Last week, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates moved to implement changes to the military's enforcement of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
The changes come after Gates requested a Department of Defense review of DADT enforcement Feb. 2, with the goal of "[enforcing] the law in a fairer and more appropriate manner" in a way which remains "within the confines of the existing law."
The review, which was conducted with input from all the Military Services and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, resulted in revisions to two regulations which form DADT: DoD Instruction 1332.14 ("Enlisted Administrative Separations") and 1332.30 ("Separation of Regular and Reserve Commissioned Officers"). Click here to view the revisions
Moving forward, DADT enforcement will be different in several ways:
- Only a general or flag officer in the servicemember's chain of command may initiate a fact-finding inquiry or separate the servicemember for homosexual conduct.
- Only O-5s or above may conduct fact-finding inquiries into homosexual conduct.
- Information provided by third parties concerning others' homosexual conduct should be given under oath and not based on overheard statements and hearsay.
- Inquiries may not be initiated based on information given from someone who may be motivated to harm the servicemember in question.
- Evidence for discharge may not be gathered from lawyers, clergy, psychotherapists, other medical professionals, or from security clearance investigations, in accordance with existing DoD policies.
ROA's interest in the current law regarding gays in the military is only in the context of how such service will or won't affect morale, readiness, and national security. We want to hear from the people in the field who best know what the effects or non-effects on morale and readiness might be resulting from any changes to the current law or how it is implemented. Those people are the younger NCOs and Officers in command positions. A rush to judgment today makes no sense until all the possible effects of any change are studied. Once such information is available, ROA may elect to form an official opinion on any changes to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."