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“General Amos needs to fall in line and salute or resign now,” said the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. “He implied that repeal will lead to Marines losing their legs in combat. Those fear tactics are not in the interest of any service member. The General’s goal is to kill repeal no matter the consequences, perhaps at the dereliction of his other duties.”

In a Pentagon assessment of how to lift the ban, Marines were the most opposed, with more than 60 percent saying that would negatively affect combat readiness. Army soldiers in combat professions such as infantry and armor also expressed deep reservations.

Right from the start, Gen. Amos made it clear he wants the ban to stay.

In a written statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee at the time of his confirmation, he said: “The current law and associated policy have supported the unique requirements of the Marine Corps, and thus I do not recommend its repeal.”

“My primary concern with [the] proposed repeal is the potential disruption to cohesion that may be caused by significant change during a period of extended combat operations.”

- Bill Gertz can be reached at