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Wanted: A Few Good Men.........

Military inadvertently recruits gays

The Army, Navy and Air Force unwittingly advertised for recruits on a website for gays, who are barred from military service if they are open about their sexual orientation.
When informed Tuesday by USA TODAY that they were advertising on GLEE.com, a networking website for gay professionals, recruiters expressed surprise and said they would remove the job listings.

"This is the first I've heard about it," said Maj. Michael Baptista, advertising branch chief for the Army National Guard, which will spend $6.5 million on Internet recruiting this year. "We didn't knowingly advertise on that particular website," which he said does not "meet the moral standards" of the military.

Capt. Jack Hanzlik, a Navy recruiting spokesman, said his service ordered more than 8,000 ads taken off GLEE, which stands for Gay, Lesbian & Everyone Else. By late Wednesday, most were gone.

Marine Corps ads on GLEE were only for two civilian jobs not covered by the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which allows gays to serve in uniform only if they keep quiet about their sexual orientation.

FIND MORE STORIES IN: Army | National Guard | Navy | Air Force | Military | Gay | Lesbian | Monster.com | Recruiting
Most of the military jobs posted were hard-to-fill positions requiring advanced training, although some ads sought to fill core combat slots at a time when the Iraq war has challenged recruiters to meet goals. They included:

•Thousands of Navy openings for doctors, dentists, intelligence analysts, Arabic translators and others.

•Hundreds of Air Force jobs for optometrists, social workers, physician's assistants and nurses.

•Nearly 1,000 Army National Guard and active Army positions, including infantry and artillery.

The ads were placed through GLEE's parent company, New York-based Community Connect, as part of an alliance with jobs-listing giant Monster.com.

Betty Huang of Community Connect says the military services, through private ad agencies, bought Monster's "diversity and inclusion" package, which includes posts on her company's niche websites for Asian-Americans, blacks, Latinos and gays.

Kathleen Donald, who handles the Navy's account at Campbell-Ewald, said Monster never informed her ad agency that GLEE had been added to the package when the site launched in March. "It was an internal goodwill effort on their part to give added value" at no extra cost, she said.

Monster spokesman Steve Sylven wrote in an e-mail, "It is company policy not to comment on the specifics regarding our customer relationships due to confidentiality considerations."

Steve Ralls of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a gay advocacy group, savored the irony of the military's errant recruiting pitches.

"The majority of GLEE's members would not be allowed to be as open in the military as they are online," he said, adding that gays "have been drummed out of the armed forces simply for using sites like GLEE."

The website has chat rooms and personal pages. It bars "sexually explicit (or) pornographic" posts.

Military inadvertently recruits gays - USATODAY.com
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