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Posted at 4:25 PM ET, 02/ 8/2011

Navy sets deadline for completion of post-'don't ask, don't tell' training

By Ed O'Keefe

Preparing for the end of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, the Navy on Tuesday publicly disclosed details about how it plans to train personnel about gays and lesbians serving openly, saying it expects to finish that effort by June 30.

The military services all submitted their training plans to the Pentagon on Friday and officials provided final teaching materials, according to a Pentagon spokeswoman. The services are required to train the force in three phases, beginning with military chaplains, lawyers and civilian public affairs officers, followed by commanding officers and the rank and file.

In a message sent to sailors Tuesday, the Navy said it will complete training for commanders no later than April 30 and for active and reserve personnel, Navy civilians and contractors two months later.

Training for commanders will include instructions on how to explain the policy changes and expectations of conduct to the rank and file. The training for active and reserve personnel and contractors will "emphasize policies and expectations of personal behavior," according to the Navy statement.

Though the Navy detailed its training plans in a publicly distributed message, the other services are preparing to begin training and could not provide further details, according to Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez.

Enforcement of "don't ask, don't tell" will officially stop two months after President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen certify that the military is ready to end the ban. Certification could occur before training is complete, military officials said last month.

The Navy's planned timetable isn't fast enough, said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a legal organization representing troops affected by the ban. If the other services follow the Navy's lead, repeal may not officially occur until September at the earliest, he said.

"I think that's very hard to explain to the majority of the force," Sarvis said in an interview. "Why would it take over nine months from the time the president signed the law to educate and train the bulk of the force when you consider that we can go to war halfway around the world in 90 days?"

Gates has said the Pentagon will move "as fast as we responsibly can" to end the ban, with the goal of doing so this year.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 8, 2011; 4:25 PM ET
Categories:  Military  
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Posted by: shaiarra | February 8, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh honey, turn off your caps-lock.

The navy is a big ship, it takes time to turn it around and they don't want to mess this up.

I think the plan is to talk it to death so by the time it's fully implemented everyone is just tired of the topic and nobody cares anymore.

Then we'll know the 21st century has really arrived.

Posted by: rwolf01 | February 8, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse


The condescending and sexist remarks are not appreciated.

Signed by a gay male.

Posted by: critter69 | February 8, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

"The condescending and sexist remarks are not appreciated. Signed by a gay male."

Yup, that's the kind of in your face attitude that's going to cause problems!

Posted by: VAfromMN1 | February 9, 2011 12:13 AM | Report abuse

In your face attitude is what caused the navy to "Turn Around" its sanctioned sexist nature against women.....I served then and we had a lot of in your face training....year after year....and it worked. And the Navy and the US armed forces are better for it.

There will be no problems if the Officers and Senior enlisted lead like they should.

Ive been there.

Posted by: burklarr116 | February 9, 2011 3:38 AM | Report abuse

Post-tailhook in '92, we had an angry female chief shriek at our all-male crew for an hour. What a waste of time.

I imagine this "training" will be the same sort of condescending, elitist, inane sociology door room bong session nonsense.

Bottom line is that good sailors, who do their jobs and don't cause problems, will and have done fine whether gay, straight, woman, foot fetish, whatever.

Sailors who think the world revolves around them and who feel a need to call attention to their extra-special uniqueness and sensitive feelings, will always have a problem.

Don't ask, don't tell, don't want to hear about and and don't care, will always be in fashion. In a professional environment, be professional. I don't care what you do when you are not at work, so don't bring it up. Good policy.

Posted by: NoDonkey | February 9, 2011 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Homosexuality forced upon the troops who don't want it. Obama has pushed this country into the abyss and we await GOD's judgement. To think that this country would stoop to the demands of ones with deviate sexual practices.

Posted by: jenersea | February 11, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

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