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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 01/ 7/2011

Pentagon moving fast to end 'don't ask,' Gates says

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates wants military leaders to start training troops about the formal end to the "don't ask, dont' tell" policy in a "very few weeks," he said Thursday.

He said Pentagon officials are working quickly on a three-part plan: overhauling applicable military personnel policy and benefits; providing training for top brass and military chaplains; and then formally instructing the nation's 2.2 million troops on the ban's repeal.

Troop training will be done "as expeditiously as we can," the secretary said, but it will prove challenging, because "there's just a certain element of physics associated with the number of people involved in this process." He did not elaborate.

Gates's remarks, at a Pentagon news conference on planned military spending cuts, were his first in public on "don't ask, don't tell" since President Obama signed a law ending the ban on gays in the military in late December.

Clifford L. Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel, has been instructed to quickly draft changes to personnel policy and the Uniform Code of Military Justice and to complete the training of top military leaders, Gates said.

"It's better to do this sooner rather than later," Gates said. "So we're kind of approaching it with that -- with that philosophy in mind."

At the same briefing, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen warned troops that the ban remains in effect until Obama formally certifies the repeal.

"Now's not the time to -- to come out, if you will," Mullen said at the same briefing.

(Gates further discussed the spending cuts and plans to end "don't ask, don't tell" on Thursday's "PBS NewsHour".)

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

Cabinet and Staff News: President Obama to be interviewed by Bill O'Reilly on Super Bowl Sunday. William Daley officially named White House chief of staff. Vice President Biden implores young ladies: "No dating 'til your 30." Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is headed to the Persian Gulf region this weekend. Raise the debt limit to avoid a national catastrophe, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warns. Paul Volcker set to leave Obama's economic advisory board. Gene Sperling's ascension could ruffle feathers.

CIA:
Former CIA officer charged in leak probe: Jeffrey A. Sterling, 43, of O'Fallon, Mo., was charged with 10 felony counts, including obstruction of justice and unauthorized disclosure of national defense information.

DEFENSE DEPARTMENT:
Pentagon to cut spending by $78 billion, reduce troop strength: The surprise announcement from Gates was a reminder for the military establishment that it will not remain exempt from painful austerity measures.

FINANCIAL REFORM:
Senate Democrats warn GOP on agency funding: Top Senate Democrats warned Republicans that failure to fund the agencies tasked with overseeing the financial markets would dramatically impair new rules passed by the last Congress.

GOVERNMENT WORK/LIFE/OPERATIONS:
Memo clarifies status of federal interns during program overhaul: According to Berry's memo, agencies can continue to hire employees under the PMF program, the Student Career Experience Program and the Student Temporary Employment Program until additional regulations are finalized, while all activities under Federal Career Intern Program will end March 1.

IRS:
GOP moves to repeal IRS, bank bailouts: Some lawmakers want to abolish the agency and the tax code, replacing the latter with a national sales tax.

STATE DEPARTMENT:
Sudan vote comes together after rocky Obama effort to prevent violence: The White House has launched a diplomatic offensive, with the president pressing Sudanese and world leaders for a timely referendum

TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT:
U.S. to offer compromise in Mexican trucking dispute: Under a "concept document" released Thursday, Mexican truckers would be allowed to apply for permits to operate in the U.S., and undergo inspections and safety audits by U.S. authorities.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | January 7, 2011; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener, Military  
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Comments

let me get this right,the liberal politicians almost split the country in half with their DADT repeal now they are going to discharge troops,and GOD BLESS ALL OF THEM.if anyone tells me that thia adminisration knows what they are doing i might have to slap them.

Posted by: SISSD1 | January 7, 2011 8:03 AM | Report abuse

SISSD1 - are you upset the military let women and african americans serve too? And PS it didn't split the country in half (more like 70/30 in favor which is about the ration of bigots to non-bigots in this country.) I guess we know which side of that dividing line you're on...

Posted by: maximillian1 | January 7, 2011 8:19 AM | Report abuse

All the good ole boy bigots and frat-boy hates like OP 'Honors' should be let go ASAP. Our military needs officers and enlisted men and women who are true patriots,value people from all walks of life, know that diversity is a blessing and that freedoms are for every American, not just a select few.

Posted by: 10bestfan | January 7, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I don't get what's to implement. Repealing DADT merely means that you quit firing and harassing people for being gay. They are already in place, working their jobs and defending your country. JUST QUIT FIRING THEM!

Posted by: AxelDC | January 7, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

The military has been leaning forward on this since President Obama was elected, by a commanding margin, on a campaign platform that included as one component the repeal of DADT.

All the reporting has said that Mullen and Gates discussed it with Obama as an issue from their first 2008 meetings right on through, including the delay of two years that has already occurred, to give the military bureaucracy time to prepare for this.

Given the amount of preparation to date, long before the Senate's vote, and the impressive, detailed report with specific policy recommendations, this matter has been teed up and is ready to go. I am pleased that they have done their preparation and are now saluting and stepping out smartly, as promised.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter1 | January 7, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I don't get what's to implement. Repealing DADT merely means that you quit firing and harassing people for being gay. They are already in place, working their jobs and defending your country. JUST QUIT FIRING THEM!

Posted by: AxelDC |

__________________________________________

Agreed.

Posted by: dc1020008 | January 7, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Our troops have been serving under openly gay officers for years, with little or no problems. They are a part of a NATO mission and several NATO participants allow openly gay service members. This entire repeal of DADT is a non-issue as far as those participating in NATO operations are concerned.

Posted by: thw2001 | January 7, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Axel notes that the decision has been made, and he asks what's to be implemented.

