gentleman said this is an injustice. it is not a recognition of what monfort point marines did, many of them who served in world war ii and korea and vietnam, a lot
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of them are here. he said he was going to fix it. and he did. he is a man of his word. he made it happen. james ames. [cheers and applause] i like a guy who says he will do something and he did it. on a personal note, i think i am echoing the thoughts of many of us who were fortunate enough to be here. i do not think we imagine that anything like this would ever happen in our lifetime. it does satiny that so many of
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our brothers are not with us today. -- it does sadden me that so many of our brothers are not with us today. our in our hearts and minds and they will never be forgotten. this day, that congressional gold medal -- excuse me. [applause] suck it up, a marine. this gold medal is very much there's also. i am happy for this event to take place because as an extension of it, i get a chance for me and my wife, brenda, to
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reunite with old friends, and i look forward to reminiscing a bit. i might let them buy me a drink or two. we go around complementing each other about how good we look. ladies and gentlemen, it is a privilege and honor to stand before you and received the congressional gold medal on behalf of yourselves and the almost 18,700 other brothers who serve this nation and the core -- thisrage, commitment award belongs to them because collectively you all did what some of us thoht was impossible. once again, you have made history. thank you for being here. semper fi, marines.
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[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please stand as the chaplain of the united states house of representatives gives the benediction. >> let us pray. lord, made the hands and hearts of this nation be raised in career and praise for these heroic trailblazer members of
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the united states marine corps who served our nation in the hope of freedom for all of the world. as our nation was defending itself from the attack of dangerous foes, these veterans chose to serve while they were still not completely well, to share in the fullness of the american society of fabric. although the need for monfort point given the unrepentant racism at that time in our history will never be remembered without considerable embarrassment, made the people of this nation now rise to celebrate these marines. they bore no small rejection by their fellow americans yet proved to be not merely were the two being marines, but forgers seven even greater fighting unit by their heroic service.
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made the breath of god uphold their noble and historic story. made carried to other generations and even to other nations, a message to inspire citizens everywhere to serve the mighty cause of public service while always seeking equal justice. made those who made the ultimate sacrifice, those who etched out heroic victories, those who earned medals of honor, and those who suffered personally the pain of rejection in those dark days of our world and our nation be rewarded with success and find peace. bless all women and men in military service no matter their racial, cultural, or religious heritage and their families.
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god bless america and grant us peace both in the present and with you forever, amen. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain standing for the marine's him by the united states marine band. ♪
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[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please be seated for the departure of the official party as the united states burry in core performs -- ♪
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♪ ♪
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♪ [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> ladies and gentlemen, this concludes our ceremony. thank you for your attendance and enjoy your day. ♪
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>> next, the defense department holds its first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered pride month. then another chance to see the congressional gold medal ceremony honoring african- american marines. "tomorrow, bill russell chadic
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look at the political reaction to the supreme court decision on the affordable care act. families usa director and the american enterprise destitute discuss the implications and efforts to repeal it. "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. on c-span. >> this is the conversation we need to have in this country that nobody is willing to have. what role should the government play in housing finance? >> in "reckless endangerment," gretchen morgensen the tells they subprime financial collapse. >> if you want to subsidize housing in this country and we want to talk about it and the populace agrees that it is something we should subsidize, then put it on the balance sheet and make it clear and make it evident and make everybody aware
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of how much it is costing. but when you deliver it through these third party enterprises, fannie mae and freddie mark, when you deliver the subsidies to a public company through private shareholders and the executives can extract the private subsidies for the -- the public subsidies for themselves, that is not the way for subsidizing home ownership. i think we have seen the end of that movie in 2008. >> sunday at 8 on c-span "q&a." >> hall on tuesday, the defense department posted its first-ever event hosting a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered pride month. that is followed by panel discussion on the value of diversity in the military. this month, leon panetta issued the department's first lgbt pride month message in a video
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that praised him lesbian service members and expressed his own pride of the repeal of don't ask/don't tell over the past nine months. this is one hour. >> good afternoon. welcome to the pride month event. please stand for the presentation of colors and remain standing for the national anthem.
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♪ [playing instrumental version of "the star spangled banner"] ♪
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. please direct your attention to the center screen for the president lgbt pride month message. >> i've often said that the true genius of america is that america can change. we can pass laws to right wrongs. we can soften hardened attitudes. our union can be made more perfect. here is the thing. change of happens on its own.
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-- change never happens on its own. change happens because ordinary people, unsung heroes, stand up and demand it. the story of lesbian, gay, and transgendered americans is no different. as we celebrate pride month we remember the advocates who refused to be treated by second-class citizens. -- treated like second-class citizens. people like harvey milk who believed in a better future. we also remember the unsung heroes, the millions of lgbt americans with whom everyday acts have required courage. the young people who came out as gay to their parents. the two months or two that you -- or two dads who went to an open house for the pta meeting not knowing how they would be received. the couple who got married even
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if their bosses and neighbors would not approve right away. most of these heroes and not about to make history. that is what they did. bit by bit, step-by-step, it a bit of the ark of the universe toward justice. let's take the time to celebrate teachers and students to take a stand against bowling, openly gay service members to defend -- take a stand against bullying, openly gay service members who defend our country, families and friends who have seen their own attitudes evolve. protecting our union is not something we can do in one month. we can remember those came before us. we can summon the courage to build on their legacy. we can renew our commitment day in and day out to be the kind of people who make change happen. [applause] >> i want to personally thank all of our gay and lesbian service members, lgbt civilians and their families for their
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dedicated service to our country. before the repeal of don't ask don't tell, you served your country with professionalism and courage. just like your fellow service members, you put your country before yourself. now after repeal you can be proud of serving your country and be proud of who you are women in uniform. -- who you are when in uniform. pursuit of equality is fundamental to the american story. the successful repeal of don't ask don't tell prove to the nation that we share different backgrounds, different values, different beliefs. together we are the greatest military force in the world. it reminds us that integrity in -- integrity and respect
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remained the cornerstones. this implemented the repeal with a focus on respect an individual dignity. as secretary of defense, i am proud of how we implement it repealed. going forward, i remain committed to removing as many barriers as possible to make america's military and model of equal opportunity. to ensure all who are qualified conserve and america's military -- qualified can serve in america's military and to give every man and woman in uniform the opportunity to rise to their highest potential. diversity is one of our greatest strengths. during pride month and every month. let us celebrate our rich diversity and renew our enduring commitment to equality for all. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the honorable jeh johnson, general counsel for the department of defense. [applause] >> thank you all very much. can everybody hear me in the back? i have to say i look around this standing room only crowd and i am sorry we did not sell tickets. [laughter] thank you for being here. this afternoon, i want to share with you some insights on the process that led to the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" law in december 2010. the implementation of that repeal between december 2010 and now in where i think we're
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going from here. as recently as three years ago, it would have been hard for many of us, including me, to believe that in the year 2012 a man or woman in the armed forces could be honest about their sexual orientation. that the "don't ask, don't tell" law would be gone from the books and that the process of repeal would have gone even smoother and less of vengeful -- and less eventful than general hamm and i predicted in our report. it is a remarkable story and it is remarkable because of the strength of the u.s. military and its leadership. this is the overall message but i hope to convey in these remarks today. we have the mightiest military in the world. not just because of our planes, guns, tanks and ships but
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because of our people, their ability to adapt to change in their respect for the rule of law, their commanders and their civilian leaders. this has been a remarkable thing about the last nine months but for anyone who knows the men and women of the armed forces, it is not a revelation. at the outset, a personal disclosure -- in 2010, general him and i did an assessment. -- general hamm and i did an assessment. we did not advocate for a particular result. our only goal was a comprehensive and accurate report of the risk to military effectiveness "don't ask, don't tell" were repealed. i do not consider myself an activist on the matter of gay men and women in america. we are all the product of our circumstances and part of my
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circumstances include my formative years in the 1970's @ morehouse college, an all-male, all-black southern baptist school. in the 1980's, a good friend at the law firm in which i practiced was openly gay but it was at least a year before i knew that and only because someone else told me. i asked my friend why he had not told me directly that he was gay and he said to me, and i still remember his exact words, "because i did not think you could handle the." for the next 27 years, i asked myself what gave my friend that impression but it did not preoccupy me. in 2009, we never talked about "don't ask, don't tell" except
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in groups and no larger than about three or four people. secretary gates knew the president had pledged to seek repel -- repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" but both of them believe that if repeal was to occur, it to happen in a careful and deliberate manner. we did not want the issue to spin out of our grasp. then in his state of the union address on january 27, 2010, president obama pledged to work with the congress and the military that year to repeal "don't ask, don't tell," which is exactly what happened. several days later, secretary gates and admiral mullin testified before the senate armed committee on the subject. it is there were the admiral -- it was there that admiral
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mullen gave his remarkable statement in support of repeal and secretary gates announced the formation of a working group to be headed by the general counsel of the defense department and army general carter hamm to conduct a assessment of the risk of repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" on overall military a effectiveness. we were to take 10 months and we were told to systematically engaged the force on this issue. in fact, go have a conversation with the entire u.s. military about this issue and report back to me, the president and the congress, what they told you. i did not know carter hamm, now commander of u.s. africa command, at all before admiral mullen volunteered him for this assignment. but over 10 months, i got to know carter and his wife extremely well to the point where my wife and kids spent thanksgiving 2010 with them in germany where we visited wounded warriors at the hospital there.
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carter began as a private in the army in 1973 and he knows the army at -- as about as well as anyone. he was right to navigate the sensitive assignment in the development of our report, i never let my own civilian legal thinking straight far away from -- thinking stray far away from his military perspective or his own voice. the study we undertook with the most comprehensive engagement ever of the military on any personnel related matter. over the course of 10 months, we surveyed 400,000 service members and received 115,000 responses, surveyed 150,000 military spouses and received 44,000, -- 44,000 responses, solicited and received 72,384 e- mails, conducted 95 information exchange forms at 51 bases around the world and talk face
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to face to over 24,000 service members, many of them general ham and myself. we conducted smaller focus group sessions with service members and their families, visited the military academies, solicited the views of congress, for countries and groups for and against repeal. finally the working group engaged in in an on-line conversation with 2006 and 91 service members on a confidential, anonymous basis and thereby gave voice to those who by virtue of the very law we were reviewing had no voice as self identified a active- duty -- identified gay active- duty service members.
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the results of the report are now well known. the bottom-line conclusion was this -- based on all we saw and heard, our assessment is that when coupled with the prompt implementation of our recommendations, the risk of repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" to overall military effectiveness was low. as a basis for this conclusion, there was of course the survey results. they showed among other things that 69.3% of those in today's military had already worked in a unit with someone they believed to be gay and that if "don't ask, don't tell" repealed, 70% of today's military said they thought would have a positive effect, it will be positive or negative affect or no effect at all on their units ability to perform as a team. also key to our conclusion was this -- "in the course of our assessment, it became apparent
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to us that aside from the moral and religious objections to homosexuality, much of the concern about open service is driven by misperceptions and stereotypes about what it would mean if a service members were allowed to be open -- if gay service members were allowed to be open about their sexual orientation. repeatedly be heard the use that overt sexuality would lead to overt displays a feminine behavior among men, homosexual promiscuity, harassment and unwelcome advances, invasions of personal privacy and an overall erosion of standards of conduct, unit cohesion and morality. based on our review, we conclude these concerns about gay and lesbian service members who are permitted to be open about their sexual orientation are exaggerated and not consistent with the reported experiences of many service members.
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in communications with gay and lesbian current and former service members, we repeatedly heard a patriotic desire to serve and defend the nation, subject to the same rules as everyone else. in the war g to 1ay service member, -- in the words of one gay service members, repeal would take the knife out of my back. idea what it is like to serve in silence." some of those separated under "don't ask, don't tell" would welcome the opportunity to rejoin the military if permitted. from then, we heard expressed many of the same values that we heard over and over again from service members at large. love of country, honor, respect, integrity and service over self. we simply cannot square the
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reality of these people with the perceptions about open service." last but not least, this noteworthy quote in the report which seems to be the favorite of a lot of people -- we have a gay guy in the unit. he is big, he is mean and he killed lots of bad guys. no one cared that he was gay." [laughter] [applause] finally, key to my own views know where reflected in this report, the military members of the working group were side-by- side with me throughout the presence of large groups sessions who told me that in the course of the 10 month review, they started off skeptics and had become satisfied that our military can do this.
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by the end of the 10 months study during which i think we actually saw added -- attitudes shift as we stirred the pot, we have the overwhelming sense that with proper education and leadership, the military could be ready for this change. the report was issued publicly on november 30, 2010, in the middle of a lame duck session of congress. repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" was passed by congress three weeks later, signed into law by the president on december 22, 2010, and took effect on september 20, 2011. how has the military accepted this change? better than we anticipated. i attribute this to the strength of our military and its army, navy, air force, marine and coastguard leadership. i know i speak for these leaders when i say we hope this process continues in the professional and sober manner that it has taken since last year.
