U.S. Repeals "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", Coast Guard Responds
Beginning Septemer 20th, the policy governing the service of gay and lesbian members – commonly referred to as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – has been repealed. Now implemented, the repeal allows gay and lesbian Americans to serve openly in the military.
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael Leavitt released a letter to the service earlier this morning informing Coast Guardsmen that all policies relating to “Don’t’ Ask, Don’t Tell” are no longer in effect. In the letter they addressed the repeal as well as their confidence in the service to hold fast to the service’s core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty.
“We will continue to Respect all our Shipmates today, just as we did yesterday, and we appreciate your continuing leadership as our Service implements this policy change,” wrote Papp and Leavitt in the letter.
PHOTO CAPTION: President Barack Obama signs the certification stating the statutory requirements for repeal of DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) have been met, in the Oval Office, July 22, 2011. Pictured, from left, are: Brian Bond, Deputy Director of the Office of Public Engagement; Kathleen Hartnett, Associate Counsel to the President; Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta; Kathryn Ruemmler, Counsel to the President; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen; and Vice President Joe Biden. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.
In December 2010, the President signed into law legislation to repeal 10 USC § 654, the statute which established the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Under rules outlined in the law, the president, secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were required to certify that implementation of the new policies and regulations written by the Department of Defense was consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion and recruiting and retention of the armed forces.
The “Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is available here.
Source: U.S. Coast Guard