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Some highlights from Defense report on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'


Defense Secretary Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen are speaking now about the release of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" report.

Here are a few quick highlights -- more to come:

- "When coupled with prompt implementation of the recommendations" the "risk of repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell to overall military effectiveness is low."

- "In the short term repeal will "bring about some limited and isolated disruption to unit cohesion and retention" but the disruption will not be widespread or long lasting and U.S. military members can adjust.

- The repeal "will not have a negative impact" on the overall ability to conduct a military mission.

- In the open forums, found they don't have a problem with the a gay service member serving, that the concern is with them serving openly

- "Repeatedly we heard service members express the view that 'open' homosexuality would lead to widespread and overt displays of effeminacy among men, homosexual promiscuity, harassment, and unwelcome advances within units, invasion of personal privacy, and an overall erosion of standards of conduct, unit cohesion, and morality."

- On moral and religious objections: "we cannot and should not expect individual service members to change their personal, religious, or moral beliefs about homosexuality," but they do expect them to treat all others with dignity and respect.

- gay men and women are often discreet and guarded with who they share information about their sexual orientation with, and that "would be true even more so" in a military environment. 15% of gay service members would want their sexual orientation known to their unit. Most would be private and discreet "to fit in, co-exist, and succeed."

- A higher percentage of service members in warfighting units predict negative effects of repeal

- Training, education and leadership will make implementation work. "Most surveyed know nothing but a military at war."

SURVEY RESULTS
* 70% believe impact of repeal on ability to work together and get the job done will be positive/mixed/or no effect
* 69% have worked with a service member they believed to be gay
* 92% had very good/good/or neither good nor bad feelings about co-worker they have served with they believed to be gay
* 50-55% believed repeal would have mixed or no effect
* 15-20% believed repeal would have positive effect
* 30% overall believed repeal would have negative effect
* 12% of spouses would want their spouses to leave earlier if DADT is repealed
* 40-60% of the Marine Corps and various combat arms specialties believe repeal will have a negative impact ...
==> 43% of the Marine Corps overall believed it would have a negative impact
==> 48% soldiers in Army combat arms units said negative impact
==> 58% Marines in combat arms units said negative impact
* 67% Marines in combat arms units said negative impact in the field or at sea

SURVEY INFO
- about 400,000 active and reserve service members were sent surveys;
115,052 responded (28%)
- about 150,000 spouses were sent surveys;
44,266 responded
- margin of error is +/- 1%