According to this morning's Washington Post:
In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Michael Mullen also are expected to announce the creation of a group to assess how to carry out a full repeal of the decades-old "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which requires gay soldiers to keep their sexual orientation secret.
But Gates and Mullen are also expected to tell senators that it could take years to integrate gay men and lesbians fully into the military, defense officials said. Two appointees will be named to oversee a group that will draw up plans for integrating the armed forces, according to sources familiar with the Pentagon's deliberations on the subject. The planning effort is expected to take up to a year.
Among the issues to be addressed by the group: whether gay soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines will face any restrictions on exhibiting their sexual orientation on the job; whether the Pentagon will be obligated to provide for their domestic partners; and whether straight military personnel could be compelled to share quarters with gays
What a foot-dragging, anemic, crock of shit.
Years to implement?" It's really very easy: Just end it.
The military already has MANY gay and lesbian members SERVING AND FIGHTING AND DIEING. It is *NOT* a question of figuring out "how to let them in." THEY ARE IN ALREADY. Straight soldiers are ALREADY COMPELLED to share quarters with gay soldiers, just as white soldiers are COMPELLED to share quarters with black sodiers (gasp!)...and military preparedness and unit cohesion does not suffer.
But individual soldiers do suffer.
A group of soldiers are on leave or having a little down time at a local watering hole. Many of them comment on the tail they hope they get, or wolf-whistle at the waitress they call 'sweetheart,' and comment among themselves as to how hot she is. This of course, is normal, red-blooded American Boy-talk, right?
But one of the soldiers in their midst has to pretend. He has to force a smile, or force a stupid comment or become 'suspect' by the others. He can't be who he is, or say what or how he feels. Because if he does, he loses his job, his health insurance, his honor, his pension.
Elsewhere, a group of soldiers are talking about how they miss their wives and children, and sharing stories of Christmas and breakfasts and vacations, and how they can't wait to see them again. But another soldier is forced to lie, saying there is no one in his life, no one to go back to. If he admits to having a partner, he avoids or invents that partner's name...becasue if he shares his longing, too, he loses his job, his health insurance, his honor, his pension.
Oh, he's good enough to shoot and fight and die. He's good enough to serve, and receive medals and honors - As long as he lives in a closet of denial, as long as he shares nothing, as long as he avoids friendship with others in his platoon, as long as he holds everything so close to his chest that no one gets in.
President Obama, as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and as the Head of the Executive Branch, with one penstroke you can end DADT dismissals just as Harry Truman integrated the military. It's time to do it NOW, before another American hero loses his or her lifetime contribution to our nation because of your cowardice.