Admiral Mullen on certification of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal: “we won’t dawdle”

January 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm 87 comments

By Adam Bink

Here’s Ed O’Keefe’s report on movement regarding certification of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”:

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates wants military leaders to start training troops about the formal end to the “don’t ask, dont’ tell” policy in a “very few weeks,” he said Thursday.

He said Pentagon officials are working quickly on a three-part plan: overhauling applicable military personnel policy and benefits; providing training for top brass and military chaplains; and then formally instructing the nation’s 2.2 million troops on the ban’s repeal.

Troop training will be done “as expeditiously as we can,” the secretary said, but it will prove challenging, because “there’s just a certain element of physics associated with the number of people involved in this process.” He did not elaborate.

Gates’s remarks, at a Pentagon news conference on planned military spending cuts, were his first in public on “don’t ask, don’t tell” since President Obama signed a law ending the ban on gays in the military in late December.

Clifford L. Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel, has been instructed to quickly draft changes to personnel policy and the Uniform Code of Military Justice and to complete the training of top military leaders, Gates said.

“It’s better to do this sooner rather than later,” Gates said. “So we’re kind of approaching it with that — with that philosophy in mind.”

Via our friends at AMERICABlog Gay, here’s also a partial transcript of the news conference recently:

SEC. GATES: Well, everything having to do with the FY ’12 budget will go through the regular congressional budget process. So a lot of these program changes that I talked about clearly will have to — have to go through them.

Q: (Off mic) — “don’t ask, don’t tell,” it’s been a few weeks since the repeal. Can you give us an update on how anything has proceeded since then, given the promise was no foot-dragging?

SEC. GATES: Yeah. Our goal here is to — is to move as quickly but as responsibly as possible. I see this as a — as a three-step process. The first is to finalize changes in regulations, policies, get clearer definition on benefits.

The second phase is to then prepare the training materials for use first of all with the experts, if you will, the personnel people, the chaplains, the judge advocate generals; and second, the leaders, commanders; and then third, the troops. So there’s the policy piece, the training — preparation piece, and then the actual training.

We’re trying to get the first two phases of that process done as quickly as possible. My hope is that it can be done within a matter of a very few weeks so that we can then move on to what is the real challenge, which is providing training to 2.2 million people.

And we will — we will do that as expeditiously as we can. But as the — to use the term the chairman’s used, there’s just a certain element of physics associated with the number of people involved in this process.

But we are moving it as — and I have asked Under Secretary [Cliff] Stanley to accelerate the first two phases of this process as much as he possibly can so that we can get on with the training process. I was very struck by one of the chief’s comments that it’s better to — better to do this sooner rather than later. So we’re kind of approaching it with that — with that philosophy in mind.

ADM. MULLEN: The only thing I’d add is, just to remind, you know, the law has not changed, won’t until it is certified; and there’s 60 days after certification. And so now is not — from my perspective, you know, now is not the time to “come out,” if you will. We’ll get through this. We’ll do it deliberately. We certainly are focused on this. And we won’t — we won’t dawdle.

You may recall that over 800 of you contributed well over $20,000 towards making sure that we don’t do just that- “dawdle”. This had dragged on for far longer than it should have during this Administration, and at times I certainly would have characterized that as dawdling. Hopefully, we will see quicker movement on certification. If not, then we have people, and money, that are ready to hold feet to the fire- and aren’t afraid to push.

Entry filed under: Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Rest in peace, David Thanks for the push, Maggie. We like this Michigan poll too

87 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ann S.  |  January 7, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Boorah!

    Reply
    • 2. Kathleen  |  January 7, 2011 at 1:28 pm

      Reply
      • 3. Sagesse  |  January 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm

        √√

        Reply
        • 4. Lesbians Love Boies  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm

          Boorah! + √ + √√ + √√√

          Reply
          • 5. Elizabeth Oakes  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm

            You know, this hyper-competitiveness is really ruining it for me.

