COL. DAVID LAPAN (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Media Operations): Good afternoon all. Thank you for coming. I will introduce to you the principal speakers today, both of whom many of you know. To my far left is General James Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Closest to me is Dr. Clifford Stanley, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. They will provide an update to you on the department's repeal efforts relating to the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Dr. Stanley will begin with a short opening statement, after which we will be happy to take your questions.
Also here with us today is Mr. Doug Wilson [Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs], who most of you know. Mr. Wilson also serves on the executive committee for the repeal effort.
Next to him is Ms. Vee Penrod. She is the deputy assistant secretary of defense for military personnel policy. She is the chairwoman of the Repeal Implementation Team.
And next to Ms. Penrod is Marine Major General Steve Hummer. General Hummer is the chief of staff of the Repeal Implementation Team.
And with that -- sir?
DR. STANLEY: Okay, thanks, Dave.
Well, good afternoon. I'd like just to give a very brief statement. A few weeks ago -- and, in fact, as recent as yesterday or last night -- Secretary Gates said that he wanted to implement a process that would be a three-step process that primarily would have three steps, the first step being implementing or changing policies, the second step being training changes, and then of course would be the training of the actual force.
As we do that, we're doing it expeditiously. We're doing it quickly in terms of the first part to that. And you have already been given -- should have been given at least two documents. One is terms of reference, which actually lay out the process that we're going through. And the second document actually gets into specifics dealing with the policy changes that have actually been made or are being recommended. We're still working through policies, if we give this to the services, but that's where we are right now. But the first step here now, dealing with the actual -- laying out the process, what we're going to be doing, has already been laid out.
What you're going to see as we move forward, that we have actually three tiers as we get to the training part. We expect to start very quickly. These three tiers, starting out with our experts, that's the first tier; the second tier deals with our commanders or our leaders; and the third tier is, of course, the force as we move forward.
We expect to see essentially not a lot of changes in the policy, but there definitely needs to be policy clarification. We are fundamentally focused right now on our leadership, professionalism, discipline and respect. And I have to underscore that every person who serves and who wears a uniform -- and to include our civilians who are working within the Department of Defense -- they take an oath.
And that oath breaks into that foundation of leadership, professionalism, discipline and respect. That's my statement for right now. And we're open to your questions.
COL. LAPAN: Lita.
Q: General, two questions, one on the -- on the timing aspect. You all have been dealing with the services for weeks on this. There's obviously no end date set in any of the materials here, but there's been a lot of discussion with the services. So has there -- is there a better understanding then, quickly and expeditiously, given to them for timing purposes, or do you expect it'll take the whole year?
And second, I'll apologize for this, but the timing today I don't think we can ignore. Egypt, if you could just address the situation in Egypt and what the senior military leaders are saying, because you’re in ongoing discussions with some of their leaders today, and obviously the situation there is pretty dire. If you could just fill us in a little bit on what's going on.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Okay. Back to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" first, and then we'll work to the Egypt problem.
You know, we have with the service chiefs and the secretary gone through many sessions really to try to understand the scope of the problem. And as Dr. Stanley said, we have three tiers. Those tiers don't have to be sequential; they can go on together. But we also know that when you're dealing with two and a half million people and a new policy that we're probably going to have some discovery as we go.
And so the service chiefs, the one key activity that is probably common to all of the meetings has been the feeling that moving along expeditiously is better than dragging it out. We've learned that from other services, other nations that have moved down this path. And I think all of the service chiefs believe that is the case.
But they also believe that they're going to do some discovery. And so we have a feedback mechanism every two weeks that we come back, sit down together -- what have you learned? What's new? What's different? What have you discovered as you've gone through each of the tiers to try to make sure that we can react and then move forward?
I think we leave the year there because it's a good goal. There's nothing that tells us that it's not reachable, but we have to allow for the fact that we may discover something between now and then.
