"President Ruth Simmons, in explaining the committee’s position, pointed to the military’s ban on transgender recruits, its hierarchical command structure, as well as “recent wars undertaken by the country.’’ Yet those policies are set largely by civilians in Congress and the White House, not the military... This post-Vietnam rift between Pentagon and ivory tower has damaged both the military and the country. The military needs well-educated soldiers, sailors, and Air Force officers to meet the complex demands of modern warfare. And the country needs to get past the cultural divide that has politicized military service and risks turning the armed forces into regional institutions, with service members clustered in the South and Southwest. Bridging that divide has clear benefits - even amid understandable concerns about discrimination against transgender people, a minority who nonetheless deserve equal treatment. Faculty and students are right to advocate for their transgender peers. But a failure to acknowledge the military’s acceptance of Congress’s repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell’’ would send the wrong message. It would indicate that even major steps by the military won’t lessen the atmosphere of distrust."