Analyses of these war veterans’ ratings of
unit cohesion and readiness revealed that knowing a gay or lesbian unit member was
not uniquely associated with cohesion or readiness, but the quality of leaders, equipment,
and training was. Thus, these data challenge the contention that openly serving
lesbian and gay service members are detrimental to unit cohesion and readiness.
Instead, the data point to the importance of leadership, training, and equipment quality
for perceptions of unit cohesion and readiness. Fortunately, unlike the sexual orientation
of service members, which the military cannot control, the military is well equipped
to shape the quality of leadership, training, and equipment across its units.