          • 6. Elizabeth Oakes  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm

            Oh, and checking the box. :P

          • 7. JonT  |  January 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm

  • 8. anonygrl  |  January 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Weeks. Not months.

    Wow!

    Reply
  • 9. Rhie  |  January 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Watchin

    Reply
  • 10. Joel  |  January 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Can someone please explain to me what “training” is necessary? I understand updating and revising the UMCJ, and determining benefits, but training?

    Did the troops need to be “trained” when they were integrated? When women were allowed to serve?

    Reply
    • 11. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 7, 2011 at 2:36 pm

      Einstein said, “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”

      Unfortunately, he was right. It should be “common sense” that LGBT personnel would simply be off-limits for harassment, superfluous discharge, etc. I’ve noticed the phenomenon all too often in my own workplace that people will try to weasel around the rules if you don’t get point-blank about it, including numerous variations on the “didn’t get the memo” theme. And then you’ve got the ones who are simply problem service-members (who I think should simply be discharged themselves) who won’t go along with the program. It’s simultaneously an attempt to preemptively get those people in line, or to set the groundwork for their discharges. That’s my 2¢.

      Reply
      • 12. fiona64  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:15 pm

        Captain Honors, of the USS Enterprise.

        /nitpick

        Love,
        Fiona

        Reply
        • 13. JonT  |  January 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm

          formerly of the USS Enterprise.

          /nitpick nitpick

          :)

          Reply
    • 14. fiona64  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:01 pm

      Joel, where it comes to women being allowed to serve — you need to remember that one in three women will be raped during her tour of duty in the US military, and two-thirds of those assailants will be her male colleagues. The military only prosecutes eight percent of those assaults. This is something of a sore point to me, for obvious reasons.

      Now, that said …

      Yes, it should be no big deal. Unfortunately, we know that (at least amongst the lower enlisted), being worldly and well-educated is not exactly rife throughout the military forces. Recruiters go to the impoverished areas *first.* Most of the lower enlisted are kids with a high school education or a GED, and not a lot of understanding of what goes on in the world around them. The good news is that these kids are also trained to be followers … so they’ll do what they’re told for the most part.

      I have no doubt that there will be problems, to be honest. I worked for DoD for too long to think otherwise (for crying out loud, I worked with an E-6 in a medical brigade who thought it possible to get rabies from an insect — there are ignorant people everywhere). However, the majority of people on this planet recognize that the times, they are a-changin’, and the bigots will out themselves and be disciplined (just as they were when the armed forces were integrated).

      Love,
      Fiona

      Reply
      • 15. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 10, 2011 at 7:12 am

        scary insights!

        Reply
    • 16. Ann S.  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:07 pm

      Given the scandal over Commander (if that’s the correct rank) Honors, recently of the USS Hornet, they need a little training all up and down the ranks on what is appropriate behavior and what is not — especially since standards are changing, although it may have been needed even before now.

      Even if they just gave everyone a 1-hour class in what the new regulations are to be that govern everyone’s conduct, that’s going to take a while — first you have to develop the class, train the trainers, rotate everyone in the military through these classes, etc.

      But I have no experience of the military, so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. It seems to me that in an organization that size everything takes a while.

      Reply
      • 17. fiona64  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:16 pm

        Oops … posted in the wrong place.

        The man is a captain (O-6), and the ship is the USS Enterprise. This guy was the commander of an aircraft carrier; he should *definitely* have known better (ref: Tailhook, for those of us old enough to remember … and I was dating a naval aviator at the time that mess went down, so I definitely recall).

        Love,
        Fiona

        Reply
        • 18. Ann S.  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm

          Oops, sorry — I should have checked my facts. But yes, you would think we could expect better from the captain of the USS Enterprise.

          Reply
          • 19. JonT  |  January 7, 2011 at 4:59 pm

            I’m surprised Spock put up with it for so long.

