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Thursday, April 7, 2011

The chiefs have spoken...


I just left the House Armed Services Committee’s (HASC) “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) repeal oversight hearing, and the verdict from the service chiefs is clear: Training is going smoothly, and the armed forces are marching toward repeal of this law.

SLDN was proud to join veterans and allies on the Hill, once again to defend open service. Opponents pulled out all the stops to disrupt the repeal process, but the testimony of the service chiefs this afternoon underscored that the outrageous claims of repeal opponents are based in fear from the past, not facts from the field.

The chiefs reported that the response from service members to training has been overwhelmingly positive to date. General Peter W. Chiarelli, Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, reported that “training is not disruptive,” and General James F. Amos, USMC Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps, said, “There hasn’t been recalcitrant pushback; there hasn’t been anxiety over it from the forces in the field.” Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy, reminded the committee that a service member’s sexual orientation does not result in “disruption to the mission,” and General Norton A. Schwartz, USAF Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force, reiterated that every airman is entitled to “respect and equal opportunity.”

Read our statement about the hearing by clicking here.

Although the services are moving closer to repeal, we aren’t there yet. As the service chiefs testified, DADT remains the law. Implementing repeal smartly will depend upon leadership, dignity and respect.

SLDN will continue to help those who have been hurt by DADT, and we look forward to fighting alongside you every step of the way as we push toward repeal.

Thank you.

Aubrey Sarvis
Army veteran and SLDN Executive Director

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