Moskos, Charles C. 1934–2008

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Moskos, Charles C. 1934–2008

(Charles Constantine Moskos)


See index for CA sketch: Born May 20, 1934, in Chicago, IL; died of prostate cancer, May 31, 2008, in Santa Monica, CA. Sociologist, military advisor, educator, and author. Moskos spent nearly his whole career in the sociology department at Northwestern University, full-time from 1966 to 2003, and intermittently thereafter. He spent only two years as a draftee in the U.S. Army in the 1950s, but that experience had a profound impact on the rest of his life. He spent many years conducting surveys and interviews of American soldiers at home and abroad, devoting much of his research to military service as it related to men, women, and ethnic minorities, and as it should relate to all Americans. Moskos was the advisor to President Bill Clinton's joint chiefs of staff who created the "don't ask, don't tell" concept that, beginning in 1993, allowed homosexuals to serve lawfully in the armed forces as long as they kept their sexual orientation to themselves. He recognized that it was an imperfect solution, but one that could work if effectively enforced. Underlying his position was Moskos's strong conviction that all Americans should serve their country equally, including politicians' offspring and practitioners of alternative lifestyles. His proposal generated much controversy from both sides of the debate, both within and outside the military, but it was military leaders of the highest rank who recognized how deeply Moskos cared about military service and military recruits. Moskos was involved in civilian alternatives to public service as well, including his contributions to the creation of the domestic service organization AmeriCorps in 1993, and he was actively involved in celebrating the heritage of Greek Americans like himself. He was named an honored patriot of the Selective Service System of the United States and awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest civilian decoration of the U.S. Army. Moskos's writings include Greek Americans: Struggle and Success (1988), A Call to Civic Service: National Service for Country and Community (1988), The New Conscientious Objection: From Sacred to Secular Resistance (1993), All That We Can Be: Black Leadership and Racial Integration the Army Way (1996), and The Postmodern Military: Armed Forces after the Cold War (2000).



Chicago Tribune, June 3, 2008, sec. 2, p. 5.

Los Angeles Times, June 6, 2008, p. B9.

Washington Post, June 4, 2008, p. B6.