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 News Article

‘Don’t Ask’ Remains in Effect as Gates, Mullen Tackle Plan

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2010 – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, welcomed the Senate’s vote today to repeal the so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, while emphasizing that the current law and policy will remain in effect until they and President Barack Obama certify the plan to implement it.

“Once this legislation is signed into law by the president, the Department of Defense will immediately proceed with the planning necessary to carry out this change carefully and methodically, but purposefully,” Gates said in a statement released today.

The legislation specifies that the repeal will take effect only after Gates, Mullen and Obama certify that new policies and regulations to implement it are “consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion and retention of the armed forces,” the secretary noted.

“As I have stated before, I will approach this process deliberately and will make such certification only after careful consultation with the military service chiefs and our combatant commanders and when I am satisfied that those conditions have been met for all the services, commands and units,” he said.

Mullen said he looks forward to working with Gates and the service chiefs and said he’s “committed to making sure that process is well-led, maintains our combat readiness and upholds our high standards.”

In the meantime, Gates said it’s important that the men and women in uniform understand that, although today’s vote means the policy will change, the implementation and certification process will take time. “In the meantime, the current law and policy will remain in effect,” he said.

“Successful implementation will depend upon strong leadership, a clear message and proactive education throughout the force,” he said. “With a continued and sustained commitment to core values of leadership, professionalism and respect for all, I am convinced that the U.S. military can successfully accommodate and implement this change, as it has others in history.”

Mullen welcomed legislative over judicial repeal of the law, noting that it “preserves the military's prerogative to implement change in a responsible, deliberate manner.”

He echoed Obama’s conviction that repealing the policy is “the right thing to do.”

“No longer will able men and women who want to serve and sacrifice for their country have to sacrifice their integrity to do so,” the chairman said. “We will be a better military as a result.”


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Robert M. Gates
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen

Related Sites:
Special Report: Don't Ask, Don't Tell
DOD Support Plan for ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Related Articles:
President Hails Vote to Repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Law


Article is closed to new comments.

The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

12/22/2010 9:05:57 AM
The repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law will cost the American taxpayers billions! When a Soldier goes to their initial training males and females stay in separate bays due to no time for extracurricular activities. You will not be able to keep those activities under control if you allow every sexual orientation to serve openly, unless new buildings are constructed where everyone has a single room instead of an open bay, which defeats the purpose of initial training building a TEAM. Also, sexual harassment claims will increase dramatically. I already know that homosexuals serve in the military, but because of the law they don’t make it public. I don’t care what your sexual orientation is, that is your choice. I am against the government spending more money on something that would defeat the values of the military, effect morale, and ultimately effect Esprit de Corp. This is my opinion and everyone is entitled to one.
- Sissy, Mississippi

12/21/2010 9:15:57 PM
The question I have is where do we stop with accomodation of alternate sexual life styles? Could a pedifile be allowed to serve, or beastiality, MBLA adhearents. It will be educative when the policies are published and the changes to the UCMJ approved.
- mike wilmore, driftwood tx

12/21/2010 7:47:25 PM
Mullen and company say that the change will not effect costs to the military and that such issues as billeting will be left to commanders. As a retired hospital commander, I do not believe that they have been honest in terms of costs and the new burden on commanders. For example, as a reservist, it is not uncommon for units to have to be housed off-base in motels. To save $$, individuals, excepting highest rank, typically must share a room. Men and women cannot share a room by regulations but what do you do with practicing homosexuals? Allow sexually active gays share a room for two weeks? Potentially what if you have to have an active gay sharing a room with a lesser rank heterosexual, intimidation? The only probable solution is seperate quarters for gays, thus, increased costs to the military. And if you have a gay new recruit getting an individual room while 15 year+ heterosexuals have to share a room, guess what that does to morale?
- DH Walker, Col, USAF (Ret), Rapid City, SD

12/18/2010 11:17:13 PM
Looking at the fine print of the report, 91% Reject Homosexual Leaders 85% of Combat Marines Distrust 71% Won't Share Showers 24% Won't Re-Enlist Several of the military Chiefs made it clear that the policy should not be changed and some during two wars yet the political appointees such as Gates and Mullens disregarded their counsel. More then 1150 Flag Officers opposed the change as it would affect unit cohesion and combat effectiveness yet here we are. Homosexuals make only 1% of all discharges yet this is somehow unacceptable versus losing up to 24% of the force over the change? Please do tell Americans how this would actually benefit our county and the American People?
- Nassau County Civic Assoc, Cedarhurst, NY

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