Respect Highlights Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Training

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2011 — Respect for all ser­vice mem­bers is at the heart of train­ing for the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, the under­sec­re­tary of defense for per­son­nel and readi­ness said today.
Clif­ford L. Stan­ley and Navy Vice Adm. William E. Gort­ney, direc­tor of the Joint Staff, tes­ti­fied before the House Armed Ser­vices Committee’s mil­i­tary per­son­nel sub­com­mit­tee about prepar­ing the force for repeal of the law that bans gay men and les­bians from serv­ing open­ly in the mil­i­tary.

“My focus is total force readi­ness, car­ing for our peo­ple and cre­at­ing a cul­ture of rel­e­vance, effec­tive­ness and effi­cien­cy,” Stan­ley said. He told the sub­com­mit­tee that he views total force readi­ness as encom­pass­ing a men­tal, phys­i­cal, emo­tion­al and spir­i­tu­al state of pre­pared­ness and resilience.

“This pol­i­cy change embod­ies that view of total force readi­ness. More sim­ply put, it’s about respect,” Stan­ley said. “Respect is not a word I use light­ly. It embraces the true mean­ing of hon­or­able ser­vice. Respect is also a word that cap­tures the indeli­ble bond shared by all who serve, espe­cial­ly when serv­ing in harm’s way.” All ser­vices began train­ing before March 1, Stan­ley said, and he expects all to be fin­ished by the end of sum­mer.

Because the train­ing empha­sizes lead­er­ship, pro­fes­sion­al­ism, dis­ci­pline and respect, Stan­ley said, he believes it “will enable any change in pol­i­cy to be exe­cut­ed with min­i­mal dis­rup­tion to the force.”

Gort­ney spoke of the three-part process the mil­i­tary has put in place to repeal the law. The first step was imple­ment­ing or chang­ing poli­cies. The sec­ond was train­ing changes and the third step was actu­al­ly train­ing ser­vice mem­bers.

“The ser­vices have reviewed poli­cies and direc­tives that will require change, and are on tar­get to imple­ment them effec­tive the date of repeal,” he said. A repeal imple­men­ta­tion team and the ser­vices devel­oped the train­ing for the force and planned how to put that train­ing in place, Gort­ney said. “The ser­vices have imple­ment­ed these plans,” he said, “and are pro­ceed­ing smart­ly with the train­ing of tier 1, experts; tier 2, lead­er­ship; and tier 3, the total force.” Gort­ney said the Joint Chiefs of Staff dis­cuss the train­ing and mon­i­tor progress reg­u­lar­ly.

“Our intent is to ensure that a pre­pon­der­ance of the force, includ­ing the Reserve and Nation­al Guard, is pre­pared expe­di­tious­ly, but in a care­ful and respon­si­ble man­ner,” the admi­ral said.

The repeal will take effect 60 days after the defense sec­re­tary and the chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff cer­ti­fy the process should move ahead. “The sec­re­tary of defense and the chair­man will not cer­ti­fy until, in their judg­ments, the force is pre­pared to imple­ment the new poli­cies and reg­u­la­tions con­sis­tent with our stan­dards of mil­i­tary readi­ness, mil­i­tary effec­tive­ness, unit cohe­sion and recruit­ing and reten­tion of the armed forces,” Gort­ney said Both Stan­ley and Gort­ney said the mil­i­tary is being very delib­er­ate to ensure all ques­tions are answered before repeal.

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

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