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Front & Center with John Callaway: Gays in the Military: A Policy Review

As the Pentagon announced a three year decline in discharges of personnel found to be gay, the Government Accounting Office reported that the Pentagon had spent $100 million to replace those discharged since 1994 for being gay. On March 2, 2005 Rep. Martin Meehan of Massachusetts introduced legislation adopting a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Aaron Belkin is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California-Santa Barbara. He has published in the areas of civil-military relations, social science methodology, and sexuality and the armed forces. His recent studies include analyses of aerial coercion and strategic bombing, the conceptualization of coup-risk, and the relationship between coup-proofing strategies and international conflict. His publications have appeared in International Security, Armed Forces and Society, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Parameters (the official journal of the U.S. Army War College) and elsewhere, and he has made presentations on gays in the military at the Army War College, National Defense University, Naval Postgraduate School, the Air Force Academy, and U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He is founder and Director of the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military ( and author of Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Debating the Gay Ban in the Military.

John Allen ("Jay") Williams is Professor of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago. He is Chair and President of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society and chairs the Academic Advisory Committee of the National Strategy Forum in Chicago. His writings include works on civil-military relations, military culture, military professionalism and leadership, professional military education, personnel issues, military strategy, military forces and missions, catastrophic terrorism, defense organization, and strategic policy. Williams' latest books are U.S. National Security: Policymakers, Processes, and Politics and The Postmodern Military: Armed Forces After the Cold War. He retired as a Captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve with 30 years of commissioned service. A designated Strategic Plans Officer, he performed active and reserve duty aboard USS Columbus (CG-12), and with the U.S. Naval Academy, the Commander, Second Fleet and numerous Navy, joint, and civilian staffs in the Pentagon. His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards) and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. He received his B.A. from Grinnell College (B.A.) and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jim Nalepa is graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Nalepa served in various leadership capacities in the United States Army before leaving the military as a Captain in 1984. He served with the Third Infantry Division in Germany for three years and upon his return to the United States was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft Bragg, N.C. He was a member of the Grenada Rescue Mission in October 1983. He also volunteered to go back on active duty during the first Gulf War and was assigned to the 45 th Tactical Fighter Squadron (A-10) as a Ground Liaison Officer (GLO). Nalepa is widely known as a Republican Party leader and activist. As a candidate for the United States Congress in 1994 and 1996, he ran close but unsuccessful races in the Third Congressional District of Illinois. He is Founder and President of Jim Nalepa and Associates, Executive Search, a leadership centered executive search firm. He is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the American Legion, and is a board member of the USO of Illinois.