Results tagged “don't ask don't tell”

Changing the Rules to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

In February, I noted here on The Query the Pentagon's intentions to change the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Now, NPR reported that preliminary changes to the policy have indeed been made.

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Adm. Michael Mullen, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced at a press conference on Thursday the major changes which essentially makes pressing charges against a homosexual soldier more difficult, reported USA Today.

The changes ensure that third-party information and hearsay are not included when examining a soldier's sexuality. Also, the bar has been raised on the rank of officer who can authorize investigations and discharges.

The new procedures will be enacted across the entire military immediately. Although, many Democratic lawmakers, including the president and Sen. Carl Levin, call for a full repeal of the exclusive policy.

In response to the calls for repeal, Mullen and Gates said that it is important to wait for results from a governmental research study about the policy due to for completion in December in order to make a comprehensive decision.

"Don't ask, don't tell" policy under review; supported by top military

As reported by The Chicago Tribune, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael G. Mullen said he believed that openly gay and lesbian soldiers should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military during a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

The statement came with the announcement from Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates that the Pentagon will prepare a review of the current "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The review will examine the effects that a policy change might incur.

The L.A. Times
reports that a high-level task force led by Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon general counsel, and Gen. Carter Ham, the commander of U.S. Army forces in Europe, will spearhead the review process.

The decision to begin repealing the policy was made in response to President Barack Obama's call to lift the ban in Oct. 2009.

Historically, the previous Joint Chiefs of Staff have been against attempts to repeal the policy. Mullen's predecessor, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, was morally opposed to allowing openly gay and lesbian soldiers to serve. In the 1990's, Gen. Colin Powell upheld "don't ask, don't tell" by calling it a "healthy compromise." But as of December 2008, Gen. Powell conceded that the policy needed to undergo review.

The announcement from Sec. Gates was met with mixed views by the Senate panel. Sen. Carl M. Levin supported the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, whereas Sen. John McCain endorsed it, calling the policy "imperfect, but effective."

The Defense Dept. estimates that it will require a 45-day window before making major changes to the policy.