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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 4, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 05
Pentagon's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal plan on table
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Pentagon's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal plan on table

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Pentagon officials have released their plan to repeal the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' (DADT) policy and it looks like the implementation process will happen sooner, rather than later.

At a 45-minute briefing on January 28, Vice Chairman General James E. Cartwright of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Clifford L. Stanley, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, announced the implementation process to the press.

Pentagon officials said that the process would move 'expeditiously and quickly,' conceivably within a matter of months.

During the implementation process, Gen. Cartwright said the service chiefs would provide feedback every two weeks on requirements such as troop training that could affect the pace of the process.

DADT repeal becomes official only 60 days after the president, secretary of defense, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sign off that the policy changes are 'consistent with the standard of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.'

According to officials, Friday's press conference coincided with the release of two Pentagon memos sent by Defense Secretary Gates to all military service chiefs and Stanley tasking them with implementing the repeal strategy.

The guiding principles that Gates ordered Stanley to follow specify that 'no policy will be established that is solely based on sexual orientation' and that 'harassment or unlawful discrimination of any member of the Armed Forces for any reason will not be tolerated.'

In his memo, Secretary Gates wrote that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and all secretaries of respective military branches are required to assist Stanley in forming a concrete plan for implementing the repeal.

Conduct standards related to dress and appearance, as well as public displays of affection, will be sexual-orientation-neutral under the new policy. Stanley further ordered service branch chiefs to 'immediately review' all conduct policies having to do with those standards, as well as policies regarding 'zero tolerance for harassment and hazing.' The creation of separate living or bathroom facilities based on sexual orientation also will be prohibited.

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