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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 25, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 08
Army, Marines lead the charge in DADT repeal training
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Army, Marines lead the charge in DADT repeal training

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Late last week, the Army's top general issued an order to begin training soldiers on the new law allowing Gays to serve openly in the military. The Pentagon said they hope to have the whole force trained by mid-August.

During the debate over the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' specific attention was paid to the Army. It is the largest of all of the service branches, with an active duty force of 565,000 and 567,000 Guard and Reserve force. Once the Congress and Senate passed legislation calling for repeal, all eyes were on the Army.

General George Casey launched the effort in a presentation in the Pentagon for the Army's four-star generals.

Because of the sheer size of the force, the Army is scheduled to take longer to complete the training, but Casey assured that despite the challenge, the Army would get it done.

The Air Force also began training last week. The Navy announced that fleet-wide training would be complete by the end of June.

The Marine Corps, the other service branch that received attention during the DADT repeal debate, has said that they are committed to completing training by May - far ahead of the other three service branches.

Marine commandant General James Amos, who vocally opposed repealing DADT, now says he does not anticipate losing any troops due to the new policy allowing Gay and Lesbian personnel to serve openly.

'It would be naïve to think that somewhere down the road there are not going to be issues,' he said. 'I think there probably will be [issues] in probably all the services, but I don't think it's going to be of any magnitude that's going to cause more than a blip. So I'm very optimistic.'

Amos recently appeared in a video with Sergeant Major Carlton W. Kent, the top enlisted Marine, advocating a peaceful implementation process.

'I want to be clear to all Marines: We will step out smartly to faithfully implement this new law,' Amos said in the video.

Final implementation of the repeal does not go into effect until 60 days after the president, defense secretary, and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that lifting the ban won't hurt the military's ability to fight.

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