Rep. Reynolds, on this issue, should probably be invited to jump into one of Oklahoma’s many lakes, and the possibility of endangering federal funding for the Guard is a minor part of it. Ultimately, the only thing that matters in a war is that the men and women to the right and left of any given Soldier are committed to the mission before them and that they behave professionally and competently in their jobs. Everything else is a distraction and distractions cost lives. One such distraction is that taking us down this road would create a force with two standards, the Army standard and the Oklahoma standard. That’s a headache and a distraction all of us that wear a uniform can do without.
On another subject, the Durant Democrat, should know, even if Sean Murphy of the Associated Press does not, that Oklahoma has not had a Division since 1968. “The 45th” these days can refer to either the 45th Infantry Brigade, or the 45th Fires (Field Artillery) Brigade, and is still not quite an appropriate way to refer to the Oklahoma Guard as it leaves out the 90th Troop Command as well as both Wings of Oklahoma’s Air National Guard.
House Speaker Kris Steele on Monday derailed an Oklahoma lawmaker’s attempt to prevent gays from serving openly in the Oklahoma National Guard, drawing the ire of the bill’s author, who accused Steele of imposing “dictatorial rule” in the House.
Minutes before the bill was scheduled for a hearing in the House Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, the Shawnee Republican reassigned it to another committee whose chairman said he didn’t plan to hear it.
“Senior state military officials have expressed concerns to multiple House members that the proposed policy would jeopardize federal funding for the Oklahoma National Guard,” Steele spokesman John Estus said. “Speaker Steele believes those concerns are valid.
“No one wants to do anything to jeopardize the resources currently afforded to the outstanding men and women in the 45th (Infantry Division).”
Rep. Mike Reynolds said he introduced the bill because he believes the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy repealed last year was working effectively.
“It was a good deal until Barack Obama was elected president,” said Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City. “I don’t think anything about him being elected president made it a bad deal.”