The other piece that's important to understand is -- at least from my perspective -- is that certification by the secretary and the chairman does not require a hundred percent of the people to be trained, okay. We're going to try to get to a high percentage of the units as quickly as we can. And that will be our focus initially, because that's the way we manage deployments. But it doesn't require a hundred percent of the people. And we're going to have some challenges with people like Guard and Reserve that are not on active duty right now -- finding them, getting to them, et cetera. So that's going to have an impact.
So because we say we certify it doesn't necessarily mean we've got a hundred percent, but I would expect that when we get to the certification point that we'll have a good understanding by that time of what it takes and how long it takes so that any of the people that have not been trained at that point, we'll have a good idea how long it's going to take. But that's probably going to be more, the person went to the hospital, the person, you know, is in a place that's hard to get to.
On Egypt, I think the key activities -- we are talking. We're a military, so we plan, and we go through all sorts of contingencies. But the key activity here, I think, that's really important is to exercise restraint and to do so both on our part but also on the part of our counterparts in the Egyptian military.
As far as having a position on this and talking about the events, I think the State Department has the lead, and that's where I'd turn.
Q: You both talked about three tiers. And we'll start very quickly, and the force will be the last of the three tiers. Let's say you're a Marine at Lejeune or in Helmand province. Give me a ballpark time when you think that Marine will start getting some sort of training or education.
DR. STANLEY: Let me just -- I'll take the first stab at it, and then I know the general is going to say something. But each service, first of all -- and if you're using the Marine Corps, for example -- but each service is going to approach the training differently. In fact, I know the Marine Corps is looking at tier one, two and three sort of doing some of it almost at the same time. But each service does it by their own call on how they do that. I know that the general has some other comments on this.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Yeah, I mean, each of the services have ways that they implement new policy. And so what we did not try to do was tell them how to do their business, okay? So if I'm a Marine and I'm already in Helmand province, depending on what it is I do in Helmand province will -- my unit, in particular -- will probably drive when I get the training.
Ideally, what we want to do is get the training done before you deploy, but that's not always going to be the case. Some people are already going to be deployed. While they're deployed, if there is an opportunity based on the type of unit and mission they have to conduct that training in-country, we'll do that. If it's not -- if it's not appropriate, then we'll catch them on the return deployment and catch them as soon as they return home. But most units, you know, will have windows of opportunity while deployed to be able to conduct this third tier, the force-level training.
We can get some of it, and maybe save some for later if that's appropriate because there may be things out in the -- out in the field that you just really aren't going to pay attention to because it's not relevant at the time. And when you get home, you may get more. But we will --
Q: But ballpark, when do you think it will start? A month? Two months? Three? Any sense --
DR. STANLEY: It will be -- as far as the training goes, the services, we're pretty certain they'll be ready during the month of February to start the training because of where we are right now in terms of training policy development. So we're okay there. But even with the Helmand province -- (inaudible) --
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Yeah, I don't see anything that will drag us out to -- beyond February to get started -- (inaudible) --
Q: One last thing, too. The Pentagon report talked about special attention should be given to the 3,000 chaplains, because there was a lot of opposition to this from the chaplains. Any sense of how you move ahead on that? Should there be some sort of special message to them, special training?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: I don't think there's anything any different here. I mean, having served, the chaplains continue to serve all who wear the uniform, and of course all who are working in -- within the Department of Defense. And with their own faith groups, they actually still follow their own faith lines. So there's no new policy guidelines coming out there. If -- you know, that's just where it is.
Q: But that's what the Pentagon report said: special attention.
COL. LAPAN: Okay. Elizabeth? We'll come around here please --
Q: Oh, you're calling? Oh, sure, hi.
COL LAPAN: Yes, you.
Q: Two questions, one on Egypt, one on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." On "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the training of the deployed troops, the combat troops, it made it sound in the -- in the implementation plan, that booklet, that it was -- it could possibly be 20 minutes, delivered by the commander in the midst of some other information.
I mean, would you disagree with that? It seemed like it looked very brief.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: I don't know that there's a time period. But what is key is that each of the services will tailor it to the way they present training. And, like we said, if it is --an in example here, in Helmand province, there may be parts of it that are not particularly relevant to them in the field and --
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: -- they will get a part of it done, and then we'll bring them home and finish it off. That's up to the service to work their way through and document. But it's really important to understand that we do take it seriously. It won't just be a kind of a "here, read this and move on." It'll be a training package for which we will document and they will be accountable for.
Q: So it won’t just be delivered orally by a commander and it'll -- then be done with it.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: No, I'm sure an important part of it will be oral by the commander. But he'll have training aides --depending on the service as to how they do that.
Q: Okay. And on Egypt, you -- was -- did any of the -- in the discussions in the last -- this week with the mil-to-mil exchange, did any -- do you know if any of the protests came up during those talks? And was there any guidance given by the U.S. military to the Egyptian military?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: It would be hard to have ignored the fact that -- you know, that this was going on, and it wasn't ignored. We had -- I didn't participate in it, but there were certainly discussions about, you know, are you watching more in the hallway than as a structured activity. And no session was structured to address the issue, and so no guidance was given back and forth between the two services.
Q: But no guidance -- (inaudible) --
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: No guidance was given. In other words, we didn't say anything to them about how they should handle it, and they didn't tell us how they were going to handle it, because at the time that they were here, it really hadn't emerged -- this was probably -- they finished off yesterday. So, you know, there wasn't a lot -- this has gone very quickly. I mean, it's spiraled up very quickly. So --
Q: So you said you're sure, then, saying that there was no discussion about handling protests?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: No, in other words that was not part of the structured discussions. Like I said, they were aware of the news. We were aware of the news, more in the hallway in between sessions and whatnot, dialogue going back and forth. But nothing structured and no type of formal discussion on it.
COL. LAPAN: Okay. David?
Q: General, I just wanted to clarify something you said earlier. Did I understand you to say you believe that the full implementation, including the certification, could be done within a year, but you're reserving the right not -- I mean, to extend it beyond that if something unforeseen arises? Is that -- is that what you're saying?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: I think if something unforeseen arises, it's important to understand that each of the service chiefs --- we'll do an assessment every two weeks. Each of the service chiefs will have access to us and to the secretary to say, "We just discovered something that we didn't anticipate." It's going to necessitate a pause or something like that. That will all be considered in the so-called calculus of when we go to the secretary and the chairman to certify. And if there's an outstanding issue that we just didn't anticipate, we certainly would reserve the right for that service chief, one, to have a voice in it, and, two, to potentially be determinative of delaying activity.
Q: But obviously the ultimate decision about whether it was determinative would rest with the secretary, the chairman and the president presumably.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: That's correct. That's correct.
COL. LAPAN: Okay. Nancy, then Rachel.
Q: I had two questions, one on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and the other on Egypt. On -- I'm Egyptian so I get the mic. (Laughter.) On "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," I wanted to ask you, could you give us more specifics in terms of what the training will be through all those three tiers? That is, will someone have to sign something that say that they received some certain kind of training? Can you -- can you spell it out a little bit more?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Yeah. Even though we're going to focus on -- initially on the unit level for the force, each individual will have to have some sort of certification. Each of the services is handling that just a little bit differently because we track it a little bit differently. But at the individual level, we'll need to know that Cartwright got that training at some point, and then is accountable if Cartwright later violates some standard policy or whatever. Did he get the training? We need to be able to know that at the individual level.
Q: And do you have a sense of -- in terms of how much time you think it'll take to train each individual person? Is there a minimum amount of time that you see or a maximum amount of time, especially for the experts --
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: No, we left that to the services to determine so that they could use their standard protocols for training, and that we wouldn't drive them to some artificial schedule.
