This morning, the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee held the first “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) repeal oversight hearing, chaired by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC).
SLDN took to the Hill with veterans discharged under DADT, as Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) Dr. Clifford Stanley and Director of Joint Staff Vice Admiral William Gortney provided testimony about the status of training and education in preparation for repeal. Training, which began March 1, is expected to conclude by mid-summer though no definite date has been set. About 200,000 military personnel (9 percent of the entire Force) have been trained so far.
As we move toward repeal, SLDN will remain on the frontlines in the halls of Congress, the media, and in communities around the nation. With your support, we will continue to make the case for swift repeal, tell the stories of service members affected by DADT, and provide legal services to those who are under DADT investigations and face the possibility of discharge.
But we need your help. Contribute to SLDN to help us keep up the fight.
Dr. Stanley reiterated that the armed forces are preparing for open service in a timely and responsible manner that is consistent with unit cohesion, good order, morale and discipline, also noting that there have been “no implications on recruiting” and “that the training has been very effective.” Vice Admiral Gortney, who reported that training is moving along smoothly throughout the services, added that no missions overseas have been disrupted. He and Dr. Stanley repeatedly underscored the importance of leadership, respect and professionalism in continuing to lay the foundation for a successful transition.
Following the hearing, I released a statement on behalf of SLDN, and you can read it here.
Today’s hearing is only the first of more to come. Opponents of repeal have not given up and will try to turn back the clock again. Advocates of open service must remain vigilant, engaged, and ready to push back hard as we move forward to a timely repeal.
The fight is not over, and the job is not done! Support SLDN today.
Thanks for continuing to stand with us.
Army veteran and SLDN Executive Director
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