            Ahem. Sorry :)

          • 20. Ann S.  |  January 7, 2011 at 5:02 pm

            Phasers on stun!!!

          • 21. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 7, 2011 at 8:36 pm

            I thought Captain Honors looked as if he had already been stunned in that video. Don’t phasers also have a disintegrate setting, to match what that video did to Honors’ career?

        • 22. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm

          Stop the Top Gun flashbacks, I want to get off! ;)

          Reply
          • 23. Michelle Evans  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:37 pm

            US Navy Tail Hook scandal. Top Gun was the Tom Cruise movie. :-)

          • 24. fiona64  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:56 pm

            My guy was an A-6 driver, not a fighter. As the bumper sticker on his car read, “Fighter pilots make movies; bomber pilots make history.”

            (Then they made “Flight of the Intruder,” which was about bomber pilots … who flew A-6s.)

            Love,
            Fiona

          • 25. Lesbians Love Boies  |  January 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm

            My father was a pilot in the Army. He flew low to draw the fire so they could see where the enemy was during Vietnam – and was shot down twice – yet he kept going back for more. Gotta give him and other pilots credit for the ‘no guts no glory’ attitude.

          • 26. Steve  |  January 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm

            Calling the A-6 a “bomber” is misleading though. It was a ground attack aircraft. Hence the “A” designation.

          • 27. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 7, 2011 at 4:38 pm

            It was the term ‘naval aviator’, the way Tom said it in the film, and the fact that Maverick served aboard the Enterprise that keyed it. I have funny memory cues, I know. :)

      • 28. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 7, 2011 at 8:13 pm

        He was a Captain. I believe he was a commander when the video which became the straw that broke the camel’s back was made. In any event, I am glad to see him relieved of his command. By the time you reach the rank of commander you should be enough of a professional not to make videos like that. And my only surprise is that this one did not surface until just now after he was promoted to Captain. Especially since he made the comment in the early part of the video that he had already been in trouble for similar videos in the past. But then, some fools never learn, right?

        Reply
  • 29. rocketeer500  |  January 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I hope that Gates keeps his word. However, our community and allies must now keep a watchful eye on him, and not allow the “weeks” to become “months”.

    Reply
  • 30. Kathleen  |  January 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I thought people here might want to know about this travesty:
    Virginia Foxx to Head Subcommittee on Higher Education
    http://www.care2.com/causes/education/blog/homophobic-congresswoman-to-head-house-subcommittee-on-higher-education/

    There’s a link to a petition in the article, if you feel so inclined.

    Reply
    • 31. Ann S.  |  January 7, 2011 at 2:23 pm

      That’s as big a travesty as Michelle Bachmann being on the Intelligence Committee and Issa being on the Oversight Committee.

      Reply
      • 32. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 7, 2011 at 2:44 pm

        Issa is definitely an oversight, but I’m woefully ignorant of Bachmann. Off to study up.

        Reply
        • 33. Ann S.  |  January 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm

          You’ll be amused and appalled by turns at Bachmann. I don’t know how she keeps getting re-elected.

          Reply
          • 34. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm

            Just browsed her Wiki entry and I’m about ready to sick up! :P Srsly? Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act? Thanks for the eye-opening, Ann! :)

          • 35. Ann S.  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm

            Chris, there are some people pushing for a Palin-Bachmann (or maybe Bachmann-Palin) ticket in 2012 — maybe pushed most of all (all the while denying it of course) by Palin and Bachmann. It would be hard to know whether to laugh or cry if that came about.

          • 36. nightshayde  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm

            I’ll stick to laughter, as long as they lose.

          • 37. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm

            I think scary is too mild a term for either of those women being in charge of national politics.

          • 38. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 7, 2011 at 8:33 pm

            Either MIchele Bachmann or Sarah Palin getting her hands on anything at the national level other than a fake spot as a fake newscaster for a fake news channel is not just scary, as has been said. That is absolutely TERRIFYING!