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in december 2010, as congress was considering repeal, the commander of the marine corps testified that repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" was not a good idea for the marine corps but at the time, his personal and public message was it my leaders give me an order to do this, your united states marine corps will get it done and get it done smartly. following repeal, general amos step up and personally delivered messages as part of the education and training of their respective forces. his message was simple -- we will step out smartly too faithfully implement this new law. we will continue to demonstrate to the american people that
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discipline and fidelity which have been the hallmarks of the united states marine corps for more than 235 years, will continue well into the future. the marine corps was the first service to complete the education and training of its force. general casey of the army personally led the first repeal education and training session in the army for all of the four-star generals as part of the method of training by which the commander is personally responsible for training his subordinates. admiral profit of the navy said this -- leadership, and respect are the basis for executing the change in the law. we expect sailors to continue to exhibit the highest degree of professionalism and to treat each other with dignity and respect. general schwartz of the enforced -- we will successfully implement this change with the same unparalleled professionalism we of demonstrated with every transformation we have undertaken. in both peace and war.
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of the coast guard, i need you, commanding officers, supervisors and every coast guard member to create a climate that fosters -- foster's retention. the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" will require your leadership and i'm counting on you to exercise it. if every coast guard member does his job, you must value your shipmates, no matter what their background. since repeal, within each service, there have been isolated incidents but almost no issues or negative affects associated with the appeal on unit cohesion, including within war fighting units. as general amos testified, he and his staff were careful to look for issues during the training and told congress to be honest with you, we have not seen it. from the front lines in afghanistan, one marine major
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general reported to the commandant -- sir, honestly, they are focused on the enemy. the one forward, the personnel -- going forward, the personnel and readiness committee is in the midst of reviewing which military family benefits can be extended to the partners and other family members of the gay and lesbian service members. the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" exposes search and inequalities between similarly situated couples in the military community. this troubles many of our leaders. on the other hand, we must comply with current law, including the defense of marriage act. though the apartment of justice -- though the department of justice has said it will not defend the constitutionality of this in court until final
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resolution of that issue. and here is to the law is basic for the military and central to our efforts. because of the number of benefits provided to our military community, in the complex legal and regulatory framework, the process has been comprehensive and time consuming but it will get done. one final note about today's event before i close. this type of event during the month of june has occurred in civilian society and civilian agencies of the federal government for years. the cia, for example, posted a gay pride of that 12 years ago. -- a gay pride event 12 years ago. this is the first time in history such an event has occurred at the pentagon. within the military, and events such as this must occupy a different and qualified place. because in the military, individual, personal characteristics are suburbanites to the good of the unit and the -- are sub
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ordinate to the good of the unit and the mission. service above self. from all that we learned in 2010 about the struggles and the sacrifice to remain in the military, i believe gay men and women in uniform readily agree with this. what should be honored today? for those service members who are gay and lesbian, we lifted a real personal burden from their shoulders. they no longer have to live a lie in the military. they will no longer have to teach a child to lie to protect their father's career. as one army reported, her commander told her this policy kept me from knowing you. for all of us, we should honor the professional and a near flawless manner in which our entire u.s. military implemented and adapted to this change. and welcome to their brothers and sisters to an unconditional place at the table.
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thank you very much. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome capt. jane campbell, united states navy. [applause] >> good afternoon. it is my great pleasure to serve as your moderator this afternoon for the panel discussion. mr. johnson, thank you for your remarks, and thank you for providing that behind-the- scenes perspective of the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." before we begin our discussion this afternoon, i would like to
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take a moment to provide a brief introduction of our panelists. when i finished these introductions, i think he will see why we were extremely pleased to have these men and women seated in front of you this afternoon. her first panelist is sue fulton, a u.s. army veteran. a 1980 graduate of the united states military academy. the first class of women. she is one of six -- [applause] she is one of six presidential appointees to the 2012 west point board of visitors. she served on active duty for five years as a signal corps officer for pours in to germany including platoon leader, staff officer and company commander.
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after leaving the army, sue worked in a brand management at proctor and gamble. she also took two years to work in parish renewal programs for the archdiocese of new york. she currently serves as the executive director of nights out in the communications director of out serve. our second panelist as captain matthew phelps. united states marine corps. he most recently served as the commanding officer receiving company support battalion, recruit training regiment in san diego. i say most recently because people him out of their just -- because we pulled him out of there just after his change of command that took place lisa and
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-- late last week. he headed down the road to quantico where he will start the expeditionary warfare school shortly. he is a prior unlisted marine. after earning a bachelor's degree in music from the eastman school of music at rochester university in 2001, he enlisted in the marine corps. he was promoted to sergeant while a member of the marine corps air ground combat center. he applied for and was accepted into the unlisted commissioning program. he earned his gold second lieutenant bars back in august of 25 -- 2005. he has held a variety of assignments cent earning his commission, including a combat deployment to iraq with first battalion 11th marine regiment in support of operation iraqi freedom. our third panelist is court and -- gordon tanner. a member of the senior executive service, he is the principal deputy general counsel of the air force. he works here in the pentagon. he provides oversight,
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guidance, direction regarding legal advice on all matters arising within the year force. he earned his bachelor's degree from the university of alabama and his jurist doctorate from vanderbilt university. he was commissioned in the air force judge advocate general corps and served on active duty for four years. while spending some time in private practice, he continued his military service in the air force reserves, ultimately retiring as a colonel. while i am not a lawyer and i definitely will not make any lawyer jokes because i know there is more than a few of you in this room, i do want to point out it is significant to note that mr. tanner is a member of the u.s. supreme court to bar. i will not pressure him too much but it is important to point out that our of that here was the wind -- was designed for the pentagon work force, a work force of military and civilian
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personnel. within their introductions complete, i will like to begin this discussion. i will ask each of our panel members to tell their own personal story and then i will come back to them to see if there are any points i think you might find interesting. now without further ado, i like to turn it over to sue fulton. [applause] >> thank you. this is an extraordinarily special day. standing room only in the pentagon auditorium. but not lgbt because our special -- but not because lgbt
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people are special, but because the service, the sacrifices of gay and lesbian service members are being recognized as equal to the sacrifices that straight soldiers, airmen and others make every day. [applause] a lot of people seemed surprised that "don't ask, don't tell" went so smoothly. for a moment i was one of them. but i think back to when i arrived at my first duty station in 1980 as a wet behind the ears bader ball with my airborne wings. one of the first people i met was a personnel nco. forgive the stereotyped but he was about 6'4 in the fiercest, most fabulous take no prisoners, flamboyant gay man i had ever seen and yet all of the captains and majors and colonels
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deferred to him and because he could play like a piano. -- because he could play milperson like a piano. he knew his job inside and out, better than anybody else. there was widespread respect for him. he would pass me in the hall and say, "how you doing, ma'am." so many of us knew people like him out there. whether it was the training nco who had a one liner for everything, the notion and certainly the vast majority of gay and lesbian folks in the military are not stereotypical, but some in the of us knew those -- but so many of us knew those gay and lesbian soldiers and we knew that at the end of the day, this would not be hard. when i was a company commander
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on a base in germany, there were four gay commanders on the base at the same time. we were all successful but none of us stayed in the army. because it was too hard. even before "don't ask, don't tell," we were told we knew there were things we could not talk about. do not tell anyone about that first date or your crazy fun weekend or in a bad break up. don't tell anyone about who was waiting for you when you get back home from a deployment. the army redacted our lives. i think at the end of the day, one of the things that those of us working on this realize -- all of the military folks, gay and straight, as that being gay is not about sex. it is about life.
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it is about buying a house and bickering over chores. sorry, that as my partner over there. [laughter] it is about deciding whether to have kids, moving to a new place, it is about life. thanks to the leadership of this administration and pentagon and so many union leaders at every bubble, we can have those lives -- and so many unit leaders at every level, we can have those lives now and still serve the country we love. thank you so much for having me here. [applause] >> as i listen to the biography of the distinguished panel, the first question that comes to my mind is why am i here? [laughter] i enlisted in 2002 because after the events of 9/11, i could not imagine anything else i could do with my life than to
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serve my country. as i was bound and focused on that idea, i thought there was no better way to do that then as a marine. the interesting thing or the complicating factor at that time was i had come out as gay to my parents when i was 18. and here was 25 years old, faced with the feelings so deep within me that there was absolutely no denying it that i had to be a marine. i enlisted in the marine corps and i listened to my recruiter stumble his way through, exploiting the "don't ask, don't -- explaining the "don't ask, don't tell" in affect at that time but at the time, there was no chance of a going away. as he stumbled through the policy and asked "are you gay," because if not this does not matter.
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okay fine, i will sign the paper and let's do it. i realize at that point that the problem with a "don't ask, don't tell of the" policy was that it asked us to live when nobody even realized we were lying -- to lie when nobody even realized we were lying. nobody even realized that they were asking us to live. and we had to do it. it hit home for me when i was on deployment in 2007. i was in iraq and every saturday night, the officers got together and smoked cigars and watched movies. usually "band of brothers" or something so we could make fun of the way the army did it. [laughter] as we sat there, thoughts would drift to home. everyone would talk about their families and their wives and the letters they got from their
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kids. i sat there in the back of the room not talking to anybody. because not only was it so hard to have let somebody at home, just like it was hard for everybody else, but when everybody was getting together and growing closer as a unit, by virtue of the fact that i was not allowed to say anything, i was growing more distant from my unit. we hear people talk about unit cohesion and how the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" will affect cohesion. i would argue that it got better. because now you have a whole portion of the military who was able to be honest with the people they work with. when somebody says you have anybody at home? we can say, yes. when the repeal happened on september 20, 2011, it came at an interesting point in my career. i was selected as a company commander and already is serving at the recruit depot.
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i went into work on the 20th of september thinking my life was going to change. i went in and sat down at my desk and i braced myself on the desk, waiting for everyone to ask me if i was gay. [laughter] believe it or not, nobody did. [laughter] i did i get any e-mails, i did any e-mails,'t get i didn't get any phone calls. the phone did not even rank. i was waiting, somebody please talk to me today. because i felt like i was going to work for the first time. after almost 10 years, matthew was going to work. as a marine. in uniform, doing my job, doing the job i thought i had been doing for tenures.