Q: And then on Egypt, did the army chief of staff and his entourage leave yesterday? Do you know that? And have you spoken to them since, given that they're being now called into the streets to help quell some of this violence? Has there been any communication between the Pentagon and them?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: No, I haven't -- I did not have a chance to talk with General Enan. But he is still here in the United States. I believe he intends to return today.
COL. LAPAN: Rachel.
Q: Sir, has there been any guidance given to the individual services about what the training should look like, understanding that would be -- you know, it shouldn't be -- it should be significant; it shouldn't be just a one-off, more than 20 minutes. But has there been any guidance issued as to what they should cover in the course of the training?
DR. STANLEY: Well, the first -- as I mentioned earlier, the terms of reference that the secretary just gave me, that was the first piece. Following that, I just signed a document which actually laid out the policy areas they're going to cover, everywhere from housing to how to do records of emergency data. I mean, it just literally lays out everything for them to look at and to modify their regulations. And from that, we're going to take some feedback from them. That will complete the second phase, once we get there.
But we've actually put down -- been working with them all along. So none of this is a surprise to the services, because they've actually been working with us, their personnel experts, all of the key people. And also, they've been just tied in with the Comprehensive Review Working Group the whole time. So it's not like a ramp-up from nowhere. They're pretty much in sync with what we're doing.
Q: Not just at the expert level, but even at the troop level, each person will be given a brief about benefits, housing, all those things?
DR. STANLEY: That's right. That's right.
Q: And then secondly, just quickly, on the housing and benefits issue, when it comes to same-sex couples, can you just articulate what will change, what won't, and what do you do in states where gay marriage is legal?
DR. STANLEY: Yeah. Right now, no changes are expected in policy with respect to housing, those -- that kind of benefit. In fact, a lot of benefit changes aren't changing. We're also required by law to -- you know, to abide by the -- basically, the scripture of DOMA, you know, Defense of Marriage Act. So regardless as to what's happening in different states, we haven't changed that.
Now, we still reserve the right, though, to still look at emerging things, as General Cartwright said, because there could be some things we aren't anticipating. That's why this is not so locked in and concrete. We're saying right now: No policy changes dealing with benefits. But there could be something we don't know about, and that's why that aperture kind of remains slightly open.
The guidance that's going out right now addresses what I just shared with you. That's the information we're sharing with service members. But there could be something we don't know about, and that's why we're working with the services.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Yeah, and I think it's important to remember, I mean, the team has laid out the information, the content of the training. The services are just providing the structure in which it goes forward. But it's consistent across the services.
COL. LAPAN: Just a second, gentlemen. Vee's going to add something on training.
MS. PENROD: I just wanted to point out -- and General Cartwright said that already -- but what we've been doing for the last several weeks is working with representatives from all the military departments to develop the training guidance and modules and training plans, so to speak. And we expect to have those accomplished next week. And so it's been very helpful, because it's been a joint effort with the -- not only the military departments but the Joint Staff, to develop consistent training.
Q: So it's going to say -- fair to say that by next week all the training modules will be completed for all the services?
MS. PENROD: Yes, that’s correct.
COL. LAPAN: Okay. In the middle. Yes, sir.
Q: Okay. I have two questions, one relating to nondiscrimination and one relating to reaccessions. In terms of nondiscrimination, I noticed in the guiding principles that it says that harassment or unlawful discrimination will not be tolerated. However, sexual orientation isn't a part of any of the laws dictating military service, because there is no legal nondiscrimination policy. But then in the equal opportunity it says all service members, regardless of sexual orientation, are entitled, and so on. Just wondering how that interplays and what legal remedies service members will have regarding to any discrimination.
And then secondly, as to reaccessions, just wondering what the situation will be. In recent days, there's been a question about recoupment sought for discharged military members. Is there anything addressed in – with regarding reaccession, whether or not recoupment will still be required? And for those who don't rejoin the military, will that recoupment still be expected of them?
