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Deaf people shall be allowed to serve in the military if they are able to pass every challenge that is given to them.

It is unfair that just because someone is hearing impaired that they can not have chance to serve their country. I am currently apart of the U.S. Army and "Keith Nolan" is correct, there are plenty jobs that are not combat related that anyone could do.

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    Oct 1 2012: Military=Combat. In critical combat scenarios the presence of a deaf person would constitute a liability even if that person was designated as a non-combatant. For example, medics have historically gone into combat unarmed but the expectation has always been that they would be able to take the appropriate action to prevent loss of life, both theirs and others. This would not be the case with a deaf person. The liklihood of avoiding loss of life in a combat emergency action (i.e, immediate withdrawal per unexpected voice command) is diminished by the presence of a non-hearing person.
  • Oct 1 2012: The idea is that everyone in the military can pick up a rifle and assist in defending their base should the need arrive. This is why militaries have basic training and periodic fitness tests for EVERYONE. These days the Western militaries outsource more and more non-combat tasks to private contractors, who could, in principle, be deaf people. I would like to see a government agency take this role, with their people especially trained to work for the military, but not be officially part of it, this agency could employ deaf people and most of all it would be a lot cheaper, more reliable and more accountable than those (very, very) overpaid contractors with friends in high places.
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    Oct 1 2012: I served 25+ years in the military, and I agree with you.

    The current problem is the initial training program would have to be changed to accomodate the handicapped individual. "Basic Training" for all branches of the military requires the recruit be able to complete objectives that a deaf person would have problems successfully completing (depending on the branch of the military). These problems include the individual's own safety and the safety of his fellow recruits. There is currently no distinction in the Basic Training curriculums that make certain "basic" skills different for an administrative assistant working behind a desk and a person who may end up in actual combat.

    The initial training programs (Basic Training) would have to be modified to include different curriculums for "non-combat" service military personnel. That produces new problems...cost effectiveness being one of them. Plus, even though I did perform many of my military duties during my 25+ years of service while sitting behind a desk or being "safe" in a computer complex, if and when the time came, depending on where I was located at the time, I may still have needed to pick up a weapon and be able to use it effectively.

    I agree that a deaf person could perform well in the military, but only at certain jobs, and even then they could face the need to perform a "job" that they may NOT be able to perform because of the handicap. Would it be fair, or maybe even "moral" to place them and their own safety in a situation like that?

    Great topic, by the way.
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    Sep 30 2012: You are right Paris. It is a no-brainer.