          • 39. Lesbians Love Boies  |  January 7, 2011 at 8:35 pm

            Actually, a Palin-Bachmann ticket in 2012 guarantee’s an obama win.

    • 40. Joel  |  January 7, 2011 at 2:26 pm

      Signed. There is one really awful comment on the page about Matthew Shepard. Hateful and spiteful.

      Reply
      • 41. JonT  |  January 7, 2011 at 5:03 pm

        If I recall, I think it was Fox, on the House floor, who called Mathew Sheppards murder a ‘Hoax’.

        Yeah, great bunch of loons running house committees this term.

        Reply
        • 42. Kathleen  |  January 7, 2011 at 5:25 pm

          Yes, that’s the same loon. Someone, in a facebook status (sorry can’t remember who – Matt? Jeremy?) said it was as though Comedy Central had cast the committee chairs.

          Reply
          • 43. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 8, 2011 at 7:46 am

            Even Comedy Central has some sense of deceny!

  • 44. Rich  |  January 7, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Just look to the militaries in other countries that have no prohibition of gay soldiers; they have been through this. Another point to consider: in our public schools, gay bashing and bigotry is unacceptable, period….zero tolerance. You do it, you can get expelled and/or arrested. The leadership is in charge I hope.

    Reply
  • 45. Kathleen  |  January 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    There have been a number of motion filed (pro se) in the DADT case (LCR v USA) by some guy named Dr. Joseph Zernik. They seem to be claiming that the case from the district court wasn’t properly certified and that the establishment of the PACER and electronic filing system is a denial of some rights or another….

    Does anyone know who this person is? My initial reaction is that this is the work of someone who’s slightly ‘off’ – anyone have connections to LCR who could ask if these have any real significance in the case?

    I’ll upload the docs if they interest anyone, but they seem to be only slightly more based in reality than the John Doe filing in Perry, not nearly as entertaining reading as that one, and may just be red herrings,

    Reply
    • 46. Alan E.  |  January 7, 2011 at 2:43 pm

      Do you mean the 5 emails (at least that I’ve received so far) that mention the “USCA opinion” or “order”?

      Reply
      • 47. Kathleen  |  January 7, 2011 at 2:52 pm

        No. Those emails are from the district court in Perry. And they’re nothing to be concerned about. Those are just placing the items from the 9th Circuit – the opinons, memo re: recusal, etc. – onto the docket for the district court case and are thus duplicates of things we’ve already seen.

        I’m talking about a bunch of filing in the DADT case – LCR v USA, also being appealed in the 9th Circuit.

        Reply
  • 48. Ben  |  January 7, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    What does the repeal of DADT mean for the pending cases? Do they become moot? Or do they continue so there’s a chance of legal precedence preventing the re-implementation of a policy like this in the future? It occurs to me know that I have a similar question about how the Prop 8 trial would be effected if it is still pending in 2012 and it were to be repealed by another initiative at that time.

    Reply
    • 49. Alan E.  |  January 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm

      DADT is still technically in effect, so the cases can still continue.

      Reply
    • 50. Kathleen  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:03 pm

      The court challenges of DADT should be able to continue, but only because DADT is still in place. As soon as DADT is no longer in effect, i.e., after certification and after the 60 day waiting period, then the cases become moot. The government has asked the 9th Circuit to hold the appeals in abeyance. You can see the motion here:

      LCR indicates it will formally object, but has not filed anything yet.

      Reply
      • 51. allen  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm

        Why will it be considered moot? There is still a constitutional question right? Going through court to ensure the next congress (or this congress for that matter) doesn’t choose to implement the same bullshit on impulse?

        Reply
        • 52. Kathleen  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm

          In the US, our federal courts don’t give advisory decisions. There has to be an actual “case or controversy.” If the policy is no longer in effect, that there is nothing to challenge. If the policy is ever reinstated, then people would have to bring a new challenge. I know…. but it’s just how it works.

