DoD Releases Report on the Impact of Repealing DADT

The Department of Defense released its report on the impact of repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law today.

The President has asked Congress to repeal the law, which bans openly gay men and women from serving in the U.S. military, and directed the Department of Defense to consider how to best implement such a change.  The Department convened a working group, led by U.S. General Carter F. Ham and Department of Defense General Counsel Jeh C. Johnson, to address the issue.

U.S. Army Gen. Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Army Europe, said the study found that 50 to 55 percent of people surveyed said there would be no major effect if the repeal passed, while 15 to 20 percent said they’d expect a positive change.  Only 30 percent said repeal would have a negative impact.

Ham indicated that he doesn’t think repeal would be harmful, if handled properly and performed deliberately. He said the leadership today has the ability to implement a new policy and maintain unit cohesion.

There is still a lot of discussion required, Ham said, but the military should begin planning now.  “The best way for us to think about this is as a contingency plan,” Ham said. “Our report lays out the groundwork for actions that we recommend, if repeal does come.”

Ham said the working group strongly recommends against establishing separate housing. He acknowledged that there will be increased costs associated with training and education, but said that the working group believes those costs will be offset by savings in training from not separating homosexuals from the services.

The biggest costs will come from benefits, he said.  The report recommends that each service conduct a thorough analysis to determine the cost impact of extending the various benefits.

Ham pointed out that the Defense of Marriage Act would prevent some benefits from being extended to same-sex partners of servicemembers.  Others, such as life insurance benefits, can be extended to anyone the servicemember designates, and would simply require that servicemembers be informed of these options.  A third category of benefits are those that currently are extended by the services only to spouses, but which could potentially be extended to beneficiaries designated by servicemembers.

The report also recommends that servicemembers who were discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” be given the same opportunity as anybody else to re-enlist if the law is repealed.

“If they meet the criteria for reenlistment in all other respects, they should be considered for reenlistment. The fact that they were separated pursuant to this law should be set aside basically as irrelevant,” Ham said. “So, if you meet the criteria in terms of age, weight, et cetera, then you should be allowed to reenlist like every other servicemember.”

For more information visit the special “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

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3 Responses to DoD Releases Report on the Impact of Repealing DADT

  1. Mike says:

    Our commander in chief, our DoD secretary, and our generals are telling us that the 30% (who expect a negative impact) are insignificant? I don’t understand.
    And why hasn’t any of our so-called leaders mentioned the morality issue? Homosexual behavior has been immoral since the beginning of recorded time. Every culture that tolerated it has fallen into decay and succumbed to foreign conquest. The DoD shouldn’t follow the culture on this policy issue. At the least, guys like me will stop encouraging young men to serve in uniform.

  2. Maximumrandb says:

    Will D.O.D. be required to recognize homosexual marriage from states where it is legal? What happens when the Defense of Marriage Act is over-turned? (It’s not a matter of “if,” but of “when.”) Will the Chaplain Corp. be required to perform homosexual marriages at the base chapel? If yes, do “married” homosexual servicemember get family housing? How much is that going to cost? Will the savings Gen. Ham mentions from not having to separate homosexual servicemembers cover those additional expenses?

    Has anybody at the higher levels of D.O.D., the executive branch, or in Congress thought seriously about these administrative, logistica and legal issues? If so I’d like to see what they’ve said about them.

  3. Anonymous says:

    As usual, our Congress, the administration, and the Pentagon, asked the WRONG people about the impact of ending DADT. The generals, admirals and officers, who testified for repealing DADT live in private housing and will therefore not be affected. 70% of enlisted men and women polled are married and also live off base or in private housing. They too, will not be affected. On the other hand, SINGLE HETEROSEXUAL airmen, soldiers, marines and sailors who have no choice in housing and are forced to live with roomates not of their choosing WILL be affected. They live in barracks, tents, ships and cramped submarines. Some will come back to their bunks seeking sleep after a long work day, only to find their previously secretive gay roommates performing oral or rectal sex on each other. Would you want to see that? What recourse will single troops have? The military doesn’t provide any spare barracks rooms or tents to go to. Troops can’t always get off base to a hotel room without a pass. The ONLY solution will be for the military to give gays their own barracks, separate rations and quarters, or private on-base homes. Can we as a nation afford this right now? And what of the impact on the morale of single HETEROSEXUAL troops? They will realize they are now being discriminated against in housing matters SOLELY DUE TO SEXUAL ORIENTATION!To say this doesn’t have any affect on military readiness is ignorant. During the cold war, a major concern was the number of Soviet tanks in East Germany poised to attack. A major news magazine interviewed US troops stationed in West Germany to find out what they would do should those tanks roll across the border. Almost to a man the married troops said they would FIRST leave base, get their spouses and children on planes out of the country, THEN return to fight. The single troops would have to hold off the attack until they returned. How does moving gays from barracks to off base housing improve readiness? Would you want to fight alongside one of these guys? Would you trust them to defend your flank? Veteran

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