Barack Obama | Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Gay Rights | Military | News

100+ Military Leaders Call for Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

104 of the U.S. military's retired generals and admirals have called for repeal of the nation's discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in a document released Monday.

DadtSays the document: "We – the undersigned -- respectfully call for the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Those of us endorsing this letter have dedicated our lives to defending the rights of our citizens to believe whatever they wish. Scholarly data shows there are approximately one million gay and lesbian veterans in the United States today as well as 65,000 gays and lesbians currently serving in our armed forces. They have served our nation honorably. We support the recent comments of former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General John Shalikashvili, who has concluded that repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy would not harm and would indeed help our armed forces. As is the case with Great Britain, Israel, and other nations that allow gays and lesbians to serve openly, our service members are professionals who are able to work together effectively despite differences in race, gender, religion, and sexuality. Such collaboration reflects the strength and the best traditions of our democracy."

The AP reports: "While Obama has expressed support for repeal, he said during the presidential campaign that he would not do so on his own — an indication that he would tread carefully to prevent the issue from becoming a drag on his agenda. Obama said he would instead work with military leaders to build consensus on removing the ban on openly gay service members. 'Although I have consistently said I would repeal 'don't ask, don't tell,' I believe that the way to do it is make sure that we are working through a process, getting the Joint Chiefs of Staff clear in terms of what our priorities are going to be,' Obama said in a September interview with the Philadelphia Gay News."

See the list of military leaders who signed the document, AFTER THE JUMP...

Former Secretary of the Army Clifford Alexander
Admiral Charles Larson, USN (ret.)
Lieutenant General Quinn Becker, USA (ret.)
Lieutenant General Henry Emerson, USA (ret.)
Lieutenant General Robert Flowers, USA (ret.)
Lieutenant General Robert Gard, USA (ret.)
Lieutenant General Jerry Hilmes, USA (ret.)
Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, USA (ret.)
Lieutenant General Donald Kerrick, USA (ret.)
Lieutenant General Ira Owens, USA (ret.)
Lieutenant General Thomas Rienzi, USA (ret.)
Vice Admiral Harold Koenig, USN (ret.)
Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan, USN (ret.)
Vice Admiral James Zimble, USN (ret.)
Major General Anders Aadland, USA (ret.)
Major General Floyd Baker, USA (ret.)
Major General Harry Brooks Jr., USA (ret.)
Major General Leslie Burger, USA (ret.)
Major General Alexander Burgin, USANG (ret.)
Major General Rosetta Burke, AUS (ret.)*
Major General William Burke, USA (ret.)
Major General Michael Conrad, USA (ret.)
Major General Eugene Cromartie, USA (ret.)
Major General James Delk, AUS (ret.)
Major General Oliver Dillard, USA (ret.)
Major General John Faith, USA (ret.)
Major General Jack Farris, USAF (ret.)
Major General Fred Forster, USANG (ret.)
Major General Robert Gamrath, AUS (ret.)
Major General Albert Genetti Jr., USA (ret.)
Major General Luis Gonzales-Vales, AUS (ret.)
Major General David Hale, USA (ret.)
Major General Randy Jayne, USANG (ret.)
Major General Lawrence Johnson, AUS (ret.)
Major General Dennis Laich, USA (ret.)
Major General Frederick Lawson, AUS (ret.)
Major General Thomas Lynch, USA (ret.)
Major General Dennis Malcor, USA (ret.)
Major General John Roth, AUS (ret.)
Major General Henry Rasmussen, USA (ret.)
Major General Alan Salisbury, USA (ret.)
Major General Michael Scotti Jr., USA (ret.)**
Major General Harry Sieben, USANG (ret.)
Major General Paul Smith, USA (ret.)
Major General Robert B. Smith, USA (ret.)
Major General Charles Starr Jr., USA (ret.)
Major General Story Stevens, USA (ret.)
Major General Joseph E. Turner, AUS (ret.)
Brigadier General John C. Adams, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Clara Adams-Ender, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Hugh Aitken, USMC (ret.)
Brigadier General John "Joe" Allen, USAF (ret.)
Brigadier General Patricia Anderson, AUS (ret.)
Brigadier General Dale Barber, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General George Baxter, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Robert Baxter, USAF (ret.)
Brigadier General George Blysak, AUS (ret.)
Brigadier General Harold Bowman, USANG (ret.)
Brigadier General Douglas Bradley, AUS (ret.)
Brigadier General Jack Capps, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Richard Carter, AUS (ret.)
Brigadier General Steve Chapplis, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General BG David Cole, AUS (ret.)
Brigadier General William Colvin, USANG (ret.)
Brigadier General Joseph Cutrona, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Tom Daniels, USAF (ret.)
Brigadier General Von DeLoatch, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Robert Dilworth, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General George Eggers Jr., USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Evelyn Foote, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Robert Giffen, USAF (ret.)
Brigadier General Robert Hardy Jr., USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Carlos Hayden, AUS (ret.)
Brigadier General Edwin Heffelfinger, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General James Hunt, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General John H. Johns, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General J.D Johnson, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Keith H. Kerr, CSMR (ret.)
Brigadier General Douglas Kinnard, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Dean Mann, AUS (ret.)
Brigadier General James Martin, USAF (ret.)
Brigadier General William Meehan II, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Harold Miller, AUS (ret.)
Brigadier General Kenneth Newbold, AUS (ret.)
Brigadier General I.R. Obenchain Jr., USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Phil Peay, USANG (ret.)
Brigadier General Dorothy Pocklington, AUS (ret.)
Brigadier General Robert Poirot, AUS (ret.)
Brigadier General Philip Pushkin, USANG (ret.)
Brigadier General Virgil Richard, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General William Richter, AUS (ret.)
Brigadier General Kenneth Rieth, AUS (ret.)
Brigadier General Ernst Roberts, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Murray Sagsveen, AUS (ret.)
Brigadier General Norman Salisbury, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Donald Schenk, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Bettye Simmons, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Theodore Vander Els, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Daniel Wardrop, USA (ret.)
Brigadier General Robert Watling, AUS (ret.)
Brigadier General John Weinzettle, USA (ret.)
Rear Admiral James Barnett, USN (ret.)
Rear Admiral Robert Krasner, USN (ret.)
Rear Admiral Charles Rauch, USN (ret.)
Rear Admiral Alan Steinman, USPHS (ret.)