          Reply
          • 53. Ann S.  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:30 pm

            Oops, I didn’t see your reply when I was posting.

          • 54. allen  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm

            Thanks Ann & Kathleen :) makes sense to me now.

          • 55. Kathleen  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm

            We were probably posting at the same time, Ann.

          • 56. Ann S.  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm

            Well, we gave answers using slightly different explanations, and apparently it helped, so I guess it’s all good!

          • 57. Ben  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm

            Does this mean that the Prop 8 case would end unresolved if a 2012 initiative could reverse it before the case was settled?

          • 58. Ann S.  |  January 7, 2011 at 4:01 pm

            Ben — yes, if a 2012 initiative in fact reverses Prop 8, then the case will likely be dismissed.

            There are rare exceptions, such as was made for Roe v. Wade, due to the simple impossibility of bringing that case all through the judicial system before it would become moot and the broad interest in the public policy question.

          • 59. Kathleen  |  January 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm

            Yes, if Prop 8 is overturned by voter initiative the case will become moot at that point. Of course, it’s possible the case will have gone as far as it can long before that, if no one has standing to appeal. And then there will be no need mount the (expensive!) effort of an election.

          • 60. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm

            If the case is mooted, will the last ruling stand as precedence?

          • 61. Ann S.  |  January 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm

            Chris — it won’t, because it was on appeal and technically not considered “final”.

          • 62. Kathleen  |  January 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm

            I could be wrong, but I disagree with Ann (I know, que earthquake here). I think whatever decision(s) have been reached at the time of it becoming moot will still stand and have whatever precedential value they previously had. That is, the district court case really isn’t really binding on anyone (as precedent). But if the 9th Circuit decides on the merits, then the decision will be precedent in the 9th Circuit.

          • 63. Ann S.  |  January 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm

            Kathleen, I could be wrong, certainly. I think it would like the 9th Circuit opinion in Arizonans, which is not really worth citing for anything because the SCOTUS took it up and dismissed it as moot. It’s on the books, but I wouldn’t consider it binding. Again, I could be wrong.

            I certainly agree about the very limited precedential value of a district court decision on a law that’s been repealed via initiative.

          • 64. Kathleen  |  January 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm

            In Arizonans, SCOTUS vacated the 9th’s decision and remanded to the District Court to dismiss the case. But the procedural issues in this case are really complicated, so it’s hard for me to figure out if this offers a clear analogy to the situation in Perry. I’ve still never sorted it out completely. I know SCOTUS determined that the case had become moot before the 9th Circuit reached a decision, which would explain why they vacated the 9th Circuit’s decision. I think the plaintiff resigned from her position the day after the notice of appeal was filed. But I’m not sure why they said the district court complaint should be dismissed. Again, there is a lot of complicated procedure that went on in this.

            I’ll see if I can find someone to ask.

          • 65. Ann S.  |  January 7, 2011 at 5:30 pm

            Kathleen, we’re both getting the crash course in procedure we somehow didn’t pick up before, huh? Well, it’s an interesting question, and I can only guess. If you find out anything I’ll be interested.

          • 66. Kathleen  |  January 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm

            I know! I’ve learned way more about civ pro in these few months than I ever did actually studying the subject in school! Like so many things, when you’re actually interested/vested in the outcome, it’s so much easier to absorb and retain information.

          • 67. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 8, 2011 at 7:45 am

            Thanks, Kathleen and Ann S! You both rock so much! :) That said, I hope Kathleen’s right and the most recent ruling would stand. Would certainly fit Occam’s Razor in its own way.

          • 68. Ann S.  |  January 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm

            Chris, this is definitely an instance where I will be very happy to be proven wrong.

