The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a new report estimating that it has cost the Department of Defense “about $193.3 million ($52,800 per separation) in constant fiscal year 2009 dollars to separate and replace the 3,664 servicemembers” under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy between 2004 and 2009. More than 14,000 servicemembers have been fired under the law since it was enacted in 1993.
According to the report, “1,458 (40 percent) of these servicemembers held skills in a critical occupation, an important foreign language, or both, as determined by us and the services.” Here is a more complete breakdown:
Some Republicans are now hoping to preserve the ban though last-ditch legislative effort that would add the military service chiefs to the certification of repeal. Yesterday, Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr. (R-CA) officially introduced a measure to require the heads of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to sign off on allowing openly gay service members, even though the chiefs have previously suggested that such a measure would undermine the military’s chain of command. The current law requires the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and President Obama to certify the repeal process.
Meanwhile, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), the new Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s military personnel panel, promises to “hold hearings to look at the Pentagon’s plans to allow openly gay people to serve” and plans to “look for chances to reinstate the ban lifted by Congress in December.” The Chairman of the full committee — Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), may also battlefield commanders to testify “about whether lifting the ban will hurt morale and readiness.”
Download the full GAO report HERE.