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-- for ten years. but i had only sort of been half doing. as we have progressed since then, i found myself cast into little spotlights because all i have done is the knowledge to the fact that i am gay, the fact that i loved serving my country, that i love being a marine. that is it. that is all that i have done very and somehow that is news. i cannot imagine having a panel where we could say congratulations, these are all male marines, let's give them a round of applause. i happen to be gay but more importantly, i am a marine. and if i could touch on one more point, if i learned anything, the reason i am here is that it's still kind of is news. there are still relatively few of us wearing the uniform who are willing to go on record and say this is my life, i am proud of my life and i will serve as a leader with integrity with
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openness and serve as the role model for our younger troops and those will come after us to show them that it is not nearly as big a deal as anybody thought this was going to be. thank you. [applause] >> terrific. just terrific. it is wonderful to be here to represent the 8000 or so civilians who work here in the pentagon, together with those other civilians in our military work force around the globe. but i am also awfully proud of the military connection that we all have because we have one
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mission together. that is the importance of the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" and the importance of today. i did retire as a reserve jag and remember the fear and concern i had about potentially being ousted during that time. outed during that time. it would have been awful. i cannot imagine what a relief that is now. we have a great deal to be thankful for. we have a great deal to be thankful for and my husband, robert, wave your hand, is down here. my husband. [applause] we have been together nine years and married almost two. i am thankful that we are being joined today by military mumbles, civilian and military, from around the world. you may have already heard we
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had a request earlier this week from a group of in afghanistan that went to be sure they could -- of soldiers in afghanistand that wanted to be sure they could tie in this outreach and participate by video in this conference. within our reach this is for each of us to them as a service on the front lines. i also think we ought to use this opportunity to remember that we are standing on this shoulders of giants. there are huge numbers of
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people who of gone before us and worked on this issue, many of whom are in this room today. while we cannot go through all of their names, on behalf of all of us connected with the military service, i want to say thank you for what you have done to make today possible. [applause] like a good lawyer but i have been trained by mr. johnson and others around the room, i have this laundry list of all the civilian benefits that we are now working on getting word we have some. if you want that list, i will be glad to e-mail back to you. might be helpful and it is available. but what i really want to talk about today is what each of us can do in our own day to day lives to make a difference. first of all, and most importantly, we need to be as visible as we can be. everybody has it ever comfort level. -- everybody has a different comfort level. everyone is in a different place. let me a career to to be as open
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-- let me encourage you to be as open and honest as you can possibly be. we have street allies -- we have straight allies to support us because it is the right thing to do and because they have loved ones, friends, neighbors, sons, daughters who may want to know more about their life. we may be the bridge to helping them understand that. help us be the bridge to our straight allies. we civilians for those of you and in the room, we have military colleagues who are not yet comfortable about being more open. we as civilians have a unique opportunity to be that bridge to help them define themselves in a climate that is not as comfortable yet as it should be. we can be there for them. finally, we in the pentagon are
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often face to face with the policy makers, the people who are looking at the benefits and how those can be increased so that we have one class submarines and not first and -- one class of marines and not first and second class marines or airmen or sailors or soldiers. we can be there for the policy makers. i want to ensure that our visibility is open and it shows that we can become one marine corps where a marine can perform his mission and not be treated as second-class because he receives lesser benefits than his straight colleague. we can be won air force for a deployed airmen can perform her mission and not have to worry about her partner in children living in a shabby off base housing because they were
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ineligible for on these military housing. -- ineligible for on-base military housing. we can be won navy where a gay sailor can focus on his mission and not worry about the school that his children are forced to attend because they did not qualify for search dod school benefits. we can be won army where a soldier can focus on her mission without her wearing about her partner back home, not being cared for by the members are for units that are back home. spousal support is critical for our success. our spouses, our partners need that support as well. so that we can focus on our mission. i will not tell my own coming out story but i do want to tell you one -- about mr. will. shortly after i came out, i was
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on the other team at st. -- i was on the usher team at st.mark's church in san antonio, texas, where i was stationed. i was the chicken for that team if you can believe that. the usher team must have been 80 years old. they had been on that same team forever. i was the new kid on the block. one of the usher team members, mr. will, came up to me after church and asked if he could talk to me privately. he was a little sneaky about it. i agreed to talk to him. he looked around to make sure no one is listening and then he talked about his grown son and his son's partner who lived in houston. mr. will and his wife loved both their son and a partner. they spent thanksgiving with
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them, the best cooks you can imagine. but mr. will and his wife, although they had been active event of that -- although they had been active in that church for their entire lives, did not feel they could tell one person about their son and their experiences. not one. there were just afraid that -- they were just afraid that their friends with completely reject them because they had a gay son and that they actually liked it. [laughter] i was i think maybe the first a person they had ever talk to. i did not do anything. i was just there. i was out and i listened. based on just being there, they began to open up to their friends and colleagues and brought them into the rest of their world. i have to tell you that mr. will and his wife's son died a few years later and they
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brought him back from houston to san antonio to be buried at st. marks. i wish you could have seen mr. will and his wife bring that partner arm-in-arm up to that front row. when the partner finished speaking at the funeral, there was not a dry eye in that house. everyone in that pact convocation was right there -- packed room was right there. what does that have to do with us? a lot. all we have to do to whatever extent you can do is be visible. you can be the bridge, you can be the face, you can be the friend. thank you. [applause] >> is there any doubt that
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we have the right to be up here to talk to you this afternoon? [laughter] i am cognizant of the time and i realize some of you may be fighting a busy schedule this afternoon. but what i would like to do is go back to each of our panelists and ask one at this point identify time, for one point i think may have been something they drew out from their comments. for mr. tanner, as a career civil servant, what is the most significant thing that you have seen in this building, aside from the stories that you shared with us, that has been a key indicator that led up to this transition from the military side? as you stood from your civilian
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perspective, albeit with a bad 1 foot in that reserves side? >> i think i am drawn to the fact that people become visible in different ways. it may be simply putting a photograph of a loved one in your cube. it may be talking about -- just as a straight individual would talk about what they did on the weekend. people are in various places and i think you have to come from a place where you're comfortable but you have to stretch that a little. i would the courage everyone who is thinking about becoming more visible to stretch a little and to take a step that you believe could help you meet that bridge i mentioned. >> capt. schulz, i do not think there is
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anybody watching or in this audience who was not moved by your words, by the strength in your passion as a marine first. i would just ask, has there been anything anecdotally -- use it every once and awhile have been thrust into the spotlight. -- you said every once in a while, you have been thrust into the spotlight. is there any significant event post repeal that you would like to share with the audience? >> i would say the most significant of that to me -- i mention that when i took command of my company in june of last year, i was in the closet. i was appointed in my career --
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i was at the point in my career where if anybody had found out i was gay, even though the law had been signed an appeal had not gone all the way through, in the body found out i was gay at that time, i could have lost my job. a year later, last friday, the president hosted a reception at his house. you know, the white one. [laughter] and i was invited to attend. i was invited to attend this private reception at the white house. i thought how amazing is it over the course of the year, i could off go from being fired for being who i am to having champagne with the commander in chief on cocktail napkins with the presidential seal on them.
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so i would say for me personally, that was probably the most to the against the event. the fact that although there is a certain distance for us still to travel before we find full equality, the fact that the survice of gay and lesbian -- the fact that the service of the and lesbian service members is finally being -- the fact that the service of gay and lesbian service members is finally being recognized on that scale. it is amazing to see. >> i will like to tap into one thing that i think a number of people may be interested in. you describe your experience as a member of the class of 1980 at west point but today you are also involved on the executive director of nights out. from my chair to his chair to his, what can you tell us about that next generation of leaders that is now changed because of how they serve at one of our military academies and how they will serve as leaders with our
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next generation? >> the academies are learning institutions. i think the repeal was more -- -- the repeal was more of a non-event than anything else -- one nco said to me, you know we braced for impact and it was not even a speed bump. the repeal. our students, the cadets do this, they have had this preparation of going through high school with gay and lesbian and bi and trans kid so i think it is much less of an issue with this generation. it is not even a speed bump at west point. and on the board of visitors, it has not been an issue. we have much bigger fish to fry. but i do not want that to be taken as something we have volstead -- generational leap,
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-- something we have all said, a , this generationy coming up now serving, they are the ones who get this. is this just the older folks. but there are exceptions to that as well. i cannot tell you how many stories -- people came up and said i heard you are gay. if anybody gives you any crap, come see me. the navy was in a commander. i spoke to a senior chaplain, a southern baptist and i asked him why he was there and he said that want to make sure everything goes smoothly for my airmen.
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i does want to make sure there are not any problems. the folks, there are a lot of folks who are senior who are allies and get this. this is about readiness. this is about taking care of our troops and mission accomplishment. and getting this finished so this is never an issue again is so important. i know i have jumped off the topic but the academies are doing great. [laughter] they have other issues but they have no problems with us. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, we have gone past 1400 so it is my responsibility and honor to thank our three panelists. thank you for being in a standing room audience in the
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pentagon for this first ever of that. -- for this first ever event. thank you. have a good afternoon. [applause] >> next, bill gates on education. then the congressional gold medal ceremony. >> california congressman henry waxman, ranking member of the
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energy and commerce committee talks about the supreme court decision upholding the law. "newsmakers," sunday at 10:00 a.m. eastern and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> next week and compared to the state capital named in honor of thomas jefferson with the tv and american history to be in jefferson city, missouri, saturday at noon eastern. literary life with the tv -- with book tv. bill, abutcher's business contract, provisions list from ancient mesopotamia to the university the zero special collections, the story behind eight miniature babylonian.clay tablets. and then, in american history tv -- >> at one time come in 1967, this was called the bloodiest 47 acres in america.
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>> a warden takes you through a historic state penitentiary. also, walk back through history in the halls of the state capitol and the governor's mansion. once a month, the c-span counted vehicles explore cities and lives across america. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> microsoft chairman bill gates says that age kitchen has a was been a strength for our nation manageurges are congressional ls to continue making it so. president lincoln signed a law funding public colleges through federal land? . -- land acts. >> we immediately agreed on a first choice, bill gates.
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someone who would not only help us recognize and celebrate the last 150 years, but challenge us and work with us in the decades ahead. together with his wife, they co- chair the bill and melinda gates educational foundation. there foundation is the leader in efforts to improve global health, alleviate poverty, and expand opportunities for women. and with particular significance today, increased access to and success in education. their efforts which span the globe are truly exciting. the work of the gates foundation is built on a simple premise, that all lives medical value. that powerful statement resonates -- that all lives have equal value. that powerful statement resonates with all of us. it has extended its educational
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and economic opportunities to millions. it is involved in many of the same endeavor is that many of our land grant universities are. through not only its funding, but also its thoughtful approach to philanthropy, the gates foundation is a valued partner of american universities and others committed to improving the human condition. we could not have a more committed and passionate ally in these pursuits. i know all of us respect and admire greatly with bill gates has devoted his wealth and his life to and we're delighted to welcome him to this celebration.
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join me in welcoming bill gates. [applause] >> thank you. i am grateful for your invitation to address the aclu on this special day and to express my gratitude, i brought this with me. this egg is helping lift 10 million people out of poverty. farmers in central and west africa will grow black eyed peas. i unfortunately weevils destroy half the crops after their harvested during the time it is stored. or they didn't tell researchers at purdue university developed this pauley year -- this nylon
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bag. it increases the poor farmer's income by 25%. [applause] that is a good example of one of the many partnerships our foundation has with a keel you members -- with aplu members across the country. you create knowledge, not just for its own sake, but to improve people's lives. on behalf of our foundation, i want to thank you for that. today i want to focus on the one thing you do that is even more important and that is providing greater education to almost 5 million students. the moral act created a system of public colleges to "promote
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the liberal and practical education of the industrial classdo you prefer your ideas in a single sentence. first that higher education should be both liberal and practical, that it should address society's needs and, second, that all people should have the opportunity to obtain it. these two ideas amounted to a brand new vision for higher education based on the conviction that a bigger and more diversity group of well- educated people would be an asset to our democracy and a boon to our economy. this vision power of america's economic dynamism for more than a century. your graduates helped build a prosperous country. recently though, education advocates have been looking at
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the international competitors thathat we see theire is other countries have seen what the u.s. did well. we built a system of the colleges and come in many respects, they are copying what we did. and in some respects, on areas of completion rates, some of those countries are doing even better than we have done. what does this to me is that we need to double down. we need to take this phenomenal asset that has benefited the world and make it even better. there should be no doubt about our starting point. we're still by far, when it comes to research, teaching and learning, at top universities the very best in the world. however, two major trends in higher education are guiding us down a path that may lead us away from these historical commitments to equity and
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opportunity. first, there is the financial constraints. in the past generation, state funding for students has fallen by 25%. i don't need to tell you that. this is something that you face every day. the fiscal crisis has accelerated this trend. in just the past five years, for example, my home state of washington has cut funding for higher education by 17%. as a result of this and the steadily rising cost of running our own institutions, the financial burden of college has been shifting to students. they now pay an average of $45,000 out of pocket for four years of public schools. federal money has helped bridge the gap for a while. federal spending on higher education has gone up quite a
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bit. the stimulus package helped the state budgets for a number of years, but now those dollars have largely come to an end. the pell program alone has doubled in more than a decade. but it is not on a sustainable trend. we look back to 2014. there is an $8 billion funding gap just a for the pell program alone. so that is one program that is threatened. another trend that is troubling is the path of moving toward higher and higher status or exclusivity period when "the u.s. news" rankings come out, they show how it selected your. they look at credentials faculty, the amount you spend
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and subjective impressions of academic reputation. so these measures are standing in a way of having real measures of effectiveness that we really need to root what best practices are and continue to benefit from the best work that all of you do. i'm understand these incentives are hard to get around. but there's the sense of zero- sum competition in an exclusivity. acceptance rates at many universities now rate at 50%. and that doesn't count the large number of students who do not bother applying because they know that the bar for admission has continued to go up and up.
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in short, fewer people of those who want to attend the university are getting in. and those who do get in are paying more. this is a big challenge. it cannot continue if we all have a goal of fulfilling that mission of providing broad education. we have to look at how we can reverse both spirals. we have to lead in as many people as can be successful educated and they have to get that education at the lowest possible cost. accredited universities can boast about their selectivity if they choose to do so, but a public bid stick -- public institution, it should be equity and excellence. so it does not a point of high status to keep students out, but rather high status in letting them in an even having students
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who have not have the highest high school education or the best s.a.t. scores and giving them a high-quality education. so today is a great day to pause and look at this group for leadership. you can steer your universities out of these trends by making innovation and priority to the sectors you lead. 106 years ago, your predecessors started a new conversation about the purpose of higher education. you can start the conversation now about what is required to continue serving that prope conversation appeared how can we get more public funds? unfortunately, in the regionally near term, there will not be much institutional money. the rising share of both state and federal budgets committed to
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health care broadly defined leaves very little room for flexibility. the mathematics are quite brittle. and whether there is more money or less money in the long term, we should also focus on the challenge of figuring out how to use it best, particularly the money devoted to financial aid. how do we take it and get better results for students? i think there are two principles we are keeping in mind. the first is that aid should be stratford -- should be structured to provide incentives to raise completion rates, incentives to raise income and employment of the graduates. if we look at just completion rates, and the graduation rate for aplu institutions is just a
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little less than 40%. for the students who are not succeeding, who wind up with a lot of debt, attracting those students, understanding what is going on to them should be more important. perhaps aid should be tied to institutional practices that create this incentive to adopt the practices that have been seen at the best institutions to boost graduation rates. we really cannot be agnostic about whether they'd subsidizes failure or success. the goal of success, the degree in the shortest reasonable time for every student who puts in the necessary work. without declaiming the most prepared students and without sacrificing quality. policy makers are starting to look at what some of these
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incentives for completion might look like. i hope you will join them. you wonder students will have to live with policy changes that are coming and those changes will be more effective if you contribute your expertise early in the process. a second principle i think is valuable for applying financial aid is to make need-based aid a priority again. in the past 30 years, the percentage based money going to students with a demonstrated financial need has tripled. this is somewhat a consequence of the upward status spiral, giving the top student scholarships is a superdelegate -- is a great way of giving enough tech to an institution. but it also means that money is being spent on students who may actually need the least help. colleges have the most value
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when students come in who are less prepared leave with the same knowledge and skills that other graduates do. so reserving your aid money for students who need it also served your economic mission. educating the student that would otherwise not go to college generates a higher return here in public investment than the higher cost of education a student might have paid for themselves. we also have to engage in a new conversation about the role of technology. after all, technology has come a long way. it is far easier to store video lectures on my beard it is relatively free to do it. -- store video lectures on line. it is relatively free to do it.
