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Friday
Jan072011

DADT Repeal Picks Up Steam at Pentagon, Support from John McCain

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The process of implementing the repeal of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy at the Pentagon appears to be picking up steam.   Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said we’ll likely hear in two weeks from top DOD officials that the process for changing current regulations and coming up with a training schedule has been concluded.

Since the repeal was enacted, the Pentagon’s been working on what regulations, policies and benefits would need to be changed as a result of the repeal. That process is nearing completion and soon we’ll hear DOD Personnel Chief Cliff Stanley and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. James Cartwright describe those changes. That briefing is expected in about two weeks.

Regulations won’t actually change until after the certification process by Gates, Mullen and President Obama is complete.  They’re also working on how the training process will begin.  Lapan said they’ll also discuss the start and end dates for the three phases of that process for implementation of the repeal of DADT within the military.

The implementation process will involve training legal and human resource officers, in addition to chaplains and recruiting officers on what regulations will be changed within the military with regard to  repealing DADT.  Commanders and military officials will also have to be trained before informing and training the 2.2 million people making up the Armed Forces. 

Gates said Thursday the goal of the systematic repeal is “ to move as quickly, but as responsibly as possible” and he had asked that the first two phases be accelerated as quickly as possible so the “real challenge” of training the 2.2 million could begin.  Gates used the word "training," but Lapan says it’s more about "informing" rather than educating the force.

Gates said he was “struck” by the comments of one of the Joint Chiefs that it was “better to do this sooner rather than later, so we’re approaching it with that philosophy in mind.”   Mullen reminded gay service members that now is not the time to come out because DADT is still in place, “We'll get through this. We'll do it deliberately. We certainly are focused on this and we won't dawdle.”

Even foes of repealing the policy are changing their tone.

"I think I have to do everything I can to make sure that the impact on the morale, retention, recruitment and battle effectiveness of the military is minimized as much as possible," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Fox Business News. McCain led the charge against repeal. But now that the repeal is law, he said  he'll support it.

"It is a law and I have to do whatever I can to help the men and women who are serving, particularly in combat, cope with this new situation. I will do everything I can to make it work," said McCain.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio