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This Friday, April 1st, at 9:30 a.m. EST, the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee will hold the first oversight hearing on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal implementation. Testifying before the subcommittee will be Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Dr. Clifford Stanley, who co-chairs the DADT Repeal Implementation Team (RIT). He will be joined by Vice Admiral William Gortney, Director of the Joint Staff.
Chaired by repeal opponent Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), the Military Personnel Subcommittee also comprises a number of members who have voted for repeal, such as Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU), Rep. Robert Brady (D-PA), Rep. David Loebsack (D-IA), Rep. Chellie Pingree, (D-ME), and Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA).
This hearing represents an update from these military leaders on how the Department of Defense is preparing for repeal, including the current training efforts in each of the services. Each branch is currently undergoing the third step of training, which targets the bulk of the force, and this training has progressed as a non-event.
But repeal opponents will stop at nothing to slow down the repeal process. Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness has already riled up the opposition, saying, "Our goal is to convince members of Congress that they must intervene with well-informed questions and an appropriate statement to the Administration summarized in three words: 'Not so fast!'"
The service men and women harmed by this discriminatory law - a number of whom will be seated in the hearing room - know better. They know we must keep moving forward to finally get this law off the books. SLDN is actively pushing back on the opposition, defending our clients and service members and urging a timely repeal.
Tune in to SLDN's Twitter feed, @FreedomtoServe, for a live stream of updates during Friday's hearing. We were pleased to connect with so many of you during the Senate Armed Services Committee's DADT hearings in December, and look forward to tweeting with you again!