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Gates Instructs Defense Dept. to Accelerate 'DADT' Repeal

Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants training to begin as soon as possible, and has ordered the Defense Department to accelerate the steps it will take to reach that point, Stars and Stripes reports:

Gates Gates in a Pentagon press conference revealed a three-step plan: finalize changes in related regulations and policies, and get clearer definitions on benefits; prepare training materials for chaplains, lawyers, commanders and troops; and then begin to train servicemembers worldwide.

“We’re trying to get the first two phases of that process done as quickly as possible,” Gates said, adding he has instructed Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford Stanley to accelerate his efforts. “My hope is that it can be done within a matter of a very few weeks so that we can then move on to what is the real challenge, which is providing training to 2.2 million people. And we will do that as expeditiously as we can.”

Still, Joint Service Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen said it was still not safe for troops to come out. Said Mullen: "We certainly are focused on this and we won’t dawdle.”

Watch the press conference, AFTER THE JUMP...

(clip via think progress)

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Comments

  1. This sounds great. I'm confused about what kind of training is necessary... teaching people that homos aren't going to rape them in the shower?

    Posted by: 11 | Jan 6, 2011 6:03:07 PM


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    Posted by: Kevin SD | Jan 6, 2011 6:06:51 PM


  3. Treat everybody, gay or straight, the same way. There, training done.

    Posted by: Joe | Jan 6, 2011 7:05:52 PM


  4. If you read the second, less sexy, annex to the DADT report, it outlines the training they intend. It all appears to be very reasonable and designed to, in many ways, protect the newly out servicemembers from ignorant misapplication, willful discomfort, or even well-intentioned misinderstandings vis-a-vis the repeal. For example, training specifies what "out" behavior is legally protected, such as marching in a gay pride parade (important to specify since there are some provisions against political speech by military members that bigots could try to hang us on). It also tells commanders for example that they can't use the rules to force a gay guy to shower later than others, noting that the person who would have to be inconvenienced will be the person bringing the complaint, not the gay person. You know without that specific training, right or wrong, complaints by bigoted straightness would be handles differently depending on the commander's personal views. So training likethat is worth the time as it removes the vagaries behind which bigots will try to hide. I am mostly heartened to see the Pentagon is willing to accelerate this and is talking weeks and months, not years. Technically, they has the leeway to dale, but they clearly aren't. That's good sign.

    Posted by: breckroy | Jan 6, 2011 7:47:27 PM


  5. This is NONSENSE!

    1. "finalize changes in regulations, policies, get clearer definition on benefits"

    Why "changes" plural? It may be referenced in an unknown number of documents but only ONE thing needs to change initially: homosexuality/homosexual acts are no longer a grounds for discharge [Article 125, the "sodomy statute" is already virtually never charged except to amplify other legitimate charges such as sex with a subordinate, on base, etc.]. And there is NO reason to wait to implement that until after "benefits" are figured out.

    “it is critical that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell not be perceived as a complicated puzzle requiring complex solutions to minor problems.” - Center for American Progress.

    When Clinton ordered "Don't Ask" in January 1993, recruiters didn't stop enlisting people simply because their forms included a question about homosexuality. They simply took pencils/pens and marked out that question.

    B. In March of last year, when Gates himself announced the so-called "humane" changes to DADT implementation, including banning the use of information shared with a chaplain being used to discharge someone gay, he said they took effect IMMEDIATELY, and gave personnel only 30 DAYS to update their paperwork.

    2. "prepared the training materials" about WHAT? As DADT expert Nathaniel Frank has said, "This is not rocket science."

    3. "train the troops"??? Again, about WHAT. They ALREADY are taught that harassment of anyone perceived to be gay is a No-No.

