DOD Set for ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2011 — The repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law is slat­ed to take effect tomor­row, a senior Defense Depart­ment offi­cial told reporters today.

The repeal of the law will mean gay and les­bian ser­vice mem­bers may be open about their sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion. The depart­ment is ready for repeal, Pen­ta­gon Press Sec­re­tary George Lit­tle said.

Defense Sec­re­tary Leon E. Panet­ta and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will dis­cuss the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law tomor­row at a Pen­ta­gon news con­fer­ence.

“This is some­thing that has been known for a long time,” Lit­tle told press mem­bers. “We’ve gone through a process to cer­ti­fy repeal.”

Near­ly all ser­vice mem­bers have tak­en the train­ing asso­ci­at­ed with the law’s repeal. Lit­tle praised the ser­vices for their efforts.

Recruiters are accept­ing appli­ca­tions from open­ly gay and les­bian appli­cants seek­ing to enlist in the mil­i­tary. While many changes in poli­cies and reg­u­la­tions already have tak­en place, some changes in how repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law will be imple­ment­ed must wait until after the law takes effect.

These poli­cies and reg­u­la­tions will be pro­mul­gat­ed tomor­row, the Pen­ta­gon press sec­re­tary said.

“No one should be left with the impres­sion that we are unpre­pared. We are pre­pared for repeal,” Lit­tle said. “The force is well aware that this is com­ing. They’ve had the train­ing. It’s been in the press for months. The Sep­tem­ber 20th day is not a mys­tery.”

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