Unfortunately, the time for a direct order from the top, saying that ALL service members are to be fully respected and treated properly, has passed us by, if it ever existed. A third of our service members expressed doubt/concern/opposition to the new policy. Whether it was fear, bigotry or ignorance, they need to be reassured, educated or dealt with, and some don't want to hear or understand the message. GLT service members need to be educated, as well. Leaders need to deal with their special role, as well. All of them need to fit this new policy with the overall mission. Disruptive behavior, prejudice, violence and untoward display of sexuality need to be avoided. It's going to take a little time to get EVERYBODY's head turned around.

Yes, we want the services to stop throwing out useful, dedicated service members because of their sexual orientation, but how will we feel when the services throw out useful, dedicated members because the latter won't/can't accept the policy and the order to respect it? I expect that our military will lose a lot of talented and experienced people over this change, and replacing them will take money and time.

Posted by: JKGordon | January 7, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

For the people who think this is just a simple don't fire them anymore they have their head in the sand. Nothing like this has happened since the male and female forces were all put in one unit rather than separate parts of each service. This is a big deal because all the regulations have to be redone, management needs to be briefed and on board and know what the consequences will be if things happen. Just so you know things will happen and not all of them will be good. This has been a long time coming and it is now here. This will not be a smooth process for the ones coming out so to say. Sure this will be done but if you don't think there won't be some major problems get real because there will be and human nature is the reason there will be problems.

Posted by: Concerned5 | January 7, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I don't get what's to implement. Repealing DADT merely means that you quit firing and harassing people for being gay. They are already in place, working their jobs and defending your country. JUST QUIT FIRING THEM!

Posted by: AxelDC
______________________________________

It's not quite that simple. First, the UCMJ law has to be removed banning gays from serving.
There are lots of policies in the UCMJ governing both the professional and personal lives of straight men and women serving in the military (who may socialize together, date, etc.) They will have to review those and see whether those existing ones are adequate or whether additional ones need to be added to address the lives of gay and lesbian service members.
Once those policy changes have been defined, then that information has to be disseminated to 2.2 million service members scattered all over the world.
That just doesn't happen overnight.

Posted by: BootmanDC | January 7, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Yep. Need to reduce health care expense for the retired military so we can afford the health care of the partners of active duty gays.

Posted by: Philly33 | January 7, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Being gay or lesbian is not any of these things: terms of race, ethnicity, gender or handicap nor is (gay/lesbian)diversity a blessing(a far cry from that one) especially for a country at war. Being gay/lesbian is not a disease either it is just a sexual preference. Everyone has the choice to order any meal any where any time and anywhere in America but is that not a preference. What is the difference in choosing or being gay/lesbian there is not a difference because it is a a sexual preference. No one wants to stand for anything any more they just want diversity.
Diversity can also bring disorder or destruction. This topic has overshadowed our country. A military man is loosing his job because he expressed his opinion about gay/lesbian his cause was/is worth fighting for but his way of handling was not. Whats right whats wrong now adays is this where diversity has brought our country to and has left us with no morals. It is so sad to see two men adopting babies as if a women was not needed. Where is our country headed to the same path as Sodom and Gomorrah? YES.

Posted by: eili_07seewhat | January 8, 2011 2:39 AM | Report abuse

Many active gay servicemen and women are finding support at http://OutMilitary.com - a liberating social network for gay and lesbians in the military. Military vets and supporters are also welcomed.

Posted by: joined | January 8, 2011 9:18 AM | Report abuse

It is so disgusting to read these comments that defend people who practice the most degenerate, disease spreading sexual acts!
How did we ever get to this point of calling us bigots who disagree with these abominable practices of "fisting, golden showers, and felching"? (google these terms)
And the "idiot" term of "diversity" should never include those whom God did not design, and He condemns those who enjoy sodomy to hell!

Posted by: lyn3 | January 8, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

AS I write this, most people were positive on ending DADT, although there seems to be some question as to the details.

I noted a couple negative comments re eg Soddom and Gemmorrah, diversity and morals etc.

These comments are all based on the idea that some people think they can impose their beliefs on others, which btw is really what 9/11 was about.

And those people were the same type of people who supported slavery and segregartion as per the bible, and gave us the KKK etc etc.

YOu simply don't impose your religious beliefs onothers, or I'm willing to buy you a ticket to Afghanistan where the shoe will be on the talibans foot.

Religion is about beliefs, period. it can be for the greatest good, or it can be for the worst of evils. And really that is what the naysayers are about. - evil and imposition of religious prejudices on others.

The big deal about ending DADT besides its damage to our national security, is that allthough many soldiers know and respect gay people and know they are gay.......So many more will respect those gay people they work with and yes risk their lives to save others.

And the respect will result in innoculating the str8 soldiers against the hatred spewed out by some churches.

and hopefully a lot of those ministers who need someone to hate to sell their "love" will end up preaching to the person next to them in the unemployment line.

Good ridddance to the worst amongst us.

Posted by: SJames6621 | January 12, 2011 1:03 AM | Report abuse

JK Gordon said: but how will we feel when the services throw out useful, dedicated members because the latter won't/can't accept the policy .....end quote

They will follow orders or else. If they are brave enough to face the enemy and death, accepting that the guy next to them in the foxhole or whatever is there to protect them as they are there to protect him, as well as acomplish the mission.

I predict that the ones who cant make the change will be the criminals and degenerates etc etc who the mil had to take in to fill slots which were empty due to the 14000 discharged gay soldiers.

And the 4000 per year we know who will not re-enlist because they are tired of having to lie every day. And the estimated same number who never will join for the same reason.

it sounds like a win - win for the mil and us. The only losers will be those who are losers in the first place

Posted by: SJames6621 | January 12, 2011 1:10 AM | Report abuse

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