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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 7, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 01
Admiral Mullen adds DADT repeal to 2011 guidance
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Admiral Mullen adds DADT repeal to 2011 guidance

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, released his guidance for 2011, outlining - among other things - the implementation of open service by Gays and Lesbians.

The purpose of the memorandum, which directs the Joint Staff and informs the Joint Force, is to relay Mullen's priorities for the force-wide strategic objectives for 2011.

Mullen reminded troops that the world is watching as the U.S. military is involved in a two-front war and implementing social change within the ranks. 'As we advance these priorities, our professionalism must remain beyond reproach. The American people, and their political leadership, closely scrutinize our conduct, and rightly so,' warned Mullen. 'Respect for them - and for our oath - demands that we continue to remain an apolitical instrument of the state.'

Mullen told troops that means being 'apolitical in our acts and in our words, whether outside the wardroom, on the flightline, within the barracks, or in the halls of the Pentagon.'

He said that more than nine years of close-quarters combat have changed many aspects of what the military does, but it 'must not change who or what we are as a professional, disciplined force.'

Speaking directly to troops about DADT, Mullen advised, 'I look forward to working with Secretary Gates and the Service Chiefs to prepare and certify the joint force to implement the new law that repeals DADT. I commit to making sure the process is well-led, maintains our combat readiness, and upholds our high standards.'

Mullen concluded that it is the diversity of the U.S. armed forces that makes them a strong fighting force. 'Indeed, strength of character is the heart of our armed forces,' he said. 'It is a strength that comes from the remarkable diversity of the citizens we protect and those that serve. An all-volunteer service should reflect the society it protects. We will continue to value the diversity and inclusivity of our armed forces.'

Mullen's words come at a particularly strategic time, when anti-DADT repeal foes predict a mass exodus of troops from the service - or troops who choose to not reenlist - because Gays and Lesbians will be allowed to serve out in the open. Mullen and Secretary Gates have both publicly backed repeal and say that its implementation will not be a difficult one.

The U.S. military's top commander ended the memorandum by thanking troops for their superb performance during a critical time in our nation's history. 'Your sustained and unwavering investment of intellect, time, and energy has enabled me to provide my very best advice to the president and secretary of defense,' he said.

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