Carefully, Methodically, Purposefully

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the Pentagon would move out “immediately” with planning for the implementation of new policy ending the “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule once President Obama signs the DADT repeal into law. Gates said the Defense Department would carry out the change “carefully and methodically, but purposefully” and in consultation with the military service chiefs and combatant commanders to avoid disruption to unit cohesion. Gates reminded service members that DADT, the Clinton-era law barring homosexuals from openly serving in the US military, remains in effect for the time being. Gates said that’s because it “will take an additional period of time” until Obama, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, and he certify the implementation plan. Gates’ comments came after the Senate on Dec. 18 repealed DADT 65 to 31. Like the House, which overturned the policy Dec. 15, the Senate acted on a stand-alone measure that was no longer tied to the defense authorization bill. Mullen said of the repeal: “No longer will able men and women who want to serve and sacrifice for their country have to sacrifice their integrity to do so. We will be a better military as a result.” (Obama statement) (Gates statement) (Mullen statement) (See also AFPS report by Donna Miles)