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)