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Gates Urges ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Survey Response

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 12, 2010 – Servicemember feedback will make Congress and the Defense Department better informed as officials evaluate repeal of the so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said in a letter to troops today.

Department officials e-mailed surveys last month to 400,000 active duty and reserve-component troops. The surveys are part of a special review to prepare the military for a potential change in the law, which bans gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

“If you have not yet responded, please participate,” Gates said in the letter. “Your response will help us assess the impact of a change in the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law and associated policy on military readiness, effectiveness and unit cohesion, should such a change occur.”

Participation is confidential, Gates said, noting that a certificate of confidentiality has been obtained to protect the private contracting company that issued the survey. The company cannot be forced by subpoena, court order or other legal proceedings to disclose information that may identify participants.

“Your answers will not be linked to your personal identity,” he said. “No one associated with the Defense Department will have access to identifiable data.”

The surveys were e-mailed July 7. The deadline to respond is Aug. 15.


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Related Sites:
Special Report: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell


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The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

8/18/2010 2:18:43 PM
I served 24 years in the U.S. Army. During that time I had the ocassion to have run across several gays, both male and female, one of which was even my Batallion Commander. Although they kept a low profile once their sexual preference became known they were treated like Lepers. Not to mention being the blunt of jokes and pranks. As a Platoon Sergeant I was required to intervene when this happened. Especially when threats occured. No one wanted to work beside them or associate themselves with them, not just because they disliked them but also because they didn't want to be labeled themselves. From those expierences I know that there is no place in the military for Gays and Lesbians. Absolutely no good can come of repelling the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Law.
- Gary Reno, Kearney, Missouri

8/16/2010 7:09:24 PM
Are there really any members of the military who think that there are no gays in the military? It is time to move forward. This is an all volunteer military and we are turning a lot of people who are willing to serve. If the civilians have a problem with gays in the military then let them volunteer to serve. US Army E-7 (ret)
- Richard Baker, Norwalk, CT

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