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how do we use technology in a variety of ways to augment the education we are providing? technology may help in terms of quality. technology should be reexamined to look at the whole college experience. how do we track whether a student is coming and immediately understanding what is going on with them. there is the for-profit sector that does some things that are interesting. we have seen technology in several different areas for the universities that are piloting these things. adaptive software can personalize education so students spend more time on the concepts they are struggling with. hybrid models of instruction improve the quality of collaboration between students
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and teachers and simulation gaming can engage students being creative and applied ways. but these innovations are still at the pilot stage and it will take leadership to move them beyond that. once it has been taken to scale, technology can change the financial calculus and get more students the opportunity to get a degree. there are some interesting models to build on. a new program gives students a suggested list of courses by looking at their transcripts and looking at data from hundreds of thousands of previous students. it is almost the way netflix suggests movies. but instead of just suggesting clauses that students will enjoy, it suggests those they will be able to handle and will allow the to get very -- get
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their degree requirements. in some cases, it is simply them seeking to broaden their educational experience. but in many cases, it is because the courses are not available for the did not have advice about what would be best. the yearly results have been promising. -- the early results have been promising. and similar systems at other universities have improved retention rates by more than 5%. educational technology will probably have its greatest impact in terms of learning itself. a great example of this is
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arizona state university recently designed its map course with 800 freshmen, many of whom can man with very poor preparation. instead of lectures, they developed hybrid class's. the students are given a piece of adaptive computer software to look at where they are and examines exactly what they have learned well and what they haven't. it focuses the students on the knowledge they don't have. it gives reports to the professors so they can work with students in small groups. they can organize groups that may need help on a concept. they can organize trips for pier learning that turns out to be very powerful. and the results in this are very impressive. they have taken a course, a first math course, which is often the very worst experience
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band has terrible completion rates and raised those completion rates by 17% while cutting costs by a third. and a large number of students were able to finish with support the end of the term. and get their mouth knowledge of twobar and still have time to devote to their underclasses. in similar areas like remedial math, i believe that the future of education looks more like the course delivered their than the traditional course the villard -- course delivered. open online courses have received a lot of attention. what is really new here? we have had video courses on line for a long time. we have had interactive courses like carnegie mellon, open learning institute. is there some breakthrough?
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in the technology cents, there really isn't some dramatic breakthrough. but what is being done that i think is very exciting is that they're taking a real lectures with the interactivity built into those lectures. at 10-minute intervals, your testimony concept and you cement those. the beauty of great video lectures connected to interactivity. the third thing they do is they get a lot of people, as many as 100,000, taking the course at the same time. so they have lots of peer education going on where people are answering questions, looking at each other's home work, giving advice. and then the teaching staff is reviewing that activity to make sure that it is high quality, that students are not being misled. a fourth piece is probably more challenging. how does this connect us to
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degrees or accreditation that employers will valued? they're giving out certificates, but not fully endorsed degrees. so that is an area where there will be some evolution. but this is a very important movement. you'll need to try it out, think about how your institutions should get involved, and there are two leaders in this. there are the recording courses from the university of michigan. and the courses themselves are free to everyone. you only pay to get the actual cert. theoretically, these courses can serve millions of people. so it has a real opportunity to let us step back and think about who are the best lectures. what can we do with the interactivity. and how can we supplement that with study groups and hands-on
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laboratories? what are the skill sets that you want to pull in for a hybrid- type model? i know some critics worry about the loss of personal interaction. that certainly is central to a high-quality education. but this technology, when it is well conceived, can actually strengthen those interactions. the arizona state math scores shows that technology can free up time and allow the professionals to really be working with the students who need that help in a more direct way. so these moves really do represent something important that we all have to contribute to and think about what their role should be. in some ways, this field is in its infancy. we need to look at different types of students, particularly students were not well motivated. recants said that original group that signed up for the machine
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learning course, that was not your average student. there were highly motivated people. so i think the hybrid brand really needs to come in. technology can do everything. but for schools the want to be at the cutting edge, experimenting in this field is very important. when we look at the number of students being educated, your institutions have grown at 2% a year. it is interesting to ask -- what advances in use of technology allow you to grow even more and serve more students? for 150 years, higher education has been an incredible source of strength for our country. and there's no group of institutions that show that better than the ones represented here. our nation has done better at sending lots of young kids to college than any other. and your institutions have shown
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that equity and opportunity don't need to compromise excellence. if the nation had chartered a different course 150 years ago and education had continued to be reserved for the select few, there is no doubt that we would be less competitive today. instead, we decided to build something new and better and we created these universities that are the envy of the world. that is why young people keep applying in ever greater numbers. and that is why they're willing to take on tens of thousand dollars of debt to get a degree. because they know that the education you provide is the key to the future they want so badly. they know you can make their dreams come true. but we face a huge challenge, just let it did in 1862. how do we cope with these budget constraints without sacrificing the quality on which society relies? can we be innovative and
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effective with the most challenged students as we are with the most prepared ones? and can we apply resources in new ways so we can serve everyone who wants access? asking and answering these hard questions is the key to building on the legacy that you inherited and that you now hold. i believe it is key to the future of our country. believe you will once again summon your ability to innovate can see clearly where education is to go and leave us all there. thank you. [applause] >> ok, well, i told you that he would challenge us. now it is our turn to challenge to it. we will open it to questions.
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there people in the audience that are chomping at the bit. i'm having trouble seeing a gray one. somebody -- i don't know where the microphones are. i assume you'll get to someone with a question. all right, i will ask the first question while you are figuring out the logistics. one of the issues that some of our institutions have is that young people are coming out of high school prepared for college work. -- out of high school unprepared for college work. it is something you were very interested in. i wonder if you can share with us what you found to be most promising. >> definitely, the boundary between high school and higher education is really not well handled day. if you're a student in high school, you ought to be able to
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go online and have some pre- assessment of your mouth capability. you should never have to go win to take the qualifying exam, which is generally a compass exam, and be surprised by the result you get. it is disheartening for that student because they just get a number. they told you need to work on fractions, on scientific notation. they just get this number and then they go to a remedial course and they sit there coul. and they don't know if this is the part i already in the stand or the part that i messed up. and several of those kids that go to remedial math never finish a degree. the ideal is to have a set of knowledge we expected to have in math, say algebra, to have that be well understood. and there is the common core effort that has been adopted by 46 states that will lead to
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that. you can have different textbooks and different ways of teaching it, but the core concepts are the same. and the on-line material actually has adopted to this common core very quickly. over the next few years, the different states are getting their textbooks and teacher training into that. that is coupled with these pre- online exams where you can try out your knowledge can be pointed to various materials, either by yourself or with a teacher or some type of coach, that will help you get there. so we hope to take this huge disconnect that puts huge cost on higher education and make it clean up these problems and have it be a lot more open about what is going on and a lot more efficient, a lot more positive for that student. both in reading and writing and
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math, it has been very problematic. particularly for kids coming out of interstate high-school. >> question? ok. whoever gets the microphone first gets to go. >> mr. gates, thank you so much for being here. i am the chancellor at north carolina state university. throughout your career, you visited many college camses and i know you get a charge out of interacting with students. feliz what you think the challenges and opportunities are -- tell us what you think the challenges and opportunities are for students these days. >> it is difficult to talk with students how to pick a niche -- how to pick an institution and have to be clear about their goals when they go into the institution. there's a big difference between the kids to have a clear goal and ones who don't. and you have to talk about how
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much you work during school, and how you think about the debt your building overtime and what you think of the quality of your teachers? do you get feedback? the one thing i have always been interested in are the kids who don't complete. the fact that, even in these top institutions, six years later, 40% have not completed. it is surprisingly high, higher than if you had asked me before saw the statistics what that number would be. sitting down and talking to them, where do you feel you got lost and what kind of intervention would have made a difference for you to be able to stay in -- was a financial, your ability? why did that go off track? clearly, there's a lot of amazing professors who reach out and getting gauged with students. it is always wonderful to hear
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about that. it makes you think. ok, if that is the best practice, is that measured? is that rewarded? how does that spread out to the universities? it is always impressive to me the energy these students put in to get an education, this leap of faith that you will spend these four years and that will do something great for you. but when you look at those application rates, the economy meant that more people wanted to have that credential. it is phenomenal. on the side of the employer, for microsoft, we went to the elite institutions and we went to the degree that we could hired the best students. we were quite picky about where we went to higher and exactly what portions we thought -- what courses we thought they should have taken. so we were expecting
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universities -- we weren't considering ourselves the ones who would fix some lack of education. we were going to pick the people who were already very well prepared. >> you mentioned something that i think is important and we are all very interested in increasing graduation rates in this country. that is a goal that every institution shares. one thing that aplu is working on now is a different way of looking at graduation rates. right now, we don't capture those students who transfer and credit from another institution, which is a significant number -- and graduate from another institution, which is a significant number. another question. yes, please. >> good morning, mr. gates.
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i am president of montana state university. thank you for your message this morning. you shared with us some exciting ideas. do you have any additional and exciting ways in which technology can enhance higher education? also, what is your advice to institutions who want to leave in these various? especially in the current budget environment? >> there's no doubt that technology-unable meant should be able to help with budget constraints. for example, if you take the lectures of your big courses and you choose to put them entirely online, which is not to have a physical get together, then in many cases, the key enrollment limit for those courses, it gets rid of it. if you actually have feedback systems where you take the study groups, often which are grad
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students and add jobs, and it really helps to understand who is doing a good job and those things and you have a review system that would reward discipline in those roles, then that is the real thing that drives the quality. it is the people in the study sections. there is an irony right now that that large lecture, which technology can provide something that is better because you're using a world- class lecturer, is attractive in a way that you're not having to go 30 minutes to 60 minutes without sitting and practicing the knowledge that you are gaining -- there is clear proof and evidence that doing that interacting really improves the retention and understanding of the material. i think that sitting there --
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and why is it not being grabbed onto? i think that the financial pressure has not been strong enough for some institutions to take that leap. it may be that the teachers to want to do it. but that is just sitting out there as a very clear thing. hardly adopted at this stage whatsoever. that is partly where it is beginning because, it is only where you get that type of adoption used in a hybrid note -- if you don't get the hybrid mode, we will get eventually a system of accreditation that has the same prestige of college students that is independent of how you learn the knowledge. that is, there will be people who are certified that have the cold of a four-year degree. and that will have a lot of people experimenting how they can prepare people for that. but there will be bundled together in a way that education
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and the degree are right now. so stepping outside of traditional education, particularly to the way things are not adopted within the mainstream education. >> who has a microphone? there you go. >> university of tennessee, knoxville, chancellor. your foundation does many great things. in looking at your foundation, it looks like you have focused on community colleges for funding. i wondered if you would explain why. >> that is absolutely correct. other than our scholarship program which is the great millenniums kosher program which actually ends up sending kids primarily to four-year colleges, very high quality colleges like this one, the rest has been focused on the community college. i think that most of what we're
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doing there in terms of how you attract students and help intervene with students having problems, redefining the reading and writing courses, i think that has applicability to all colleges. but when we look at where low- income students and up going in this country, it is overwhelmingly to community colleges. fortunately, many of those students, if they do well after two years, then they show up in your institutions. and there -- those students tend to have a better completion rate. then people who come to you in the first year. so it is a very attractive cohort. in terms of educational dollars spent, they are actually getting a four-year degree for lower- cost them people who take
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another path through the system. we saw that there was less philanthropic money involved in community colleges less attention. there was more of a needed for student tracking. or they need for measurements for the good professors were and create the professional system around that. also, when you have adjuncts, there are some challenges with that, but is a system where you have a quality measure and you can immediately decide who to give bonuses to, who to bring back and not to bring back. so the payback on quality and the standing is very high -- quality understanding is very high. whereas, if you put that in other systems, what will you do with the data that comes out of it? we wish we could work on both
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and we hope our stuff has broad application. but probably three-quarters is focused on community college. now we're getting involved on what policy should be and how should that encourage excellence and completion rates. in those areas, there are all of the different loan policies that touches the whole system. we are quite worried that, if the amount the federal money of education trains, and a lot of people talk about that happen, will that be done -- can we minimal -- and we minimize the amount to which that happens and have it done in the most effective way? >> ok. microphone? >> mr. gates, i am president of the university of idaho. one of the concerns i have is that the number of young people
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that are tracking in the same disciplines, it goes beyond preparations. it is getting them excited about science, technology, engineering and math. we are losing ground school bully in this context. how can we work more effectively, starting even at the mill school level and high school in order to stimulate a more effective pipeline for the students to the university? >> it is a stunning fact that all of the rich countries, europe, japan, the u.s., less and less of their graduates are going into science and engineering. yet, if you look at the salaries of the jobs in those areas, they are very strong. so you have very unusual things. the computer science department, the top computer science departments in the united states, many of them are over 50% foreign-born.
