WHAT IS IT? "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) was the official United States policy on homosexuals serving in the military until September 20, 2011. President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Admiral Mike Mullen are satisfied that the military can implement the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law.
WHAT HAS THE ARMY DONE? The repeal law, passed in December 2010, mandated that service members receive training on the effects of the new policy. To date, more than 1.9 million active and reserve-component service members have received the training, which will continue through September 20, 2011.
In preparation of the repeal of the DADT policy, the Army has launched a website to provide service members and their families the most up-to-date information about the change. This website is also available to the public. http://www.army.mil/dadt
Two months after being posted on the Army Training Network, U.S. Army training materials on the repeal of DADT continue to be the most downloaded information on the Army training website, with more than 85,000 total downloads.
WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS? Training on changes to the DADT policy will continue until DADT is repealed on September 20, 2011. Service members will no longer be subject to administrative separation for engaging in homosexual conduct, including marrying or attempting to marry a person of the same sex. The repeal of DADT does not, however, change entitlement to military benefits. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the existing definition of "dependent" in some laws prohibit the Department of Defense from extending many military benefits to same-sex couples. Examples of such benefits are health care, housing allowance, and transportation allowance.
Commanders may not establish practices that physically segregate Soldiers according to sexual orientation. Commanders do have the discretion to alter billeting (housing) assignments to accommodate privacy concerns of individuals on a case-by-case basis where it is in the interest of maintaining morale, good order and discipline, and is consistent with performance of the mission.
There will be no changes regarding any Soldier's free exercise of religious beliefs, nor are there any changes to policies concerning the Chaplain Corps and its duties. The Chaplain Corps' First Amemdment freedoms and its duty to care for all will not change. Soldiers will continue to respect and servie with others who may hold different views and beliefs.
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