    Per the Palm Center's most recent report:

    “Any claim that [implementation cannot happen] until after the completion of exhaustive training is inconsistent with DoD history and not based on military necessity. Whatever preparations are ultimately deemed necessary, the Pentagon ought to be able to pull them off faster than it did the implementation of DADT in 1994, which took approximately 40 days. Case studies demonstrate that training can take place quickly, even in combat zones, and that policies are generally implemented BEFORE OR CONCURRENT WITH training. The Pentagon’s request for up to a year to train the troops prior to the repeal of DADT is unprecedented. Training is not a prerequisite...to claim otherwise is a vote of no confidence in members of the armed forces, is not supported empirically, and is suspiciously dilatory. Training, like the formal publication of instructions, can occur (and has occurred) ex post facto.”

    Despite the results of his own study showing that the majority of troops wouldn't be bothered by open service PERIOD [NOT only AFTER "training"] Gates is still inexplicably acting as if the sky would fall, that gays are some kind of eight-eyed alien that the delicate forces need prepared for.

    PLEASE DO NOT HELP HIM GET AWAY WITH IT!

    Thank you.

    Posted by: Michael@LeonardMatlovich.com | Jan 6, 2011 9:32:34 PM


  6. ADDENDUM from today's "Washington Blade" emphasis mine:

    "Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, said implementation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal shouldn’t be a long process because the Pentagon already established a policy to allow gays to serve openly in the military when a California federal court in October issued an injunction that temporarily enjoined enforcement of the law.

    “Although they haven’t acknowledged this in public, THE REPLACEMENT REGULATIONS HAVE ALREADY BEEN WRITTEN, and so the Pentagon could easily repeal the ban TODAY if there was the political will,” Belkin said.

    ...Belkin said he suspects opposition to repeal from some military service chiefs — Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz — could slow the process for certification. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead has said he supports repeal.

    “Casey in particular is leaving soon and doesn’t want to be known as the Army chief of staff who let gays in on his watch,” Belkin said. “The foot-dragging is NOT about some sincere or legitimate sense that the troops need to be trained on how to deal with gays; it’s because they don’t want to be around when the policy happens.”

    Posted by: Michael@LeonardMatlovich.com | Jan 6, 2011 9:44:39 PM


  7. lol @ training. look, we have to do these ridiculous online training courses where you just click "next" to get to the end and really don't read it. some folks do, but most don't. it's a waste of our time.

    the reality is this: most folks will do these online training courses, but there will still be folks who harrass and discriminate against others. just like it happens to women and african americans too. it's going to be a part of active duty. but it's LEADERSHIP's responsibility to squash it when it happens. period.

    Posted by: will | Jan 6, 2011 9:56:19 PM


  8. Michael, you just can't take "Yes" for an answer, can you? After all, if they really go through with it, then you lose a central part of your identity -- the struggle against something that no longer exists.

    Tell us, now that DADT is history, are you prepared to give Daniel Choi a home?

    Posted by: Career | Jan 7, 2011 12:16:23 AM


  9. @ "Career" aka Another Obambot Too Much of a COWARD to Sign His/Her REAL Name":

    DADT is NOT history, you cretin. From Gates himself:

    "To prevent any confusion, I want to be perfectly clear: At this time, there are no new changes to any existing department or service policies. Service members who alter their personal conduct during this period may face adverse consequences."

    Posted by: Michael@LeonardMatlovich.com | Jan 7, 2011 2:17:47 AM


  10. thank the freaking Lord there's some semblance of speeding it up. You'd think theyre planning this more than they planned Iraq. So embarrassing for the USA that all these rules have to be spelled out and strategized yo the tee like it's so difficult. In the meantime, still waiting for equality and justice. Good thing the DADT repeal bought the country some time before gays just emigrate.

    Posted by: JJ | Jan 7, 2011 2:46:27 AM


  11. Poor Michael! Just what are you going to do in a few months when the implementing regulations are in place? Are you and Dan Choi going to chain yourself to the Dallas, Texas city hall until you can get married?

    Posted by: Career | Jan 7, 2011 4:05:02 AM


  12. Michael, Is your loony Clinton cocksucking ass planning on enlisting?

    Posted by: Chris | Jan 7, 2011 4:30:22 AM


  13. To all you believers that DADT repeal has already happened or is just around the corner, why don't you man up and tell us the date it will ACTUALLY be legal for gays to serve openly.

