Defense Sec'y Gates Urged to Certify 'DADT' Repeal This Month as Reports Suggest Half of Military is Trained
Half the armed forces, more than a million U.S. troops, have been trained on repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", according to the AP:
Military officials say they see no adverse impact on the force so far....Pentagon officials say there’s been no widespread resistance; no mad rush for the door by those opposed, and — importantly — no drop in recruiting. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the Pentagon is still assessing when it will be ready to completely end the policy.
Advocates of open service are urging Defense Secretary Robert Gates to certify repeal before he retires at the end of the month, the Washington Blade reports:
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 predicated that certification would happen this month.
The White House says it is not concerned about 'DADT' repeal and the arrival of a new Defense Secretary.
And Pam Spaulding posts a letter that Reps. Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, Jared Polis, and David Cicilline, the four openly gay members of Congress, have sent to President Obama urging him to make it clear that he would veto any Defense bill that comes his way from the Senate containing language intended to undermine repeal of 'DADT'.
"But because this issue is so important in so many ways, we think it would be the best course for you to reaffirm your strong support of the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" by making it explicit that you would veto a bill in the unlikely event that it came to you, which undermined the decision that you led us to make last year - namely a military that does not discriminate unfairly and does not turn away patriotic, productive Americans seeking to serve their country."
Read the full letter at Pam's House Blend.