        • 69. Ann S.  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:30 pm

          There will no longer be a case or controversy, as no LCR members who are under threat of discharge (and who still might be subject to discharge for being out before the repeal?) have been identified, as far as I know. If no identifiable plaintiff is being threatened with discharge, there is no case at that point.

          Reply
  • 70. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 7, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Just let me know when we need to start hitting the phones, the emails, and the snail mails. Two vets in this house, and both of us come from family histories of vets.

    Reply
    • 71. Elizabeth Oakes  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm

      Ditto. I’m always happy to cajole/nag/stomp my widdo feet for the cause.

      Reply
  • 72. Manilow  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    I honestly don’t see how informing troops of the new policy “Don’t Discriminate” will take weeks to train. I am not (nor have I been) in the military, but I would think that orders can be executed within a matter of hours (faster for something combat/tactical related, I’m sure). So why can’t the leadership just make the order and have it be done?

    Reply
    • 73. Carpool Cookie  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm

      As Ann posted above:

      “Given the scandal over Commander (if that’s the correct rank) Honors, recently of the USS Hornet, they need a little training all up and down the ranks on what is appropriate behavior and what is not — especially since standards are changing, although it may have been needed even before now.

      Even if they just gave everyone a 1-hour class in what the new regulations are to be that govern everyone’s conduct, that’s going to take a while — first you have to develop the class, train the trainers, rotate everyone in the military through these classes, etc.

      But I have no experience of the military, so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. It seems to me that in an organization that size everything takes a while.”

      And I would think the “training”, even if it’s basic, has to be a formalized thing with some substance that can sink in (and print outs for takehome) because what’s going to come up when a soldier is court marshalled or fired for bashing a gay or lesbian coworker, the prosecution can say, “Did you or did you not attend a 2-hour orientation training on treating all soldiers with respect, regardless of orientation or perceived orientation?”

      You don’t want a situation where a basher claims, “Well, I got an email, I think, but I couldn’t open it..”

      Reply
      • 74. Ann S.  |  January 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm

        Exactly — merely sending a memo isn’t going to cut it (much as we might like to think it would).

        And let me point out that I know now that I should have typed “Captain Honors of the USS Enterprise”. I don’t know why I typed USS Hornet, I know full well that’s de-commissioned and sitting over there on the other side of the Bay, having once spent a Girl Scout overnight on it.

        Reply
    • 75. Steve  |  January 7, 2011 at 4:33 pm

      It’s a large organization with ca. 2 million employees. Getting new regulations trickled down through all levels takes a while.

      Dragging this out over many months is silly, yes, but expecting to do this within days is fantasy. A couple of weeks seems realistic.

      Reply
  • 76. Ronnie  |  January 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Bring it on…Equality NOW!!!!…..subscribing….<3….Ronnie

    Reply
  • 77. Lar (Formerly a.k.a. Freddy)  |  January 7, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Just like any other policy in the military, there has to be a procedure that goes along with it, take for instance sexual harassment, because of the problems that they have had in the past, the Army now requires “Prevention of Sexual Harassment” or POSH training on an annual basis ( there is actually a list of over 20 or so classes that have to be taken every year). This type of training is to reinforce to the troops, what the proper conduct is and what is to be expected, I would imagine that with the implementation of the repeal, there will also be a requirement for a class that considers the proper treatment of co-workers if they are gay or lesbian, to us it is common sense, to others that have never dealt with the issue, they will need instruction on their proper conduct.

    Reply
    • 78. fiona64  |  January 10, 2011 at 10:45 am

      I speak with first-hand experience as to what a joke the POSH training is.

      When I lodged a complaint against one of the NCOs during my last DoD job, I got written up (with a 5-year retention date in the unit files) for telling him to get the fuck away from me — he had backed me into a corner and was rubbing his privates on me. He? Got a company grade Article 15 (which, for those unfamiliar, means that it was expunged from his record once he left the company). When that NCO went into my supervisor’s office one day, she said quite loudly, “Oh, Sergeant O., is you comin’ in here to sexually harass me” and the two of them *laughed* about what he had done.