    My bet is after D-Day 2011, but more likely July 4th.

    Thanks to the Log Cabin Republican lawsuit, the pressure remains on the DoD, although BO's Justice Department tried to BS the 9th Circuit into believing that the case was moot and should be dismissed. I hope like hell that the courts retain jurisdiction to make sure DADT repeal actually gets implemented AND non-discrimination against gays is actually carried out by ALL branches of the military.

    I think it was Truman's who said something like: "Speak softly but carry a big dick." It's the hammer of the court-ordered, world-wide injunction that Judge Phillips issued that is driving this to a final victory. We owe her a ton of thanks.

    Posted by: TruthSeeker_Too | Jan 7, 2011 6:51:40 AM


  14. Yes, I'm also slightly confused about the "training" that is necessary re DADT repeal. What do people need to be trained for? Look, I've got an open mind on this but I think some elaboration from Gates would be appreciated.

    It's not as if we haven't been a part of the military for decades.

    Posted by: mark | Jan 7, 2011 7:00:50 AM


  15. I'm with the cautious on this one..

    'It ain't over til it's over'

    Between McCain suddenly wanting to 'help' with the repeal process and Issa digging into the validity of the DADT study I won't say it's done til the 60 days have passed and all are free to serve openly.

    Posted by: Deryk | Jan 7, 2011 7:54:51 AM


  16. This is what they'll be training on and indicates which benefits, regulations, etc. are currently being reviewed and revised. I know notv everyone will agree, but it is what it is. Note, also that this was a suggested plan. The actual decisions (which may go further or fall short) are being made as we speak and reviewed and approved for dissemination prior to certification.

    http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2010/0610_gatesdadt/DADTReport-SPI_FINAL_20101130(secure-hires).pdf

    And a reality check. This slightly extended process is part of the compromise that got the Republican votes we needed to pass this. This bill was not getting passed without a preparation and certification period. It may not be right, but it is. The policy itself was a heinous compromise with Republicans and this was how we undid it. Without the report (and the time it took to formalize what we already knew) and without the extended roll-out, we'd still be calling for really imperfect stop gaps that a Republican president could immediately undo.

    I want what we all want, but watch a lot of things never come to psss necause they can't get the politics right. Here we're getting DADT gone in a matter of months. Immediate was ideal, this is less so, but it's getting done and apparently is a higher priority than I would have expected. I was thinking a full year. I'll take it.

    Posted by: breckroy | Jan 7, 2011 11:38:58 AM


  17. I think it was Truman's who said something like: "Speak softly but carry a big dick."

    ----------

    Ha ha ha ha ha!! I'm not sure whether you're totally stupid or just have a great sense of humor, but either way I am laughing my ass off right now.

    Posted by: Career | Jan 7, 2011 12:43:50 PM


  18. “It is critical that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell not be perceived as a complicated puzzle requiring complex solutions to minor problems.” - Center for American Progress.

    But Murrkah is masterful at turning relatively simple issues into complex, virtually insoluble puzzles. It's the Murrkin Way. See: Reform, Health Care; Reform, Wall Street; Policy, Tax; Budget, California; and other examples far too numerous to list.

    Posted by: Scotty | Jan 8, 2011 12:01:39 PM


  19. If the training follows the lines that Breckroy described above, then I guess I don't have much of a problem with it, but the foot-dragging still gives me pause. They knew this was coming for quite some time and had plenty of time to rewrite policies and put together a training program, so what's the hold-up? Why is it that nearly every other country that changed policy to allow gays to serve openly in the military (all our NATO allies, Australia, NZ, Israel, etc.) were able to implement the change much more quickly than we are? Is this merely another example of the USA being "special"? (Special as in "riding the short bus.")

    Posted by: Scotty | Jan 8, 2011 12:07:39 PM


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