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'Don't ask, don't tell' divides secretaries, commanders [View All]

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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-24-10 01:37 PM
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'Don't ask, don't tell' divides secretaries, commanders
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'Don't ask, don't tell' divides secretaries, commanders

The three service secretaries now with the power to discharge any openly gay officer under the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy have all voiced their support for a repeal of the controversial policy in the past, putting them at odds with the senior military commanders.

"It's the first time in the 20 years I've spent studying the military that there has been a split between the Defense Secretary and the Secretary of the Joint Chiefs and the other chiefs," said professor David Segal, director of the University of Maryland's Center for Research on Military Organization.

A directive from Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday limited discharges under the policy to an elite team of five: the Air Force, Army, and Navy Secretaries in conjunction with the Pentagon's legal counsel and the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.
Each of these officials is a political appointee. While President Obama was granted his request for an emergency stay on a district court's ruling to overturn the law, he has supported a legislative repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" since the beginning of his term.

"I think the civilians are in line with the administration," Segal said. "In the short run, is going to slow down the process of . In the past, up until now, fairly low ranking officers could release enlisted personnel who were gay ... which made for inconsistency."
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