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the uc-berkeley computer science department, super topknot, 77% are foreign-born. then you have the irony that a mighty good to hire those people, and they can i get the h1b card. and wherever they work, we do it wherever we can get the engineers. agreed to where they have to go back to china or india, -- as you said, there is an attrition in terms of interest in math and science that starts in high school. even as people come to microsoft
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and start as an engineer, more of the women move into marketing and general management-type rules than the males do. there's this incredible attrition, both in terms of the absolute numbers and in terms of women in the minority. by the time you take an engineer who has been working for 10 years, that is a very male non- minority -- it is very asian and caucasian. how we can make math and science less daunting, how we can make the image of those careers a little bit different -- i think there is good work that is going on with that. some of the ways that science is taught in high school, i have a thing called big history that teaches the sciences and somewhat different ways. i know some universities have combined a number of their
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science courses. but we really need to seek out best practices on that because those jobs, more than other jobs, those tend to drive your economic future. so it is ironic that we're not driving those things. the fastest-growing major in the u.s. is a physical education. historically, the u.s. puts people in to the new fields, which is big and important figure even now, in terms of educating -- which is big and important. even now, in terms of educating people and relative to asian countries. >> thank you. i will ask the last question.
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the land grant model is addressing food security and opportunities for economic -- economic opportunities for women in public health. could you spend a few minutes talking about some of the most exciting opportunities that you see for america's universities to be engaged in the kind of work that drives you around the globe? >> i think universities are doing a far better job making their students aware of conditions around the world. when i almost graduated from harvard -- [laughter] i had no sense of living conditions around the world. today, universities have lots of courses and they attempt to get students out there.
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i think that awareness alone is an extremely valuable thing. i know when the foundation goes out to look for, to work on better seeds and get better crops and design new vaccines and build better toilets, it really reinforces that u.s. universities are the cutting edge. something about 70% of our grants, where, if anything, we try to go to institutions in the developing countries themselves. we have two equally meritorious proposals, we would favor the countries where the problem is in that location. yet, for most of what we do, it ends up being the lead universities will be a u.s.- based institution.
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we do a good job partnering with institutions in these other countries to build up their capacities and run the trials. there are some secondary benefits that come from that. even though we're talking about this very tough challenge of these budgets, i do want to share with you my optimism for the state of innovation. the fact that other universities around the world were participate in innovation, that is a good thing. the speed of innovation, whether it is in materials science, understanding chemistry at the basic digital level, energy-type advances across the board, understanding how to make new vaccines, the immune system, a lot of that pushed through by trying to understand diseases like aids -- it is so exciting. thank goodness that plans have the same genetics as humans
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because so much money, billions and billions, were used to make sequencing tools. now they get that as a windfall. so the deep understanding of plants, this is the golden age of innovation. and great proposals and grad students at your institutions are doing things that allow our foundation to be very optimistic about improving life in the poorer countries, whether it is childhood deaths that are down to it million-a-year -- i can see a path to get that down to 4 million and then down to 2 million could malnutrition, will we have enough food to feed the planet? i think that innovation, absolutely, even despite the headwinds of climate and certain limited resources, i think we will be able to meet that challenge. it is almost a paradox to see
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the importance of the work -- >> that is a challenge that we will accept and we look forward to working with you and the gates foundation. thank you for being here to help us recognize and celebrate this important event in the history of our country and higher education. thank you for challenging us today and thank you for your partnership with the kids foundation for american public higher education. >> thank you. [applause] >> next, african-american marines are honored at the congressional gold medal ceremony. then the defense department
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holds its first event marking the first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transit center -- and transgendered pride month. >> harry truman goes to the white house and says to eleanor roosevelt, can i pray for you? and she says, no, we need to pray for you. >> their campaigns -- >> there are a lot of promises made. there would have to rent a very large hall to get all the people to check into the promise of the vice presidency. calvin coolidge may indeed have been the last jeffersonian. a man who is president who believe strongly enough in the limits of governmental power, and particularly of federal power, to resist the temptation to extended. >> this sunday, your questions and comments live at noon
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eastern on "in depth." also, a middle east expert on the obama administration response to the arab spring. >> the purchasing power of gold centuries. it seems to me that the record for the gold standard in some is a record by and large of growth in the macro sense and personal accountability in the banking or micro cents. >> this weekend on american history tv, a look at the origins, departures and arguments for returning to the gold standard. that is 7:00 p.m. on saturday. also, more on "the contenders." sunday, charles evans hughes ran
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against woodrow wilson in 1916 and was the last supreme court justice to be nominated by a major party. american history tv this weekend on c-span 3. >> from 1942 to 1949, 19,000 african-american marines were stationed at the segregated 1/4 point camp. on wednesday, that group was awarded the congressional gold medal in a ceremony on capitol hill. we will hear from house speaker john boehner, minority leader nancy pelosi, senate majority and minority leaders sarid and mitch oakhollow -- and minority leaders harry reid and mitch mcconnell. >> >> our colleagues from the senate, senator hagan and burr, senator brown and west, mcconnell, gold medal
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recipients, your families and friends and everybody who made this ceremony today possible. welcome to your nation's capital into emancipation hall. it was signed by president barack obama last november. section 2 reads as follows. the speaker of the house of representatives and the president pro tem of the senate shall make arrangements for the award on behalf of the congress for a single gold medal of appropriate design in honor of the monfort. marines collectively in recognition of their service and sacrifice of this country. it is my privilege to welcome all of the recipients. on behalf of every american, we are humbled by your presence here today. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the presentation of colors by the united states marine corps color guard. ♪ ♪
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please remain standing as the chaplain of the united states senate gives the indication. >> let us pray. eternal lord god, we thank you for your constant love throughout the days of our for this opportunity to correct a past injustice. we praise you for the more than 19,000 african american marines who trained at monfort point, a segregated facility after president franklin roosevelt's desegregated the marine corps during world war ii. while we have already recognized the tuskegee airmen,
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we are grateful for the nearly 13,000 black marines from montford point who served overseas during world war ii, prepared to give the last full measure of devotion to protect freedoms which they themselves were denied at home. we acknowledge our debt of gratitude to representative brown who sponsored the resolution that makes this day possible. although we cannot be erased the mistakes of the past, thank you for these opportunities to seek to make amends and to narrow the gap between our nation's
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creeds and deeds. may what we do here today prompt us to anticipate your coming judgment when many who are first will be last and many who are classed will be first. made this congressional gold medal ceremony brings glory and honor to your name, amen. >> please be seated. ladies and gentlemen, the representative from the 22nd district of florida, the honorable allan west. >> thank you speaker banner. -- speaker john boehner.
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thank you for being here. welcome and friends and family and to all the men and women today who are in uniform and to those who have served. i stand here today because once upon a time there were giants that what this country. these were men who were giants not because of their stature but because of their importance. these were giants because of their honor and integrity and impeccable character. they were giants because their resolve, their commitment to a country that had not yet to them. through history we know not all of their names, but we know them from the group's upon which they were organized.
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the 54th fighting massachusetts, the buffalo soldiers of the ninth and 10th calvary, the hell fighters from harlem, the tank destroyer battalions, the 322nd fired -- fighter group tuskegee airmen. the smoke jumpers. these were the giants from the era of my own father who served in world war ii. we are gathered here today to remember another group of giants. i first learned of these giants as a young boy growing up in atlanta, georgia listening to the stories of dark green marines who were with my mother at the marine headquarters. their story made me proud. hearing their triumph made me just a little bit taller.
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i learned more about these giants from my older brother who decided to follow their footsteps and the legacy and volunteered to serve during the time of the vietnam war. he joined their line of service as a member of charlie company first battalion 26 marine regiment and was wounded. when presented with a choice of black and gold or scarlet and gold, my dad was the old soldier. he ended up winning out. as fate would have it in 1999, 17 years after being commissioned as a second lieutenant in the united states army, i received orders to report to united states marine corps base for a three-year joint exchange assignment. i finally was able to walk the sacred ground of montfort point. it was truly an blessing that a
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young army major was promoted to lieutenant colonel, my final promotion by a marine general. somehow it seemed as if the ghosts of these giants looked over to the second marine expedition headquarters from across on slow day. with a tear in their eye and with a smile on their face i heard them say,hoorah, we are proud of you. today my journey is complete. i have come full circle to a member of the united states house of representatives and a retired lieutenant army colonel who now stands before these giants, these great men saying
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thank you for the inspiration that you gave me. these giants, the few, the crowd, the montfort point marines. may god, country, corps -- never forget your service, your sacrifice to this republic. it may future generations of army, navy, air force, marines, all americans remember you and find inspiration. may we all for ever bombarded the legacy you have given to this great nation. i salute you, and i say semper fidelis. [applause] >> the honorable corrine brown.
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>> god is good. all the time. and you sure look good today. let's give the montfort point marine a hand. [applause] on behalf of a very grateful nation, in the house of representatives we have what we call -- if you give me a few minutes, i will take my seat. we have to remember a little about history.
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the marines or the last group to integrate. i have to tell you that the montfort poitn marines set the standard for the marines. they laid the groundwork as to what a america could stand for before jackie robinson, before martin luther king when these men went out to war and fought and represented this country, they were so great -- they had to integrate the armed services. let's give them another hand. [applause] and i think it is very important that we define history. recently i was on a program with several women from the different branches.
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we were talking about the tuskegee airmen. i mentioned the montfort point marines. they were not aware of it. marines are boots on the ground. boots on the ground. we owe a debt of gratitude to the general. stand up. he led the fight. [applause] i have to tell you, this bill was probably the most bipartisan bill we have passed and we will pass in this congress. 290 signatures in order to get it engendered in the house and you needed a about 90 in the senate. and so when we got it passed in the house, you know, i thought my work was over. the general said, do you know anybody in the senate.
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i said, sir, what happens when failure is not an option? you get it done. he said, corrine, you should have been a marine. we got it done. and so i am so pleased that you are here today. we are honoring you and your capital. your capital. let's give them another hand. [applause] as i take my seat, there are so many people we want to thank. whether it was the state senator who brought me the information about monfort point, whether the speaker of the house or leader policy, this is one of the most bipartisan issues we had everybody worked together to honor you montfort point marines.
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thank you so much for your service. you have to help me. my stepfather was navy. i want to be able to do a, what is it? let's do it better. hoorah. thank you again. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the junior united states senator from the state of north carolina, the honorable kay hagan. >> senator reid, senator mcconnell, congressman john boehner, congressman -- congresswoman nancy pelosi, thank you for being here and coming down.
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we are so honored to be here. good afternoon, everybody. it is truly one of the greatest honors of my career to be here as a u.s. senator today to recognize the most heroic and courageous veterans in our nation's history. i can think of no group more deserving of this congressional gold medal than the monfort point marines and all of you that are with us today. when these men walked through the gates at monfort point in my home state in north carolina in the 1940's, you came young, brave, and committed to serving a country that did not yet appreciate the sacrifices. a country that measured a warrior, measured a man not by his courage or dedication but by the color of his skin. your road was not easy. to be simply allowed onto the nearby camp where the white
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counterparts were trained and bass, the monfort pint marines needed to be accompanied by a white marine. those challenges did not stop them or you. they did not stop james patterson who after president roosevelt signed his historic executive order in 1941, james patterson was one of the first african-americans to list -- annalist in the core. these did not stop turner who followed his training led a 24- year career in the marine corps serving in world war ii, korea, and vietnam. the monfort pint marines served our country with honor and distinction. for that, they are true heroes.
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he rose to each and every one of us today. -- heroes to each and everyone of us today. these men led the path for those that came after them. mr. white he was represented today by his daughter gina had a deep love for the marine corps that never had the opportunity to rise through the ranks. a story i recently heard took place several years ago. mr. white had the opportunity to meet grover lewis. he served as one of the first african american commanding officers in north carolina. despite his failing health, mr. white rose to his feet and stood at attention. colonel lewis recalled that as he sat down mr. white said, i never thought i would see this in my life. it was later at his funeral in 2011 that colonel lewis remarked on this encounter saying, that was the moment when he realized as a commander he
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represented 19,000 african american marines who never had the opportunity to serve under a commanding officer who shared their skin color. [applause] you and all of the monfort piont marines forged a new path in our armed services, all the while you never lost your love for our country, love for your family, or for the pride in the marine corps. to these american heroes, to your families we owe an incredible deal of gratitude. the congressional gold medal is a small token of appreciation that you deserve. to those monfort piont marines here today and those who have gone before, thank you for your service and sacrifice. may god bless you and may god bless the united states of
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america. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the senior united states senator from north carolina, richard burr. >> mr. speaker, leaders from the senate and the house, my colleagues from both bodies, what a great day and what a wonderful event we are here to celebrate. good afternoon and welcome to everyone. thank you to the monfort point marines and their families who
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have traveled here to be at this occasion today. the marines in the audience, especially those of you who are seasoned veterans, know that the history of the core you read about in books and see in movies does not begin to capture the true essence of what it means to be a marine, the sacrifice and commitment it requires, the demand of leadership and the responsibility to lead up to the -- live up to the legacy of those who have gone before you. the story of the monfort point marines encompasses all of that effort and something more. something uniquely american and inspiring. in no other nation could such a story have unfolded at a time when our commitment to racial equality was still restrained by segregation. when those who wanted to serve were often relegated to carrying ammunition for -- or serving as the words rather than leading assaults. what is uniquely american about
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what he tolerated and in toward is what you accomplished and the way in which you overcame the prevailing attitudes of your day. with persistence, with grit, with courage, and in doing so, you ensured this nation could no longer ignore the necessity of living up to the ideals that it is founded upon. today the core is stronger because of your service. today america is greater because of your sacrifices. god bless the monfort point marines. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the democratic leader of the house of representatives, the honorable nancy pelosi. [applause] >> good afternoon, everyone. mr. william et al., the
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representative of the monfort point marines, to each and every marine who is here. some survivors are here. many members of the families are here as well. a welcome to each and every one of the. let us applaud our marines, but let us applaud their families as well for their patriotism to our country. i am honored to be here with our other senators here, the representatives of north carolina, burr and hagan, i am delighted to join our colleagues on the house side. thank you for your service to our country.