      There are jurisdictional issues when it comes to sexual assault like what I experienced — civilian authorities do not prosecute matters that occur on military installations. I had nothing but my completely useless chain of command.

      After he retired, the company JAG officer brought in the unit file copy of my letter of reprimand for “use of obscenity in a professional environment” and tore it up in front of me.

      “This bullshit never happened,” he said. He was furious about how the matter was handled — which consisted of blaming the victim and brushing the issue under the rug.

      Unless the so-called “zero tolerance for sexual harassment” has actually taken place since I left DoD in 1998, this is nothing more than a tick-box on some commander’s annual checklist, just like the SAEDA briefing. (Given the sexual assault stats I cited above, I have no reason to believe that things have gotten better … but a girl can hope.)

      Reply
  • 79. Mandi  |  January 8, 2011 at 5:18 am

    Scribing

    Reply
  • 80. Josh  |  January 8, 2011 at 8:36 am

    How do you think they’ll address the spousal benefits for married gay soldiers? Will it be the same as straight couples or will they say they can’t due to DOMA? How many more legal fights will there be over that issue?

    Reply
    • 81. Steve  |  January 8, 2011 at 9:24 am

      Read the Pentagon report. Especially the supplemental implementation guidelines. It’s all there. Even with some case examples.

      DOMA prevents them from recognizing same-sex marriages and they don’t want to create an extra category for domestic partners as such. Most importantly, that means no base housing (interestingly unless there are children) or health insurance for partners.

      In the meantime, they’ll change some benefits to be member designated, so that anyone can name a recipient.

      Reply
      • 82. Kathleen  |  January 8, 2011 at 9:35 am

        Thanks, Steve. I didn’t see your comment before I posted mine. I figured they must have addressed this in the report. I still contend this is going to put huge pressure on DOMA.

        Reply
    • 83. Kathleen  |  January 8, 2011 at 9:30 am

      I find this one of the more interesting question, as well. I didn’t read the report in its entirety. Does it have recommendations on this?

      I agree with Sagesse that if they don’t just give benefits outright, this will exert pressure to repeal DOMA. In fact, I think this will put more societal pressure on DOMA than anything we’ve seen to date (as opposed to the legal pressure from the court cases). The general public is fairly receptive to seeing the inequity of denying rights to someone who’s willing to serve in the military.

      Of course, if they do extend benefits you can bet we’ll see FRC and their ilk go ballistic and challenge the decision – a move I welcome. Let’s keep giving them futile causes to waste their money on.

      Reply
    • 84. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 9, 2011 at 12:20 pm

      Also, Josh. it is those very issues that have led many legal experts to predict that the fall of DADT is what will lead to the fall of DOMA. Especially when you consider survivor’s benefits for the husband or wife of a gay or lesbian soldier, Marine, sailor or airmen who is killed in action. The first time they try to deny the payment of those benefits due to DOMA, all hell is going to break loose, and there will be a firestorm the likes of which have not been seen since the newsreel footage of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

      Reply
  • 85. Sagesse  |  January 8, 2011 at 9:17 am

    I’d like to think this would evolve naturally. Certify repeal, wait 60 days so that LGBT servicemembers can no longer be discharged… then the unequal treatment of military families will be obvious, and the law can be changed. In my more optimistic moments, I see the military being the catalyst to get all of DOMA repealed. They could carve out an exception for the military, but why bother when DOMA is very likely unconstitutional, and has to go anyway.

    Reply
  • 86. Jim  |  January 9, 2011 at 10:46 am

    What does SCOTUS actually mean, who are they, and where in the legal process does it fall, i.e. between 9th circuit and the supreme court?

    Reply
    • 87. Lar/Freddy  |  January 9, 2011 at 10:51 am

      SCOTUS=Supreme Court Of The United States

      Reply

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