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Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

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On March 2, 2010, the Secretary of Defense appointed the two of us to co-chair a working group to undertake a comprehensive review of the impacts of repeal, should it occur, of Section 654 of Title 10 of the United States Code, commonly known as the Dont Ask, Dont Tell law. In this effort, we were aided by a highly dedicated team of 49 military and 19 civilian personnel from across the Department of Defense and the Military Services. Our assignment from the Secretary was two-fold 1 assess the impact of repeal of Dont Ask, Dont Tell on military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, recruiting, retention, and family readiness and 2 recommend appropriate changes, if necessary, to existing regulations, policies, and guidance in the event of repeal. The Secretary directed us to deliver our assessment and recommendations to him by December 1, 2010. This document constitutes our report of that assessment and our recommendations. The Secretary also directed us to develop a plan of action to support implementation of a repeal of Dont Ask, Dont Tell. That plan accompanies this report. At the outset, it is important to note the environment in which we conducted our work the Nations military has been at war on several fronts for over 9 years. Much is being demanded from the force. The men and women in uniform who risk their lives to defend our Nation are, along with their families, stretched and stressed, and have faced years of multiple and lengthy deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Some question the wisdom of taking on the emotional and difficult issue of Dont Ask, Dont Tell on top of all else. For these and other reasons, the Secretary directed that we thoroughly, objectively and methodically examine all aspects of this question, and include, most importantly, the views of our men and women in uniform.

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  • Sociology and Law
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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