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corrine brown, the author of the resolution. she did not tell you that she collected the signatures in record time. with the work of our congressional black caucus in the house of representatives, many who are with us this afternoon. what was also not mentioned is that she is the second ranking democrat on the veteran affairs committee. she continues her work in support of our men and women in uniform as a leader on veterans affairs as well. thank you. [applause] it is indeed as others have said a privilege to welcome you here to emancipation hall. an appropriate name for this place. you served our country at a time when it took an extra dose of patriotism to do so. an extra dose of courage because all of the freedoms that
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you were fighting for were not afforded to everyone in our country at that time. here we come together to honor the roles that african americans played in world war ii in the service of our country. we pay tribute to perseverance and courage of a small group of giants in american history, the monfort point marines. in the time of these marines in the age of inequality, breaking the color barrier took nothing less than perserverance, patriotism, and courage of extraordinary proportions fighting for a segregated america required that extra dose of patriotism. for the men of monfort. ,-- montfort point the reason to join was more basic, there was a war abroad and they saw it
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as their duty to fight for their country. as one of the first recruits would say, i joined the marine corps because i felt it was the proper thing to do to be patriotic to my country. i felt the this is history in the making. they were not just a part of history though as he said, they made history. there were patriots. you are patriots and pioneers. he proved yourselves to be in a world war -- earning their respect on the battlefields of the south pacific, on the beaches of the world jima and okinawa. you helped protect our country. you helped change our nation. today as we give the gold medal to the marines, this ceremony takes place in the capital and it sits comfortably among other
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events we have had here to honor the bravery of african american patriots. as have been mentioned, we had the tuskegee airmen ceremony not that long ago. it was also long overdue. a few years ago we had a ceremony which:hal was our speaker to observe the anniversary of the desegregation of the military, an order signed by president truman. was that not a historic time for our country? thank you so much for being with us today. it is an honor to welcome you and all the others as well. as we recognize these monfort point marines as part of a long drive to break down barriers in the military and our country. coming together in the middle of the 20th century when you did, you share the pioneer
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spirit of those who have fought for civil rights of the national movement to realize the promise we are all created equal. later these brave men came to understand what their sacrifice meant. as one former young marine put it, they had created -- you had created a legacy of young african americans that will have an important role to play in this nation what ever disciplined e like to follow. the legacy that you created change the face of a country and altered the course of our history. like all marines, there were few, they were proud, they were december 5, always faithful to the corps and to the country -- semper fi, always faithful to the core into the country. their actions and courage, it paved the way for justice at home.
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you overcame adversity and open the door of opportunity, you drove americans to live up to their ideals, civil rights, freedom and equality which is our heritage and hope. your place in history was earned, not given. you earned the thanks of a grateful nation. god truly blessed america with the service and patriotism and courage of the monfort point marines. today you received the highest civilian honor that congress can bestow, the congressional gold medal. thank you for your courage and your service. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the republican leader of the united states senate, of the honorable mitch mcconnell. [applause]
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>> today we gather to honor the marines of monfort. . not just for their pioneering role in breaking down the color barrier in the u.s. marine corps, but for their courage and their sacrifice amid the indignity of racial discrimination. in particular i would like to recognize six marines from my home state of kentucky who i understand are here today. edward church hill, thomas clark, senior, james foreman, luther goodwin, albert jones. for volunteering to defend our nation in world war ii, all men we recognize today secured a permanent place of honor in our national memory. for doing so, in the face of mistreatment and injustice, we
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owe them a greater measure of respect and gratitude. they are among the greatest of the greatest generation. the nearly 20,000 marines to train that monfort point, between the years of 1942 and 1949 trained in difficult conditions. instead of standard derricks like the ones are white counterparts slut then, the living quarters at monfort opint -- slept in, were more like overcrowded hats. a single stove supplied heat for more than 40 men. most just brushed these things aside. as 1 cent, we were so gung-ho and patriotic, we were not concerned at all what we would do. we wanted to get out there and
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fight. restricted to training for support roles, african and american marines had to wait for their chance to prove themselves on the battlefield. -- african american marines had a chance to prove themselves on the battlefield. they carried out their duties with great courage. i want to publicly commanded the marine corps -- commend the marine corps, for bringing to light the importance of the marines of monfort point. recognition of their accomplishments is long overdue. still for many of these men it was never for gaining recognition. it was about defending the nation they love.
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paving a path for the generations of african-american men and women who would follow them into the marine corps. this point was driven home six years ago when one of them showed up at a reunion. while there, he came across a senior marine officer who happened to be an african- american. you cannot imagine how much pride i feel seeing you in that uniform, he told the officer. it is enough to make an old marine cry. the officer replied, i owe much of this to you. and so we honor the monfort point marines who are here today and the thousands who are no longer with us for rising above and beyond the call of duty to defend this nation. for in during a great injustice with dignity and forbearance.
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for your bravery and your service, congress recognizes you today with our nation's highest civilian honor. thank you, gentlemen, and congratulations. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the majority leader of the senate, the honorable harry reid. [applause] >> their barracks where nothing more than little shacks. mosquitos worth it. there were snakes. there were poisonous snakes. the training was brutal. the private first class of las
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vegas, that was what he was supposed to do. in a swampy peninsula on the north carolina coast, leon became one of the first african-americans admitted into the marine corps. leon, raise your hand. he is here. i saw him earlier. where is leon? there we go. [applause] thank you for your service. although the core was forced by president roosevelt to accept black recruits, it was not forced to treat them equally. the monster. marines road in the back of the train, at the it had separate counters and use different
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bathrooms. even sometimes different drinking fountains. they were trying to fight injustice overseas. meanwhile, they suffer discrimination every day. they were trained to fight tyranny abroad but their friends and families suffer depression here at home. they tried to break these trainees, but the men at monfort point showed the same tough stuff as other leathernecks. they prove themselves and training. although they were assigned to support roles in pacific theater, these were not really support roles. many had the challenge to prove themselves in battle as well. some fought in the deathly beaches of iwo jima, solomon islands and other pacific islands.
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some claim that the ash after the bomb was dropped in japan. some witness the flag raising. many made the ultimate sacrifice for their country dying at the hands of japanese forces. unlike the marine corps, an emmy, bonds, and bullets did not discriminate between black soldiers and white soldiers. it also pave the way for future generations after the american marines. corporal odom is also from las vegas, fought and okinawa. i met ervin later today. raise your hand. 70 years he has been married to the lady sitting next to him.
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[applause] almost 70 years later, his grandson died after 21 years of service in the marine corps. nearly ervin or leon join the marines intending to be trailblazers. there will always be heroes. i congratulate mr. odom and every man who trained at montfort point. elmer brown cannot be with us today. i congratulate him as well. unfortunately, 03 and -- only three nobody in to train that monfort point are still alive. -- only three nevadans. congratulations to each and
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everyone of you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the speaker of the united states house of representatives, the honorable john boehner. [applause] >> this is a happy occasion. there are so many people who worked hard to make this a possible. corrine brown, alan west, hagen, burr. they all deserve a big round of applause. [applause] who told their soldiers they were supermen because of their race. the ratio experiments of nazi germany and imperial japan have
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failed utterly. they failed in part due to the bayonets, bombs, bullets of black american war fighters. they not only helped defeat tyranny overseas, they thoroughly discredited a poisonous philosophy deeply held and long defended by the the it's near home. for generations it justified bigotry, segregation. this is why allowing blacks to serve in the marine corps was called an experiment. if it was an experiment, it did not last very long. before the end of the war, he said the experiment was over. the men trained at monfort point were "marines, period." [applause]
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the commandant had witnessed firsthand a black marine fighting in hand-to-hand combat during the battle of sight and. he saw what other white marines saw. he saw what monfort. marines already knew, they had the right stuff. they could live by a code. they could meet the high quality of the eagle, globe, and the anger. monfort point remained open another five years after the end of the war. the continued preparing young black men for ward giving them the tools they needed for the challenges of military service. he was 16 years old when he lied to get into the marine corps.
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after monfort, he went on to witness the full integration of the marines. he also saw combat in korea and vietnam. barnett was awarded the silver star for engagement in vietnam in 1967 while he was a tanker in the third marine division. his unit was surrounded and attacked by overwhelming enemy force. barnett's persons bravery save his unit's position. his actions "undoubtedly turn what could have been a dangerous situation into a complete route to the enemy superior force. by his son, leadership, careless action, and selfless -- he upheld the highest traditions of the marine corps in the united states naval service.
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this is the legacy of monfort point. unflinching devotion, courageous under any and all circumstances and an example now etched in gold to any marine of any color. thank god for the marines of monfort point. [applause] thank god for this occasion that the american people through their representatives can demonstrate our love, our respect, and all our thanks for what you have endured for our freedom. thank you all very much. [applause] if i could invite mr. william et al. of the. point marines to come forward to
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receive the medal. -- william mcdowell. >> please remain seated for the presentation of the gold medal by members of the united states congress and mr. william mcdowell. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, mr. william mcdowell, representative of the monfort point marines, united states marine corps. [applause] >> good afternoon. if i do not talk loud enough. let me know. for 167 years, negros were not permitted to join the marine corps to defend this country. that change did 1941 and entreated begin in 1942. unfortunately, it took a world
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war to make it happen. it happened. on behalf of those who came forward and said, i want to be a marine, i welcome you to this occasion because you all were directly involved. at this very proud moment and in this magnificent then you, i want to thank the honorable speaker of the house, mr. john boehner for his kind invitation to each of us that are here today. [applause] i want to thank the members of the united states senate and the house of representatives who supported the bill to honor the monfort point marines with a congressional gold medal and a particular thanks to corrine brown of florida.
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[cheers and applause] senator hagen of north carolina who made it happen. [applause] joe carpenter, lieutenant- colonel retired united states marine corps. [cheers and applause] i would like to personally thank the officers and staff of the marine corps special project, colonel smith and her operations planning team, you guys did a hell of a job putting it all together.
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last but not least, on february 25 of last year, at the camp based theater, -- i happen to be there -- a gentleman said this is an injustice. it is not a recognition of what monfort point marines did, many of them who served in world war ii and korea and vietnam, a lot of them are here. he said he was going to fix it. and he did. he is a man of his word. he made it happen. james ames. [cheers and applause]
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i like a guy who says he will do something and he did it. on a personal note, i think i am echoing the thoughts of many of us who were fortunate enough to be here. i do not think we imagine that anything like this would ever happen in our lifetime. it does satiny that so many of our brothers are not with us today. -- it does sadden me that so many of our brothers are not with us today. our in our hearts and minds and they will never be forgotten. this day, that congressional gold medal -- excuse me.
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[applause] suck it up, a marine. this gold medal is very much there's also. i am happy for this event to take place because as an extension of it, i get a chance for me and my wife, brenda, to reunite with old friends, and i look forward to reminiscing a bit. i might let them buy me a drink or two. we go around complementing each other about how good we look. ladies and gentlemen, it is a privilege and honor to stand before you and received the
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congressional gold medal on behalf of yourselves and the almost 18,700 other brothers who serve this nation and the core with courage, commitment -- this award belongs to them because collectively you all did what some of us thought was impossible. once again, you have made history. thank you for being here. semper fi, marines. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please stand as the chaplain of the united states house of representatives gives the benediction. >> let us pray. lord, made the hands and hearts of this nation be raised in prayer and praise for these heroic trailblazer members of the united states marine corps who served our nation in the hope of freedom for all of the world. as our nation was defending itself from the attack of dangerous foes, these veterans chose to serve while they were still not completely well, to share in the fullness of the american society of fabric.
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although the need for monfort point given the unrepentant racism at that time in our history will never be remembered without considerable embarrassment, made the people of this nation now rise to celebrate these marines. they bore no small rejection by their fellow americans yet proved to be not merely were the two being marines, but forgers seven even greater fighting unit by their heroic service. made the breath of god uphold their noble and historic story. made carried to other generations and even to other nations, a message to inspire citizens everywhere to serve the mighty cause of public service while always seeking equal justice. made those who made the ultimate sacrifice, those who
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etched out heroic victories, those who earned medals of honor, and those who suffered personally the pain of rejection in those dark days of our world and our nation be rewarded with success and find peace. bless all women and men in military service no matter their racial, cultural, or religious heritage and their families. god bless america and grant us peace both in the present and with you forever, amen. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain standing for the marine's him by the united states marine band.
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♪ ♪ host: [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] x please be seated for the departure of the official party as the united states marines band performs.
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♪ ♪
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>> ladies and gentlemen, this concludes our ceremony. thank you for your attendance, and enjoy your day. ♪
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>> next, the defense department holding its first event holt -- marking lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month. then bill gates, microsoft's chairman. tomorrow on "washington journal," all look at the political reaction to the supreme court's decision on the affordable care act. they discussed the policy implications of the affordable care act and efforts to repeal it.
