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U.S. Military: Postpone rank and pay promotions to Boy Scouts until gay Scouts are welcome
  • Petitioned Senator Carl Levin

This petition was delivered to:

Chairman, U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee
Senator Carl Levin
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
General Martin E. Dempsey
Commander in Chief
President Barack Obama
U.S. Secretary of Defense
Chuck Hagel

U.S. Military: Postpone rank and pay promotions to Boy Scouts until gay Scouts are welcome

    1. Petition by

      Justin Wilson, Scouts for Equality

My name is Justin Wilson, and I am an Eagle Scout and a veteran of the US Marine Corps. On behalf of Scouts for Equality and the 5,000+ Eagle Scouts we represent, I am urging the U.S. military to postpone automatic rank promotions for Eagle Scouts until all young men -- gay and straight -- can obtain the rank of Eagle Scout and take advantage of these promotions.

I enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2001, and because I had obtained the rank of Eagle Scout, I automatically qualified for a rank promotion and higher pay. All branches of the U.S. military offer such promotions to Eagle Scouts, because obtaining the rank of Eagle is an accomplishment that reflects a young man’s dedication to service and discipline while validating his leadership skills in the outdoors -- qualities the military greatly values.

But because the Boy Scouts of America doesn't allow gay youth to reach the rank of Eagle Scout, young men who are gay can't take advantage of this default military promotion. That's unfair and wrong.

While serving in the Marine Corps, I had the honor of serving alongside an incredibly talented and diverse group of individuals. However, given that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was still in place, I did not meet a single service member who was openly gay. This policy forced people to hide an important part of who they were from their brothers in arms -- those whom they trusted above all others and relied on in life-or-death situations.

While the U.S. military has since ended its anti-gay policy, the Boy Scouts of America still holds strong to its hurtful and unjust ban on gay youth and leaders. Why is the U.S. military still automatically promoting Eagle Scouts, when some of the Boy Scouts' best and brightest are being rejected, simply because of their sexual orientation?

Just recently, 18-year-old Boy Scout Ryan Andresen completed all of the requirements to receive his Eagle Award, only to have his application rejected because he's gay. Outstanding young men like Ryan, should they choose to enlist, would automatically be at a disadvantage over straight Scouts because of this policy.

The young men of our nation deserve better than this. Please join me and Scouts for Equality in urging the U.S. military to pause automatic rank promotions and pay increases for Eagle Scouts until ALL Boy Scouts have the ability to qualify for such a promotion.

Yours in Scouting,

Justin Wilson
Eagle Scout ‘02
Marine Corps Veteran, Operation Iraqi Freedom '06-'07

Recent signatures

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    1. Reached 4,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • A PITT COLUMBIA, SC
      • 5 months ago

      To Whom It May Concern,

      I was the immediate supervisor for SPC Annzala Pitt at C.Co 225 BSB. In the time that SPC Pitt was part of my squad she encountered numerous difficulties which I believe were entirely due to being mistreated by her senior leadership. When SPC Pitt arrived at 225 BSB she had a medical situation that required attention prior to her deployment to Iraq. When she voiced her concerns to 1LT Riglick not only were her concerns dismissed but her private health information was erroneously released to multiple parties. SPC Pitt filed a complaint for the HIPPA violation against the offending party, 1LT Riglick. A few months later 1LT Riglick was assigned to C.Co as our Platoon Leader. This is undoubtedly the situation that caused SPC Pitt to be labeled as a problem soldier by C.Co leadership. SPC Pitt was not protected from reprisal and was treated badly for the duration of her time with C.Co 225 BSB.

      The result of filing her HIPPA complaint against 1LT Riglick was having a stigma placed on her by the very leadership that was supposed to be protecting her. She endured rumors, attacks on her character, and even attempts at discrediting her intellectual capacities. She was even accused of having inappropriate relationships with multiple senior Non-Commissioned Officers by our Platoon Leader 1LT Riglick. SPC Pitt continuously sought only to do her job as a mental health specialist and as her first line supervisor I pushed for her to be moved from the company to the Troop Medical Clinic. When SPC Pitt was sent to the Troop Medical Clinic to preform her duties as a mental health specialist C.Co leadership made sure to let the incoming social worker know what their impression of her was. SPC Pitt then worked with Major Ball, who had already been told she was a problem soldier, and was subsequently treated horribly to include having to undergo a mental health evaluation without provocation.

      SPC Pitt requested on numerous occasions to be moved from C.Co 225 BSB to another company, battalion, or division to get out from underneath the stigma placed on her. These requests were heard by our Company Commander, 1SG, Platoon Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Command Sergeant Major, and even Division Command team but nothing was done. Instead of helping the soldier 1LT Riglick and Major Ball ordered me to counsel her for their perceived insubordination. When I disagreed with these orders it was made clear that my military career was also in jeopardy. I was ordered by 1LT Riglick to counsel SPC Pitt for not properly using her chain of command to which, I informed the command that she had done exactly what procedures are outlined. The result of my not counseling her for this was to have my MEDPROS status changed to non-deployable by 1LT Riglick. This retaliation against me for defending SPC Pitt would have ended my career if I had not already been found deployable and fit for duty by the Medical Review Board in 2008.

      Despite her outburst which finally concluded her time in C.Co I would still recommend that she be retained by the United States Army. SPC Pitt endured being mistreated for months and still maintained a positive attitude. Her intellectual prowess combined with her willingness to work make her a viable asset. I believe that if SPC Pitt had been able to move to another command away from the toxic leadership of C.Co 225 BSB her military career would have flourished.

      SGT David Trapolsi

      I am contacting you to receive your assistance in eradicating US Army toxic leaders. I need your assistance in educating all commanders and SJA's, Judges about this matter. Many leaders hide or destroy the fact they were abusive towards a soldier and just have them court martialed. Many soldiers that are court martialed requested assistance via IG and other leaders but it was not received.

      My case is currently in the appeals process; however I need your support in having my case re-heard or complelty dismissed. Please read my petiton on CHANGE.ORG (Eradicate US Army Toxic Leadership) and send a letter to my attorney of support. If you wish to speak to me directly please call 803-477-7687.

      Attorney information:

      AMY E. NIEMAN

      MAJ, JA

      Chief, Branch 1

      U.S. Army Defense Appellate Division

      Phone: 703.693.0652/ DSN 223.0652

      Email: amy.e.nieman2.mil@mail.mil

      I've started the petition "Barack Obama and Aaron Schock and U.S. Senate: Eradicate US Army Toxic Leadership" and need your help to get it off the ground. Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here's the link:

      http://www.change.org/petitions/barack-obama-and-aaron-schock-and-u-s-senate-eradicate-us-army-toxic-leadership

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • John Golden MEADVILLE, PA
      • 9 months ago

      I was a gay scout who reached rank of Life Scout.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • akuila susu SUVA CITY, FIJI
      • 10 months ago

      i love scouting

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jim Smyth MACON, GA
      • 11 months ago

      Civil Rights, Equal Rights for Gay Men & Women.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Emily Hinds STOURBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 12 months ago

      2013 and people are still narrow-minded. Time to change, world is already bad enough.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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