* AUS is the Army of the United States.
**General Scotti passed away in September, 2007. His widow asked that his name remain on this statement.

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  1. This is great news, and hopefully President Obama will keep his word to end DADT.

    Many young gay people join the military for the same reasons straights join: as a pathway to a better education, better life. They shouldn't have to hide their true selves while working toward those goals. This is good.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 18, 2008 10:47:49 AM

  2. Andy, is that you in the photo on the left? It sure does look like you...

    Posted by: j from nyc | Nov 18, 2008 10:57:07 AM

  3. This does seem all rather silly. US troops have been serving with openly gay troops for years...pretty much all of NATO allow gay troops as well as Israel. No problems reported.

    Posted by: Evil European | Nov 18, 2008 12:59:11 PM

  4. No, that's a picture of a doctor that came out while on duty in Iraq, and pointed out on 60 Minutes that he was serving openly.

    A simple repeal would not be enough, as we would need a change in Pentagon policy (an executive order might be required) and probably anti-discrimination policies. Obama apparently doesn't want any of his own fingerprints on a repeal though.

    Posted by: anon | Nov 18, 2008 1:35:16 PM

  5. Why should any of us want to join the military?

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Nov 18, 2008 2:27:04 PM

  6. Alsmost seven years into two costly wars that have depleted the National Guard and the other armed forces, when recruitment is at all time lows, now, finally, military leaders oppose DODT.

    It sure looks like a case of "when you are out of het poor people to send to their deaths, send the gays".

    Posted by: Darr | Nov 18, 2008 4:06:51 PM

  7. DARR,
    what you say is correct, and what "ANON" says is also relevant. i can only hope that the 200+ executive orders that Obama signs within the first hundred days includes
    a repeal of the ban on gays in the military. unlike clinton, the congress will not fight him.

    Posted by: nic | Nov 18, 2008 8:39:48 PM

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