Responding to questions from House lawmakers Tuesday on Capitol Hill, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz expressed some concern over the timing of the Obama Administration’s push to repeal the Pentagon’s “don’t ask-don’t tell” policy. “This is not the time to perturb the force that is, at the moment, stretched by demands in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere without careful deliberation,” he said. There is also a lack of scholarship and dearth of feedback from airmen and their families on this issue, Schwartz said. That’s why he said he supports the Pentagon’s recently launched efforts to study this issue extensively to minimize the disruption to readiness and unit cohesion should Congress grant the change. Schwartz emphasized that USAF’s standards of conduct “will continue to apply to all airmen,” if there is a repeal. (For more background, see AFPS’s Feb. 10 report and Jan. 27 report.)
The Department of the Air Force does not consistently or systematically ask Airmen or Guardians how dormitory conditions affect their quality of life and readiness, which reduces the department’s ability to identify and prioritize improvement efforts, according to a Government Accountability Office study published Sept. 19.