As the White House claims that it’s not concerned about a delay in certifying the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the military reports that “roughly half the armed forces — have been trained on the new law.” And so far, “there has been none of the turmoil or dire consequences predicted by opponents of what had been expected to be a wrenching change in military culture”:
There has been no widespread resistance, no mad rush for the door by enlisted members opposed to the policy and no drop in recruiting.
“So far this seems to be a nonevent,” Gen. Peter Chiarelli, vice chief of staff for the Army, told reporters recently. But, he warned, “This is not going to happen without incident — I’d be crazy to say that. Somewhere along the line something is going to occur. But we’re doing everything we can to head that off in training.” [...]
The Navy expects to finish the bulk of its training by the end of June. The Army will finish its training of the active duty force largely by mid-July, and the reserves by August 15. The Marines and Air Force have the bulk of their troops trained. All together about half the 2.2 million members of the active and reserve military have been trained.
Under the repeal legislation, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell cannot be lifted until 60 days after the president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff certify that it would not undermine military readiness and unit cohesion. Advocates are pushing for certification to be completed by the end of the summer, although Gates has previously pledged to hold off on lifting the ban “until the Service Chiefs are comfortable that the risks to unit cohesion and combat effectiveness of a change have been addressed to their satisfaction and to my satisfaction.”
Significantly, the experiences of the 25 nations that allow open service suggest that there is no reason to delay certification of repeal any further. As the Palm Center has pointed out, “in many of those countries, debate before the policy changes was highly pitched and many people both inside and outside the military predicted major disruptions.” In Britain and Canada, for instance, “roughly two thirds of military respondents in polls said they would refuse to serve with open gays, but when inclusive policies were implemented, no more than three people in each country actually resigned.” “Research has uniformly shown that transitions to policies of equal treatment without regard to sexual orientation have been highly successful and have had no negative impact on morale, recruitment, retention, readiness or overall combat effectiveness.” Read their full report HERE.