DADT Repeal Training Proves Caliber of Military, Leaders Say

WASHINGTON — Two months into train­ing to allow gay men and les­bians to serve open­ly in the mil­i­tary, the lead­ers of all four ser­vices say imple­men­ta­tion is going well – some­thing they attribute to the cal­iber of today’s ser­vice mem­bers.
“Our train­ing is going very well,” Adm. Gary Roug­head, chief of naval oper­a­tions, told the House Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee today. “In those areas that we detect­ed may be at mod­er­ate risk — the expe­di­tionary forces — it is not at the lev­el we had orig­i­nal­ly fore­cast.

“The types of ques­tions we are get­ting reflect the matu­ri­ty, pro­fes­sion­al­ism and decen­cy of our peo­ple,” he added.

The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps began in Feb­ru­ary train­ing all of the nation’s 2.2 mil­lion ser­vice mem­bers to pre­pare for repeal of the law — known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — that pre­clud­ed gay men and les­bians from serv­ing open­ly in the mil­i­tary. Con­gress vot­ed for repeal in Decem­ber and Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma signed it into law. The change will not take effect until 60 days after the chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sec­re­tary of defense, and pres­i­dent cer­ti­fy the military’s readi­ness to imple­ment the repeal. Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter W. Chiarel­li, Marine Corps Com­man­dant Gen. James F. Amos, and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Nor­ton A. Schwartz joined Roug­head in report­ing to the com­mit­tee about how imple­men­ta­tion is going. All said train­ing is going well.

Chiarel­li, appear­ing on behalf of Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. who could not attend the hear­ing, said the Army has not com­plet­ed enough train­ing to say repeal of the law does­n’t come with some risk to readi­ness. But, he said, “We have put togeth­er a very, very good train­ing pack­age we believe will mit­i­gate that risk.”

While the ser­vices are con­duct­ing their own train­ing, all fol­low the guid­ance of the Defense Department’s com­pre­hen­sive work­ing group that found lim­it­ed risk for repeal in its report released late last year. The lead­ers said they are in reg­u­lar con­tact with Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates and Chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen on the progress of the train­ing.

The department’s train­ing guid­ance cov­ers “99 per­cent of the issues” relat­ed to repeal of the law, Amos said.

The lead­ers described the train­ing as being three-tiered, begin­ning with spe­cial­ists such as chap­lains and lawyers, fol­lowed by lead­ers, and com­plet­ed with the force at large. Suc­cess of the train­ing “rests on the shoul­ders of our lead­ers,” Chiarel­li said. It fol­lows the “chain teach­ing” method, which places respon­si­bil­i­ty on com­man­ders to ensure that “all are prop­er­ly and suf­fi­cient­ly edu­cat­ed on this impor­tant pol­i­cy change, its poten­tial impact on them, and our expec­ta­tion of them,” he said.

Chiarel­li said Casey’s direc­tive on the repeal is clear: “Train­ing mat­ters most.”

Casey, flanked by four oth­er four-star gen­er­als, per­son­al­ly led the first train­ing ses­sion in Feb­ru­ary, Chiarel­li said, in which he also par­tic­i­pat­ed in.

“I can attest that this process works,” Chiarel­li said. “The sol­diers’ response so far has been gen­er­al­ly pos­i­tive, but we must assume there will be some resis­tance.

“We are mind­ful that if we are to mit­i­gate risks to readi­ness, recruit­ment and reten­tion, we must con­tin­ue to do this [train­ing] delib­er­ate­ly,” he added. “The entire process done prop­er­ly will take time.”

Train­ing is expect­ed to be com­plete by ear­ly sum­mer, the lead­ers said.

The Marine Corps, the small­est ser­vice with 202,000 mem­bers, has com­plet­ed all of Tiers 1 and 2 and have more than 40 per­cent of Tier 3 peo­ple trained, Amos said.

A depart­ment sur­vey last year showed that about 60 per­cent of Marines in com­bat units had con­cerns about the repeal, Amos not­ed, but those con­cerns seem to be wan­ing. The gen­er­al vis­it­ed with Marines in Afghanistan over Christ­mas and spoke with their com­man­der this morn­ing on the issue, he said.

“I’m look­ing specif­i­cal­ly for issues that might arise out of Tier 1 and Tier 2 and, frankly, we just haven’t seen it,” Amos said. “There has­n’t been the recal­ci­trant push back, the anx­i­ety about it” from forces in the field.

Amos said the Marines’ com­man­der told him, “ ‘Quite hon­est­ly, they’re focused on the ene­my.’ ”

The Air Force has trained about 117,000 air­men, so far, and Schwartz said he is less con­cerned about the change now than in Decem­ber when Oba­ma signed the law.

“The train­ing shows we are mit­i­gat­ing risk,” he said. “I am more com­fort­able than I was on the 22nd of Decem­ber, but we still have a ways to go, and it requires the atten­tion of all of us to bring this home.

“The stan­dards of con­duct you expect of all air­men — dig­ni­ty, respect, and equal oppor­tu­ni­ty, and ser­vice above self — they will not change,” Schwartz added. “We will imple­ment this with the same pro­fes­sion­al­ism that we put forth dai­ly in all our endeav­ors.”

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →