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Half of Military Now Trained for DADT Repeal

Half of Military Now Trained for DADT Repeal

The Associated Press reports that more than a million troops have been trained for the long awaited repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay service personnel, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) and indications are that reaction to the change has been muted, without the violence and much predicted mass exodus opponents feared.

That said, the Army is expecting some sort of incident at some point in the future, but service chiefs are hoping that with continued training before certification of the repeal, such incidents will be small and manageable.

From the Miami Herald:

“So far this seems to be a non-event,” Gen. Peter Chiarelli, vice chief of staff for the Army, told reporters recently. But, he warned, “This is not going to happen without incident – I’d be crazy to say that. Somewhere along the line something is going to occur. But we’re doing everything we can to head that off in training.”


“We have seen no insurmountable issues,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Our training is going very well.”

The Navy expects to finish the bulk of its training by the end of June. The Army will largely finish its training of the active duty force by mid-July, and the reserves by August 15. The Marines and Air Force have the bulk of their troops trained. All together about half of the 2.2 million members of the active and reserve military have been trained.”

[Read more at the Miami Herald.]

Outgoing-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke frankly last week when asked if servicemembers who disagreed with allowing open service would be allowed to leave early: his answer was a categoric “no.”

Gates is being urged to certify the repeal before he leaves his post as Secretary of Defense on June 30, with advocates of the repeal warning that if not, the change could unnecessarily prolong the time it takes for certification. Others have predicted that Gates would be unlikely to leave his post without certifying the repeal. 

From The Washington Blade:


Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said certification is essential this month before Gates leaves his duties at the Pentagon.

“I think that we need to get certification this month before Secretary Gates leaves,” Sarvis said. “My fear is we’re seeing an overabundance of caution here. If it doesn’t happen this month on Secretary Gates’ watch, I think we could easily be looking at another month or two before certification.”

Alex Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United, said the passing the opportunity for implementing repeal would be a “very unwise” move for Gates and predicted that certification would happen this month.

“I find it hard to believe that it’s not going to be [Gates],” Nicholson said. “I believe it’s going to happen this month. Everybody all along has always said — with maybe 90 percent certainty that if you had to make a prediction, it would come in mid to late June. If it doesn’t you’re certainly going to see us get very worried and get very vocal.”

[Read more at The Washington Blade.]


Certification requires the president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs to sign off on the change. Certification has widely been anticipated for the summer, but both the Army and President Obama have remained tight lipped on a firm date. 

Upon certification there will be a sixty-day period before the repeal goes into effect, so it is conceivable that certification could happen while implementation training remains ongoing.


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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, wtih thanks to the U.S. Army Photostream.

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8:39AM PDT on Sep 2, 2011


9:42PM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

Let's get on with implementing this law. Enough already.

4:22PM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

Ned F.

My point was that there are already many gays in the military, and were before DADT was implemented. So they are only going back to how it was, re-inventing the wheel is costing us a lot of money.

1:21PM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

“Elizabeth K.” assumed — incorrectly — that “DADT was implemented in one day.”

That’s untrue.

The DADT law that was signed on 30 November 1993 allowed the Secretary of Defense 90 days to revise old regulations and implement the new policy. Extending an existing restriction is far simpler than removing and reversing an existing restriction, so taking twice as long is appropriate, especially since the DoD’s goal is simple, speedy, trouble-free implementation, with no surprises.

“Elizabeth K.” also assumed — again, incorrectly — that DADT repeal requires “months” of training.

That is untrue.

Each training session lasts only 1-2 hours, depending upon class size and number of questions asked. But it’s being given to 2.2 million people, at 737 bases, stationed in 156 nations, around the globe, with 3 armed conflicts in progress. So the time it’s taking is not unreasonable, and is helping ensure success.

11:48AM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

I am ultimately amused by the concerns that the allegedly bravest men in our society live in fear of fighting next to someone who is gay. It must be terribly hard to pull the trigger when you are puckering your backside that hard. I find it interesting to look at perhaps the most legendary fighting force in history -- the Spartans. They considered hetero relationships to be animalistic and for purpose of procreation only. The real, "quality" relationships were with each other as lovers. Oh, and they fought stark naked!

10:31AM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

But don't you think we need to delay a bit longer to take into consideration the concerns of the homophobic bigots and service personnel who may be right wing religious zealots?

Don't THEIR opinions count, and count 100x more than anyone elses?

8:53AM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

I hope Pres. Obama will press Gates for certification before the Defense Secretary leaves office.

7:30AM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

DADT was implemented in one day, it should only take one day to end it.

And one order, not months of training - how inane. They are creating a problem where one should not exist, by telling the soldiers that it is a problem.

7:30AM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

Interesting article.

7:01AM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

Tho it's been repealed, I want the NEW law to BEGIN!!

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