Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Military | News

Gates: Training Plan for 'DADT' Repeal Implementation by Feb. 4

Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants a plan no later than one week from today for accomplishing implementation of 'DADT' repeal, according to a memo released in conjunction with a news conference at the Pentagon.

The Washington Blade reports: Gates

In a five-page memorandum dated Jan. 28 and obtained by the Blade, Gates tasks Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness Clifford Stanley with devising a strategy to “facilitate the timely and orderly realization” of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal by next Friday.

Gates emphasizes that open service will be implemented throughout the services at the same time, squelching concerns about whether repeal would happen in the military in a graduated process.

“This is not, however, a change that should be done incrementally,” Gates writes. “The steps leading to certification and the actual repeal must be accomplished across the entire Department at the same time, and consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.”

Ed O'Keefe at the Washington Post adds:

Each of the military services will be responsible for the specifics of training commanders, chaplains and troops. They will emphasize training troops before they deploy, but some training may take place on the battlefront, officials said.

"Moving along expeditiously is better than dragging it out," Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James E. Cartwright said Friday in a briefing with reporters.

The training is likely to be led by instructors, but may include written materials, videos, vignettes describing different elements of military life, and PowerPoint slides outlining changes in policy. Each individual will need to be certified as having have completed the training, Cartwright said.

Said Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, of the report:

"Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is pleased the Pentagon is taking thoughtful steps to move toward certification and implementation of open service. SLDN continues to believe open service can be achieved sooner rather than later. I agree with General Cartwright that all of the troops, from top to bottom, do not need to undergo a comprehensive training and educational program before there is certification. The training and education plan need only be in place. The fact is education and training around open service can be accomplished in the first and second quarter of this year. In addition, much of the training can continue to take place during the 60-day period following certification."

Read (via the Washington Blade) Gates' memo, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. I thought Gates was going to retire. When will his retirement plan be implimented?

    Posted by: Natira | Jan 28, 2011 6:27:48 PM

  2. A training plan??

    How about people just be polite to each other. Do people in the military need special training to do that?


    Posted by: Joel | Jan 28, 2011 7:20:24 PM

  3. I take it the bitter queens in this thread have never had an experience human resources before, huh.

    Posted by: sugarrhill | Jan 28, 2011 7:33:51 PM

  4. HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOO????! You left out THE main revelation: that they admitted it could be NEXT YEAR before “repeal” happens!

    The briefing today was a multiple vehicle car wreck, some driven by Pentagon representatives who knew too little about what they are in charge of implementing, and some driven by members of the media who were either too ignorant of the facts or too afraid to challenge Stanley, et al., on their ignorance and illogic—all adding up to the likelihood that the destination of open service is far off. Unknown territory???? One would have thought it was a presentation by NASA on the first space shuttle rather than actualizing a change that really comes down to nothing more than "yesterday we kicked gays out, tomorrow we won't."

    When Cartwright said that the certification required by the DADT Repeal Act "does not require 100 percent" of the servicemembers to be trained, why did no one point out to him that the Act does not require ANY training of ANY kind BEFORE certification?

    Why did no one challenge them with the Palm Center’s December 19th report that found that:

    “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 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.” Emphasis mine.

    Or with DADT expert and Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin’s recent statement:

    “It shouldn’t be a long process because the Pentagon ALREADY ESTABLISHED A POLICY TO ALLOW GAYS TO SERVE OPENLY in the military when [in the LCR case] 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. [Army Chief of Staff] 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. 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.” Emphasis mine.

    As for the substance of that training, in addition to the military scenario vignettes already created by the Working Group, why did no one ask why the modules applying to gays that the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute has been using for decades to train managers of 700,000 civilian DoD employees couldn’t be used rather than wasting further time trying to reinvent the proverbial wheel?

    Stanley and Cartwright’s responses about already existing legal remedies for gays who are discriminated against post repeal, for instance, in promotions was so much bullshit. In 2004, SLDN said:

    “There is no available avenue for service members who would typically report discrimination [based on sexual orientation] through an equal opportunity office. … In reality when a service member does report it through the chain of command it is rarely taken seriously. There's no consequence for commanders who ignore anti-gay harassment. The environment has created second-class citizenship for gay and lesbian service members and it permeates all military."

    And I was surprised that no one pointed out that the recent scandal of videos starring no less than the XO of the 6000 troop aircraft carrier Enterprise was glaring proof of an absence of understanding and enforcement of respect for everyone among military leaders Stanley seemed so proud of.

    Maybe if, rather than first class equality for gays in the military, overdue not just two year but by several decades, the issue and conclusion from today was that it might be the end of the third year of Obama's presidency before the Pentagon stops killing baby seals, more would give a damn and demand an end NOW.

    Posted by: | Jan 28, 2011 7:53:13 PM


    Posted by: Damen | Jan 28, 2011 8:53:37 PM

  6. was it this big a deal in the 25 other countries who have already implemented equality in their military services?

    Posted by: r | Jan 29, 2011 4:00:27 AM

  7. If it's this much trouble to let gays in the military imagine how hard it would be to let women in, or worse yet, blacks. Oh, wait, that already happened.

    Maybe they should just dust off their human relations paperwork and white out "women" or "black" and replace those words with "gay."

    I'm sure they still use white out and typewriters in the military. After all some traditions are just too hard to part with. The 21st century might be happening elsewhere but let's just see how it works out before we jump ahead too soon.

    Posted by: Take Your Time | Jan 29, 2011 7:42:02 AM

  8. "was it this big a deal in the 25 other countries who have already implemented equality in their military services?"

    The short answer is, of course: No. Anticipated problems never materialized. Consistently, the change was anticlimactic. As it likely will be in the US military. I actually find it reassuring that Gates is insisting that this not happen incrementally--I'm sure some military and Republican foes of the repeal would love nothing better than to drag it out over several centuries.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jan 29, 2011 1:15:59 PM

  9. @ Ernie:

    1. Gates is a Republican.
    2. He's already dragged out repeal for two years and appears set to drag it out for at least one more.

    As I documented above, there is NO functional justification for repeal not having happened already. Further, it is Gates who is refusing to reverse the Bush One policy [which he has total discretion to do] that denies discharged gays the same amount of separation pay that discharged straights automatically get. So Obama, Inc., is being sued by the ACLU.

    And then there's that little thingy about sending Dan Choi a bill demanding he give them back $2500 of his reenlistment bonus after THEY discharged him.

    So please spare us the Valentines to Mr. Gates. Thank you.

    Posted by: | Jan 29, 2011 3:24:57 PM

  10. I agree, Michael, that DADT should have been repealed long ago. It wasn't, and there is plenty of blame to go around. History cannot be changed, as you know. And I certainly support any efforts, including an ACLU lawsuit, that would offer some compensation for the grievous wrongs done to discharged gay soldiers.

    That said, I think President Obama and Mr. Gates have been handling the implementation process in a reasonable way thus far. I imagine you disagree, but at this point I don't see them as the enemy where DADT is concerned. The policy will end on their watch. Considering what some military leaders and Republicans (other than Mr. Gates) would like to happen to the repeal, I'm inclined to give credit for Mr. Gate's insistence that the change not come incrementally.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jan 29, 2011 4:48:45 PM

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