From NBC's Courtney Kube
A senior defense official says to expect Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen provide more details about the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" during the Senate Budget hearings next Tuesday and Wednesday.
Another official said the current idea is to have the Senate Armed Services hearing on the budget for a few hours and then switch to Don't Ask Don't Tell for the last hour or so.
The Joint Chiefs still have not worked out details on how military policy or infrastructure may change if DADT is repealed. One senior defense official said they will examine the need for actual changes in infrastructure -- separate berthing, showers, etc. -- NOT because they believe there needs to be separate facilities, but only to be prepared for critics who have said this could be an issue for the military.
Last summer, Gates asked the Defense Department's general counsel to examine whether the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is implemented humanely -- for example, should a jilted lover be allowed to expose someone's sexuality.
This new, more humane implementation will likely be the interim policy until the U.S. military figures out what needs to be changed for a smooth transition.
Other questions they are looking at include:
- Is there a drop dead date that the policy will end?
- Will military members who were discharged under DADT be allowed back in?
- What, if any, new training will U.S. military members go through (ie sensitivity training, etc)? - Are any new or separate facilities necessary?
One critical question that neither Gates nor Mullen have answered yet: Do they believe repealing DADT will effect good order and discipline in the U.S. military? That will be the million-dollar question next Tuesday.