USA — Repeal Plan Proceeding Quickly, Officials Say

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2011 — The plan to end the ban on gay men and les­bians serv­ing open­ly in the mil­i­tary is pro­gress­ing quick­ly, senior Defense Depart­ment offi­cials said here today.

Clif­ford L. Stan­ley, under­sec­re­tary of defense for per­son­nel and readi­ness, and Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke to Pen­ta­gon reporters in the first of a series of brief­in­gs that will chart the department’s progress in imple­ment­ing repeal of the law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

“My sense is [we have a] real­ly good work­ing rela­tion­ship with the ser­vices as we do this, … not only the ser­vice chiefs, but the senior enlist­ed,” Stan­ley said. “You get good vibes about where we are in terms of coop­er­a­tion [and] infor­ma­tion com­ing forth.”

Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma signed the repeal into law Dec. 22, with pro­vi­sions ensur­ing the repeal will not take place until 60 days after he, Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, cer­ti­fy the mil­i­tary ser­vices are ready.

As part of today’s brief­ing, offi­cials dis­trib­uted copies of two mem­os con­tain­ing the department’s guid­ance on repeal imple­men­ta­tion. The first, signed by Gates, sets a plan­ning dead­line of Feb. 4. The sec­ond, which Stan­ley signed, out­lines pol­i­cy changes.

“Strong, engaged and informed lead­er­ship will be required at every lev­el to imple­ment the repeal … prop­er­ly, effec­tive­ly, and in a delib­er­ate and care­ful man­ner,” Gates’ memo read in part.

“This is not, how­ev­er, a change that should be done incre­men­tal­ly. The steps lead­ing to cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and the actu­al repeal must be accom­plished across the entire depart­ment at the same time,” the memo con­tin­ued.

Gates’ guid­ing prin­ci­ples for imple­men­ta­tion stress respect for indi­vid­u­als and com­mon across-the-ser­vices stan­dards, while pro­hibit­ing harass­ment, unlaw­ful dis­crim­i­na­tion and poli­cies based sole­ly on sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion.

Gates direct­ed that a repeal imple­men­ta­tion team lead the process to devel­op plans, update poli­cies and train the force. “What you’re going to see as we move for­ward, we have actu­al­ly

three tiers as we get to the train­ing part,” Stan­ley said.

The three lev­els of train­ing begin with pol­i­cy mak­ers, chap­lains, lawyers and coun­selors; con­tin­ue with lead­ers includ­ing com­mand­ing offi­cers, senior non­com­mis­sioned offi­cers and senior civil­ians; and cul­mi­nate with troops across the ser­vices.

Cartwright said the tiers don’t have to be sequen­tial, and the ser­vices can con­duct the lev­els of train­ing as they see fit.

Present at today’s brief­ing were Vir­ginia “Vee” Pen­rod, deputy assis­tant sec­re­tary for mil­i­tary per­son­nel pol­i­cy and chair­woman of the repeal imple­men­ta­tion team, and Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Steven Hum­mer, the team’s chief of staff.

Pen­rod said the team has worked for sev­er­al weeks with ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tives to devel­op train­ing guid­ance, mod­ules and plans. “We expect to have those accom­plished next week,” she said. “It’s been a joint effort, with not only the mil­i­tary depart­ments but [also] the Joint Staff, to devel­op con­sis­tent train­ing.”

Hum­mer said the team is devel­op­ing a “stan­dard­ized commander’s toolk­it” for the train­ing effort. The ser­vices can tai­lor the toolk­it to ensure the train­ing meets their spe­cif­ic needs, he added. The train­ing pack­ets will include videos fea­tur­ing the ser­vice com­man­ders, pre­sen­ta­tions out­lin­ing pol­i­cy con­sid­er­a­tions, and a series of vignettes train­ers can use to spur audi­ence dis­cus­sions.

The team also is charged with prepar­ing progress reports and updat­ing Gates every two weeks on pol­i­cy devel­op­ment and train­ing progress.

“We know, when you’re deal­ing with 2 and half mil­lion peo­ple and a new pol­i­cy, that we’re prob­a­bly going to have some dis­cov­ery as we go,” Cartwright said. The two-week updates pro­vide a feed­back mech­a­nism that will allow defense and ser­vice lead­ers to track what they’ve learned, react, and then move for­ward, he added. “That will all be con­sid­ered in the so-called cal­cu­lus of when we go to the sec­re­tary and the chair­man to cer­ti­fy,” the vice chair­man said.

Stanley’s memo detailed mil­i­tary pol­i­cy changes that will hap­pen when repeal takes place. Defense offi­cials empha­sized that any changes will not take effect until repeal is imple­ment­ed, and that all cur­rent poli­cies remain in force in the mean­time.

Most poli­cies will not change, includ­ing those cov­er­ing stan­dards of con­duct, equal oppor­tu­ni­ty, per­son­al pri­va­cy, mil­i­tary ben­e­fits, med­ical treat­ment and duty assign­ments. But recruit­ing, re-access­sions and sep­a­ra­tion poli­cies will change. Sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion will no longer serve as a bar to enlist­ment or a return to the mil­i­tary, or as a rea­son for dis­missal.

Stan­ley said that while the depart­ment does­n’t see the need for many pol­i­cy changes, there is a def­i­nite need for pol­i­cy clar­i­fi­ca­tion.

“We are fun­da­men­tal­ly focused right now on our lead­er­ship, pro­fes­sion­al­ism, dis­ci­pline and respect,” he said. “I have to under­score that every per­son who serves and who wears a uni­form — and to include our civil­ians, who are work­ing with­in the Depart­ment of Defense — they take an oath. And that oath breaks into that foun­da­tion of lead­er­ship, pro­fes­sion­al­ism, dis­ci­pline and respect.”

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 →