Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Rep. Hunter Ignores Service Chiefs’ Advice, Demands Their Approval for DADT Repeal
Press Release

RELEASE: Rep. Hunter Ignores Service Chiefs’ Advice, Demands Their Approval for DADT Repeal

Press Contacts

  • Christina DiPasquale

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Washington, D.C. — Today Think Progress released “Rep. Hunter Ignores Service Chiefs’ Advice By Demanding Their Approval For DADT Repeal” to highlight a proposed amendment, expected to be offered today in the House Armed Services Committee markup of the FY 2012 Defense Authorization bill by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), that would delay the repeal of the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” law.

Training to implement the repeal of DADT, which prohibits openly gay and lesbian Americans from serving in the armed forces, is already underway. The policy will be phased out 60 days after the president, secretary of defense, and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that repeal will not undermine military effectiveness, a decision that could come as soon as next month. Hunter’s amendment would insert another unnecessary step in this already comprehensive process, requiring that all four military service chiefs also provide certification before repeal can be implemented.

Hunter claims the service chiefs should weigh in because they “are far more closely connected to the day-to-day realities facing each respective service than those who are currently required to sign off on the repeal,” but the Pentagon has already completed an exhaustive survey of hundreds of thousands of members of the armed forces. On the basis of this survey, a high-level study group formulated recommendations for the type of pre-repeal training currently taking place across the military services. This unprecedented effort more than satisfies Hunter’s requirement for closer examination of the day-to-day realities of the troops.

Moreover, our military leadership, including the service chiefs, has repeatedly disagreed with the need for additional certifiers. In fact, Gen. George Casey, chief of staff of the Army until last month, has noted that such a requirement could undermine the role of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who he noted is designated by law as “the principal provider of military advice.” Hunter’s effort to insert additional certification requirements is nothing more than another attempt to slow-walk the process with the hope of keeping DADT in place in perpetuity.

To read the full post, click here.

To speak with CAP Action experts on this issue, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.481.8181 or