- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 13, 2013

I have much respect for Adm. James “Ace” Lyons and follow with interest his writing. Indeed, I was privileged to be serving on HMS Hydra, when she returned to Portsmouth from the Falklands War in September 1982, when Adm. Lyons‘ flagship paid my small ship a signal salute.

Those of us on this side of the pond share the admiral’s concern (Commentary, “Restoring military readiness,” June 12) about the size and shape of the U.S. Navy and, of course, of the Royal Navy. Thank goodness the special relationship between these two fine navies is alive and well.

While I am inclined to agree with Adm. Lyons‘ views about women on the front line in land combat, his concerns about what he calls the promotion of homosexual and feminist agendas are not borne out by the British experience. The U.S. Navy was way ahead of Britain with women at sea, but behind when it comes to homosexual men and women serving in the armed forces.

In the main, both changes have worked well in her majesty’s armed forces and accord with the wishes of the broad majority of Britons and, to be sure, it is important that a country’s armed forces reflect that nation’s mood and attitudes.

Combat readiness is not affected by homosexual people serving in our armed forces. Indeed, a British colonel was quoted in the past decade as saying, “I’d rather go into battle with a gay soldier who shoots straight than with a straight soldier who shoots crooked.”


Lieutenant commander, Royal Navy (retired)


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