WASHINGTON, May 10, 2012 – A new report shows the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law is being implemented successfully in the military, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said during a news conference today.
The repeal of the law banning gay and lesbian people from open military service took effect Sept. 20, 2011. The secretary said he received the report on repeal implementation yesterday, and it shows repeal is going “very well” and according to the department’s plans.
“It’s not impacting on morale. It’s not impacting on unit cohesion. It is not impacting on readiness,” he said.
Panetta said he credits military leaders for effective repeal planning.
“Very frankly, my view is that the military has kind of moved beyond it,” he said. “It’s become part and parcel of what they’ve accepted within the military.”
During the same conference, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he has not seen “any negative effect on good order and discipline” resulting from the repeal.
In response to a reporter’s question of what the military had been afraid of in allowing open service, the chairman said,“We didn’t know.”
“We didn’t know.” That’s quite a frank, open statement. It seems to be a reflection of the the position DOD finds itself in now: We don’t know why we didn’t know that we didn’t know that this would be no big deal.