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"washington journal," live at 78 -- live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> this is the conversation we need to have in this country that nobody is willing to have. what roles with the government play and how things are finance. >> gretchen morgan the tells the sub prime lending collapse and government subsidize home ownership. >> if you want subsidized housing in this country, and the population agrees it is something we should subsidize, then put it on the balance sheet and make it clear and make it evident. make everybody aware of how much it costs. but when you deliver it through these third party enterprises, fannie mae and freddie mac, and you deliver the subsidy through public company with private shareholders, and executives who can extract a lot of that for themselves, that is not a very
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good way of subsidizing homeownership. i think we have seen that, the end of that movie in 2008. >> more on sunday at 8:00 on c- span's "q&a". >> on tuesday, the defense department hosted first-ever event marking lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month. that is followed by a panel discussion on the value of diversity in the military. this month, defense secretary leon panetta issued the first lgbt pride month. expressed his own pride at the way the military had implemented repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" of the past nine months. this is an hour.
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>> good afternoon. welcome to the pride month event. please stand for the presentation of colors and remain standing for the national anthem.
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♪ [playing instrumental version of "the star spangled banner"]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. please direct your attention to the center screen for the president lgbt pride month message. >> i've often said that the true genius of america is that america can change. we can pass laws to right wrongs. we can soften hardened attitudes. our union can be made more perfect. here is the thing. change of happens on its own. change happens because ordinary people, unsung heroes, stand up and demand it. the story of lesbian, gay, and transgendered americans is no different. as we celebrate pride month we remember the advocates who
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refused to be treated by second-class citizens. people like harvey milk who believed in a better future. we also remember the unsung heroes, the millions of lgbt americans with whom everyday acts have required courage. the young people who came out as gay to their parents. the two months or two that you went to an open house for the pta meeting not knowing how they would be received. the couple who got married even if their bosses and neighbors would not approve right away. most of these heroes and not about to make history. that is what they did. bit by bit, step-by-step, it a bit of the ark of the universe toward justice. let's take the time to celebrate teachers and students to take a stand against bowling, openly gay service members to defend our country, families
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and friends who have seen their own attitudes evolve. protecting our union is not something we can do in one month. we can remember those came before us. we can summon the courage to build on their legacy. we can renew our commitment day in and day out to be the kind of people who make change happen. [applause] >> i want to personally thank all of our gay and lesbian service members, lgbt civilians and their families for their dedicated service to our country. before the repeal of don't ask don't tell, you served your country with professionalism and courage. just like your fellow service members, you put your country
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before yourself. now after repeal you can be proud of serving your country and be proud of who you are women in uniform. pursuit of equality is fundamental to the american story. the successful repeal of don't ask don't tell prove to the nation that we share different backgrounds, different values, different beliefs. together we are the greatest military force in the world. it reminds us that integrity in respect remained the cornerstones. this implemented the repeal with a focus on respect an individual dignity. as secretary of defense, i am proud of how we implement it repealed. going forward, i remain committed to removing as many barriers as possible to make
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america's military and model of equal opportunity. to ensure all who are qualified conserve and america's military and to give every man and woman in uniform the opportunity to rise to their highest potential. diversity is one of our greatest strengths. during pride month and every month. let us celebrate our rich diversity and renew our enduring commitment to equality for all. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the honorable jeh johnson, general counsel for the department of defense. [applause]
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>> thank you all very much. can everybody hear me in the back? i have to say i look around this standing room only crowd and i am sorry we did not sell tickets. [laughter] thank you for being here. this afternoon, i want to share with you some insights on the process that led to the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" law in december 2010. the implementation of that repeal between december 2010 and now in where i think we're going from here. as recently as three years ago, it would have been hard for many of us, including me, to believe that in the year 2012 a man or
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woman in the armed forces could be honest about their sexual orientation. that the "don't ask, don't tell" law would be gone from the books and that the process of repeal would have gone even smoother and less of vengeful then general hamm and i predicted in our report. it is a remarkable story and it is remarkable because of the strength of the u.s. military and its leadership. this is the overall message but i hope to convey in these remarks today. we have the mightiest military in the world. not just because of our planes, guns, tanks and ships but because of our people, their ability to adapt to change in their respect for the rule of law, their commanders and their civilian leaders. this has been a remarkable thing about the last nine months but for anyone who knows the men
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and women of the armed forces, it is not a revelation. at the outset, a personal disclosure -- in 2010, general him and i did an assessment. we did not advocate for a particular result. our only goal was a comprehensive and accurate report of the risk to military effectiveness "don't ask, don't tell" were repealed. i do not consider myself an activist on the matter of gay men and women in america. we are all the product of our circumstances and part of my circumstances include my formative years in the 1970's @ morehouse college, an all-male, all-black southern baptist school. in the 1980's, a good friend at the law firm in which i practice was openly gay but it
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was at least a year before i knew that and only because someone else told me. i asked my friend why he had not told me directly that he was gay and he said to me, and i still remember his exact words, "because i did not think you could handle the." for the next 27 years, i asked myself what gave my friend that impression but it did not preoccupy me. in 2009, we never talked about "don't ask, don't tell" except in groups and no larger than about three or four people. secretary gates knew the president had pledged to seek repel -- repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" but both of them believe that if repeal was to
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occur, it to happen in a careful and deliberate manner. we did not want the issue to spin out of our grasp. then in his state of the union address on january 27, 2010, president obama pledged to work with the congress and the military that year to repeal "don't ask, don't tell," which is exactly what happened. several days later, secretary gates and admiral mullin testified before the senate armed committee on the subject. it is there were the admiral gave his remarkable statement in support of repeal and secretary gates announced the formation of a working group to be headed by the general counsel of the defense department and army general carter hamm to conduct a assessment of the risk of repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" on overall military a effectiveness. we were to take 10 months and we were told to systematically
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engaged the force on this issue. in fact, go have a conversation with the entire u.s. military about this issue and report back to me, the president and the congress, what they told you. i did not know carter hamm, now commander of u.s. africa command, at all before admiral mullen volunteered him for this assignment. but over 10 months, i got to know carter and his wife extremely well to the point where my wife and kids spent thanksgiving 2010 with them in germany where we visited wounded warriors at the hospital there. carter began as a private in the army in 1973 and he knows the army at -- as about as well as anyone. he was right to navigate the sensitive assignment in the development of our report, i never let my own civilian legal thinking straight far away from
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his military perspective or his own voice. the study we undertook with the most comprehensive engagement ever of the military on any personnel related matter. over the course of 10 months, we surveyed 400,000 service members and received 115,000 responses, surveyed 150,000 military spouses and received 44,000, -- 44,000 responses, solicited and received 72,384 e- mails, conducted 95 information exchange forms at 51 bases around the world and talk face to face to over 24,000 service members, many of them general ham and myself. we conducted smaller focus group sessions with service members and their families, visited the military academies,
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solicited the views of congress, for countries and groups for and against repeal. finally the working group engaged in in an on-line conversation with 2006 and 91 service members on a confidential, anonymous basis and thereby gave voice to those who by virtue of the very law we were reviewing had no voice as self identified a active-duty service members. the results of the report are now well known. the bottom-line conclusion was this -- based on all we saw and heard, our assessment is that when coupled with the prompt implementation of our recommendations, the risk of repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" to overall military effectiveness was low. as a basis for this conclusion, there was of course the survey
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results. they showed among other things that 69.3% of those in today's military had already worked in a unit with someone they believed to be gay and that if "don't ask, don't tell" repealed, 70% of today's military said they thought would have a positive effect, it will be positive or negative affect or no effect at all on their units ability to perform as a team. also key to our conclusion was this -- "in the course of our assessment, it became apparent to us that aside from the moral and religious objections to homosexuality, much of the concern about open service is driven by misperceptions and stereotypes about what it would mean if a service members were allowed to be open -- if gay
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service members were allowed to be open about their sexual orientation. repeatedly be heard the use that overt sexuality would lead to overt displays a feminine behavior among men, homosexual promiscuity, harassment and unwelcome advances, invasions of personal privacy and an overall erosion of standards of conduct, unit cohesion and morality. based on our review, we conclude these concerns about gay and lesbian service members who are permitted to be open about their sexual orientation are exaggerated and not consistent with the reported experiences of many service members. in communications with gay and lesbian current and former service members, we repeatedly heard a patriotic desire to serve and defend the nation, subject to the same rules as
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everyone else. in the war g to 1ay service member, -- in the words of one gay service members, repeal would take the knife out of my back. some of those separated under "don't ask, don't tell" would welcome the opportunity to rejoin the military if permitted. from then, we heard expressed many of the same values that we heard over and over again from service members at large. love of country, honor, respect, integrity and service over self. we simply cannot square the reality of these people with the perceptions about open service." last but not least, this noteworthy quote in the report
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which seems to be the favorite of a lot of people -- we have a gay guy in the unit. he is big, he is mean and he killed lots of bad guys. no one cared that he was gay." [laughter] [applause] finally, key to my own views know where reflected in this report, the military members of the working group were side-by- side with me throughout the presence of large groups sessions who told me that in the course of the 10 month review, they started off skeptics and had become satisfied that our military can do this. by the end of the 10 months study during which i think we actually saw added -- attitudes shift as we stirred the pot, we have the overwhelming sense that with proper education and leadership, the military could be ready for this change. the report was issued publicly on november 30, 2010, in the
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middle of a lame duck session of congress. repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" was passed by congress three weeks later, signed into law by the president on december 22, 2010, and took effect on september 20, 2011. how has the military accepted this change? better than we anticipated. i attribute this to the strength of our military and its army, navy, air force, marine and coastguard leadership. i know i speak for these leaders when i say we hope this process continues in the professional and sober manner that it has taken since last year. in december 2010, as congress was considering repeal, the commander of the marine corps
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testified that repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" was not a good idea for the marine corps but at the time, his personal and public message was it my leaders give me an order to do this, your united states marine corps will get it done and get it done smartly. following repeal, general amos step up and personally delivered messages as part of the education and training of their respective forces. his message was simple -- we will step out smartly too faithfully implement this new law. we will continue to demonstrate to the american people that discipline and fidelity which have been the hallmarks of the united states marine corps for more than 235 years, will continue well into the future. the marine corps was the first service to complete the education and training of its force. general casey of the army personally led the first repeal education and training session in the army for all of the four- star generals as part of the method of training by which the
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commander is personally responsible for training his subordinates. admiral profit of the navy said this -- leadership, and respect are the basis for executing the change in the law. we expect sailors to continue to exhibit the highest degree of professionalism and to treat each other with dignity and respect. general schwartz of the enforced -- we will successfully implement this change with the same unparalleled professionalism we of demonstrated with every transformation we have undertaken. in both peace and war. of the coast guard, i need you, commanding officers, supervisors and every coast guard member to create a climate that fosters -- foster's retention.
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the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" will require your leadership and i'm counting on you to exercise it. if every coast guard member does his job, you must value your shipmates, no matter what their background. since repeal, within each service, there have been isolated incidents but almost no issues or negative affects associated with the appeal on unit cohesion, including within war fighting units. as general amos testified, he and his staff were careful to look for issues during the training and told congress to be honest with you, we have not seen it. from the front lines in afghanistan, one marine major general reported to the commandant -- sir, honestly, they are focused on the enemy. the one forward, the personnel and readiness committee is in the midst of reviewing which military family benefits can be extended to the partners and other family members of the gay and lesbian service members.
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the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" exposes search and inequalities between similarly situated couples in the military community. this troubles many of our leaders. on the other hand, we must comply with current law, including the defense of marriage act. though the apartment of justice has said it will not defend the constitutionality of this in court until final resolution of that issue. and here is to the law is basic for the military and central to our efforts. because of the number of benefits provided to our military community, in the complex legal and regulatory framework, the process has been comprehensive and time consuming but it will get done. one final note about today's event before i close. this type of event during the
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month of june has occurred in civilian society and civilian agencies of the federal government for years. the cia, for example, posted a gay pride of that 12 years ago. this is the first time in history such an event has occurred at the pentagon. within the military, and events such as this must occupy a different and qualified place. because in the military, individual, personal characteristics are suburbanites to the good of the unit and the mission. service above self. from all that we learned in 2010 about the struggles and the sacrifice to remain in the military, i believe gay men and women in uniform readily agree with this. what should be honored today? for those service members who are gay and lesbian, we lifted
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a real personal burden from their shoulders. they no longer have to live a lie in the military. they will no longer have to teach a child to lie to protect their father's career. as one army reported, her commander told her this policy kept me from knowing you. for all of us, we should honor the professional and a near flawless manner in which our entire u.s. military implemented and adapted to this change. and welcome to their brothers and sisters to an unconditional place at the table. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome capt. jane campbell, united states navy. [applause] >> good afternoon. it is my great pleasure to serve as your moderator this afternoon for the panel discussion. mr. johnson, thank you for your remarks, and thank you for providing that behind-the- scenes perspective of the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." before we begin our discussion this afternoon, i would like to take a moment to provide a brief introduction of our panelists. when i finished these introductions, i think he will see why we were extremely pleased to have these men and women seated in front of you this afternoon. her first panelist is sue fulton, a u.s. army veteran. a 1980 graduate of the united states military academy.
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the first class of women. she is one of six -- [applause] she is one of six presidential appointees to the 2012 west point board of visitors. she served on active duty for five years as a signal corps officer for pours in to germany including platoon leader, staff officer and company commander. after leaving the army, sue worked in a brand management at proctor and gamble. she also took two years to work in parish renewal programs for the archdiocese of new york. she currently serves as the executive director of nights out in the communications director of out serve.
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our second panelist as captain matthew phelps. united states marine corps. he most recently served as the commanding officer receiving company support battalion, recruit training regiment in san diego. i say most recently because people him out of their just after his change of command that took place lisa and -- late last week. he headed down the road to quantico where he will start the expeditionary warfare school shortly. he is a prior unlisted marine. after earning a bachelor's degree in music from the eastman school of music at rochester university in 2001, he enlisted in the marine corps. he was promoted to sergeant while a member of the marine corps air ground combat center. he applied for and was accepted into the unlisted commissioning program.
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he earned his gold second lieutenant bars back in august of 25 -- 2005. he has held a variety of assignments cent earning his commission, including a combat deployment to iraq with first battalion 11th marine regiment in support of operation iraqi freedom. our third panelist is court and -- gordon tanner. a member of the senior executive service, he is the principal deputy general counsel of the air force. he works here in the pentagon. he provides oversight, guidance, direction regarding legal advice on all matters arising within the year force. he earned his bachelor's degree from the university of alabama and his jurist doctorate from vanderbilt university. he was commissioned in the air force judge advocate general corps and served on active duty for four years.
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while spending some time in private practice, he continued his military service in the air force reserves, ultimately retiring as a colonel. while i am not a lawyer and i definitely will not make any lawyer jokes because i know there is more than a few of you in this room, i do want to point out it is significant to note that mr. tanner is a member of the u.s. supreme court to bar. i will not pressure him too much but it is important to point out that our of that here was the wind -- was designed for the pentagon work force, a work force of military and civilian personnel. within their introductions complete, i will like to begin this discussion. i will ask each of our panel members to tell their own
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personal story and then i will come back to them to see if there are any points i think you might find interesting. now without further ado, i like to turn it over to sue fulton. >> thank you. this is an extraordinarily special day. standing room only in the pentagon auditorium. but not lgbt because our special but because the service, the sacrifices of gay and lesbian service members are being recognized as equal to the sacrifices that straight soldiers, airmen and others make every day. [applause] a lot of people seemed surprised that "don't ask, don't tell" went so smoothly. for a moment i was one of them. but i think back to when i
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arrived at my first duty station in 1980 as a wet behind the ears bader ball with my airborne wings. one of the first people i met was a personnel nco. forgive the stereotyped but he was about 6'4 in the fiercest, most fabulous take no prisoners, flamboyant gay man i had ever seen and yet all of the captains and majors and colonels deferred to him and because he could play like a piano. he knew his job inside and out, better than anybody else. there was widespread respect for him. he would pass me in the hall and say, "how you doing, ma'am""
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so many of us knew people like him out there. whether it was the training nco who had a one liner for everything, the notion and certainly the vast majority of gay and lesbian folks in the military are not stereotypical, but some in the of us knew those gay and lesbian soldiers and we knew that at the end of the day, this would not be hard. when i was a company commander on a base in germany, there were four gay commanders on the base at the same time. we were all successful but none of us stayed in the army. because it was too hard. even before "don't ask, don't tell," we were told we knew
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there were things we could not talk about. do not tell anyone about that first date or your crazy fun weekend or in a bad break up. don't tell anyone about who was waiting for you when you get back home from a deployment. the army redacted our lives. i think at the end of the day, one of the things that those of us working on this realize -- all of the military folks, gay and straight, as that being gay is not about sex. it is about life. it is about buying a house and bickering over chores. sorry, that as my partner over there. [laughter] it is about deciding whether to have kids, moving to a new place, it is about life. thanks to the leadership of this administration and pentagon and so many union leaders at
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every bubble, we can have those lives now and still serve the country we love. thank you so much for having me here. [applause] >> as i listen to the biography of the distinguished panel, the first question that comes to my mind is why am i here? [laughter] i enlisted in 2002 because after the events of 9/11, i could not imagine anything else i could do with my life than to serve my country. as i was bound and focused on that idea, i thought there was no better way to do that then as a marine. the interesting thing or the complicating factor at that time was i had come out as gay to my
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parents when i was 18. and here was 25 years old, faced with the feelings so deep within me that there was absolutely no denying it that i had to be a marine. i enlisted in the marine corps and i listened to my recruiter stumble his way through, exploiting the "don't ask, don't tell" in affect at that time but at the time, there was no chance of a going away. as he stumbled through the policy and asked "are you gay," because if not this does not matter. okay fine, i will sign the paper and let's do it. i realize at that point that the problem with a "don't ask, don't tell of the" policy was that it asked us to live when nobody even realized we were lying -- to lie when nobody even realized we were lying. it hit home for me when i was on deployment in 2007.
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i was in iraq and every saturday night, the officers got together and smoked cigars and watched movies. usually "band of brothers" or something so we could make fun of the way the army did it. [laughter] as we sat there, thoughts would drift to home. everyone would talk about their families and their wives and the letters they got from their kids. i sat there in the back of the room not talking to anybody. because not only was it so hard to have let somebody at home, just like it was hard for everybody else, but when everybody was getting together and growing closer as a unit, by virtue of the fact that i was not allowed to say anything, i was growing more distant from my unit. we hear people talk about unit cohesion and how the repeal of
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"don't ask, don't tell" will affect cohesion. i would argue that it got better. because now you have a whole portion of the military who was able to be honest with the people they work with. when somebody says you have anybody at home? we can say, yes. when the repeal happened on september 20, 2011, it came at an interesting point in my career. i was selected as a company commander and already is serving at the recruit depot. i went into work on the 20th of september thinking my life was going to change.
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i went in and sat down at my desk and i braced myself on the desk, waiting for everyone to ask me if i was gay. [laughter] believe it or not, nobody did. [laughter] i did i get any e-mails, i did i get any phone calls. the phone did not even rank. i was waiting, somebody please talk to me today. because i felt like i was going to work for the first time. after almost 10 years, matthew was going to work. as a marine. in uniform, doing my job, doing the job i thought i had been doing for tenures. but i had only sort of been half doing. as we have progressed since then, i found myself cast into little spotlights because all i have done is the knowledge to the fact that i am gay, the fact that i loved serving my country, that i love being a marine. that is it.
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that is all that i have done very and somehow that is news. i cannot imagine having a panel where we could say congratulations, these are all male marines, let's give them a round of applause. i happen to be gay but more importantly, i am a marine. and if i could touch on one more point, if i learned anything, the reason i am here is that it's still kind of is news. there are still relatively few of us wearing the uniform who are willing to go on record and say this is my life, i am proud of my life and i will serve as a leader with integrity with openness and serve as the role model for our younger troops and those will come after us to show them that it is not nearly as big a deal as anybody thought this was going to be. thank you.
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[applause] >> terrific. just terrific. it is wonderful to be here to represent the 8000 or so civilians who work here in the pentagon, together with those other civilians in our military work force around the globe. but i am also awfully proud of the military connection that we all have because we have one mission together. that is the importance of the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" and the importance of today. i did retire as a reserve jag and remember the fear and concern i had about potentially being ousted during that time.
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it would have been awful. i cannot imagine what a relief that is now. we have a great deal to be thankful for. we have a great deal to be thankful for and my husband, robert, wave your hand, is down here. [applause] we have been together nine years and married almost two. i am thankful that we are being joined today by military mumbles, civilian and military, from around the world. you may have already heard we had a request earlier this week from a group of in afghanistan that went to be sure they could tie in -- fly in and participate by video in this conference. within our reach this is for each of us to them as a service on the front lines.
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i also think we ought to use this opportunity to remember that we are standing on this shoulders of giants. there are huge numbers of people who of gone before us and worked on this issue, many of whom are in this room today. while we cannot go through all of their names, on behalf of all of us connected with the military service, i want to say thank you for what you have done to make today possible. [applause] like a good lawyer but i have been trained by mr. johnson and others around the room, i have this laundry list of all the civilian benefits that we are now working on getting word we have some. if you want that list, i will be glad to e-mail back to you.
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might be helpful and it is available. but what i really want to talk about today is what each of us can do in our own day to day lives to make a difference. first of all, and most importantly, we need to be as visible as we can be. everybody has it ever comfort level. everyone is in a different place. let me a career to to be as open -- let me encourage you to be as open and honest as you can possibly be. we have street allies -- we have straight allies to support us because it is the right thing to do and because they have loved ones, friends, neighbors, sons, daughters who may want to know more about their life.
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we may be the bridge to helping them understand that. help us be the bridge to our straight allies. we civilians for those of you and in the room, we have military colleagues who are not yet comfortable about being more open. we as civilians have a unique opportunity to be that bridge to help them define themselves in a climate that is not as comfortable yet as it should be. we can be there for them. finally, we in the pentagon are often face to face with the policy makers, the people who are looking at the benefits and how those can be increased so that we have one class submarines and not first and second class marines or airmen or sailors or soldiers.
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we can be there for the policy makers. i want to ensure that our visibility is open and it shows that we can become one marine corps where a marine can perform his mission and not be treated as second-class because he receives lesser benefits than his straight colleague. we can be won air force for a deployed airmen can perform her mission and not have to worry about her partner in children living in a shabby off base housing because they were ineligible for on these military housing. we can be won navy where a gay sailor can focus on his mission and not worry about the school that his children are forced to attend because they did not qualify for search dod school benefits. we can be won army where a
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soldier can focus on her mission without her wearing about her partner back home, not being cared for by the members are for units that are back home. spousal support is critical for our success. our spouses, our partners need that support as well. so that we can focus on our mission. i will not tell my own coming out story but i do want to tell you one -- about mr. will. shortly after i came out, i was on the other team at st. mark's church in san antonio, texas, where i was stationed. i was the chicken for that team if you can believe that. the usher team must have been 80 years old. they had been on that same team
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forever. i was the new kid on the block. one of the usher team members, mr. will, came up to me after church and asked if he could talk to me privately. he was a little sneaky about it. i agreed to talk to him. he looked around to make sure no one is listening and then he talked about his grown son and his son's partner who lived in houston. mr. will and his wife loved both their son and a partner. they spent thanksgiving with them, the best cooks you can imagine. but mr. will and his wife, although they
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had been active event of that church for their entire lives, did not feel they could tell one person about their son and their experiences. not one. there were just afraid that their friends with completely reject them because they had a gay son and that they actually liked it. [laughter] i was i think maybe the first a person they had ever talk to. i did not do anything. i was just there. i was out and i listened. based on just being there, they began to open up to their friends and colleagues and brought them into the rest of their world. i have to tell you that mr. will and his wife's son died a few years later and they brought him back from houston to san antonio to be buried at st. marks. i wish you could have seen mr. will and his wife bring that partner arm-in-arm up to that front row. when the partner finished
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speaking at the funeral, there was not a dry eye in that house. everyone in that pact convocation was right there -- packed room was right there. what does that have to do with us? allot. all we have to do to whatever extent you can do is be visible. you can be the bridge, you can be the face, you can be the friend. thank you. [applause] >> is there any doubt that we have the right to be up here to talk to you this afternoon? [laughter] i am cognizant of the time and
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i realize some of you may be fighting a busy schedule this afternoon. but what i would like to do is go back to each of our panelists and ask one at this point identify time, for one point i think may have been something they drew out from their comments. for mr. tanner, as a career civil servant, what is the most significant thing that you have seen in this building, aside from the stories that you shared with us, that has been a key indicator that led up to this transition from the military side? as you stood from your civilian perspective, albeit with a bad 1 foot in that reserves side? >> i think i am drawn to the fact that people become visible in different ways. it may be simply putting a photograph of a loved one in your cube.
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it may be talking about -- just as a straight individual would talk about what they did on the weekend. people are in various places and i think you have to come from a place where you're comfortable but you have to stretch that a little. i would the courage everyone who is thinking about becoming more visible to stretch a little and to take a step that you believe could help you meet that bridge i mentioned. >> capt. schulz, i do not think there is anybody watching or in this audience who was not moved by your words, by the strength in your passion as a marine first. i would just ask, has there been anything anecdotally -- use
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it every once and awhile have been thrust into the spotlight. -- you said every once in a while, you have been thrust into the spotlight. is there any significant event post repeal that you would like to share with the audience? >> i would say the most significant of that to me -- i mention that when i took command of my company in june of last year, i was in the closet. i was appointed in my career where if anybody had found out i was gay, even though the law had been signed an appeal had not gone all the way through, in the body found out i was gay at that time, i could have lost my job. a year later, last friday, the president hosted a reception at his house.
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you know, the white one. [laughter] and i was invited to attend. i was invited to attend this private reception at the white house. i thought how amazing is it over the course of the year, i could go from being fired for being who i am to having champagne with the commander in chief on cocktail napkins with the presidential seal on them. so i would say for me personally, that was probably the most to the against the event. the fact that although there is a certain distance for us still to travel before we find full equality, the fact that the survice of gay and lesbian service members is finally being recognized on that scale.
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it is amazing to see. >> i will like to tap into one thing that i think a number of people may be interested in. you describe your experience as a member of the class of 1980 at west point but today you are also involved on the executive director of nights out. from my chair to his chair to his, what can you tell us about that next generation of leaders that is now changed because of how they serve at one of our military academies and how they will serve as leaders with our next generation? >> the academies are>> academieg institutions and i think that repeal was more prominent there than anywhere else.

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