DR. STANLEY: Okay, and I'll go with the second one first here, dealing with reaccessions and recoupment. There's no changes or expectations right now with that. I don't know exactly all of what you're getting at, but there is no expectation for change.
As far as being equal opportunity, treated fairly, that's basic, standard military discipline. When we talk about leadership, professionalism, discipline and respect, there's no need to even change the laws there. With regard to anybody who wears the uniform or who doesn't wear the uniform, it's pretty laid out. So there's no specific class, category, anything you have to do with regard to treating and taking care of your people.
That's so fundamentally basic. And that's part of the --
Q: Yeah, but they don't need -- I mean, is there -- what remedy will service members have? Because there is no legal remedy, and in the --
DR. STANLEY: I hear your question. And a commander -- Uniform Code of Military Justice, you have Request Mast, you have any range of things that fit with anybody. There's no special policy needed to address the things that we're talking about here with regard to taking care of people and treating them with dignity. That's so fundamentally basic. So the remedies you have are the remedies that already exist. There's no need to create new remedies for that.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: I'm not -- I think -- and we're both trying to make sure we're getting to where you're leaning.
DR. STANLEY: Yeah. Yeah.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: But if your complaint is one that is really not about a law infraction or something like that, then we have this -- what we call Request Mast. But it is the right of every individual to request to speak to a superior officer in their chain of command. And so it doesn't have to be because you -- there was a law broken. So there's -- we make sure that an individual has a way to remedy, even if they're not sure that this was a law or a policy that was broken.
DR. STANLEY: Okay.
COL. LAPAN: Jennifer.
Q: I’m trying to understand more about the amount of time it will take to train and then the sequencing of the certification and then when this will finally be -- where people will be allowed to serve openly.
Would it be correct to say that it's expected that this will be certified by Admiral Mullen and Secretary Gates in March or April, and by the end of the summer we could expect service members to be openly serving?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: No, I think, Jennifer, we're -- what we're thinking right now is that we will try to get through the units and make sure that we get the -- a large percentage, let's say, of the units. We won't worry about the individuals so much that we didn't pick up, that were the one-offs and, you know, not to put them aside, but just to make sure we catch them.
But the secretary and Admiral Mullen will certify to the president at the time that they feel that they understand they've got the bulk of the force and they understand -- they believe they understand all of the ramifications that are out there.
After that, 60 days go by before that takes in -- takes effect. Okay? So the law doesn't change until that -- the end of that 60 days, okay? So does that get at what you're looking for?
Q: But does -- would the -- so you're saying no decision has been taken as to when you expect certification?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: No, that will be a judgment.
Q: Just one follow-up on Egypt. Is it true that embassy personnel and their families have been moved to a secure part of the embassy? And have any plans been implemented to evacuate dependents or those working for the embassy?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: I think it'd be best to go to the State Department for that.
COL. LAPAN: Julian.
Q: So when I've done an embed with a Marine rifle company, I would estimate between 20 and 50 percent of the jokes that they do as they're going around are -- you know, you would say are gay jokes based on, you know, maybe mocking someone as being gay or just in general finding humor in that. Are you going to try to get rid of that kind of humor? Are you -- is the training trying to say that kind of humor is inappropriate? Or at what level -- what are you trying to change in the sort of -- are you trying to change the culture at all of, you know, a rifle company?
DR. STANLEY: Leadership, professionalism, discipline, respect are supposed to be there now and should be there even when repeal is affected. To say that you're on the ground and there are certain things that you may -- in fact, as a former commander, some of the things you just described I'd have problems with, without even this conversation. And so what I'm saying is that this is about leadership, and it's not about a specific thing or changing policies that apply to the -- this current discussion. Leadership, discipline, professionalism, respect.
COL. LAPAN: Anne -- oh --
Q: And if I -- well, I wanted -- with General Cartwright, on your first Egypt answer, when you were talking about restraint, you mentioned showing restraint. What -- did you -- I may have misunderstood that. What were you -- you were just restraining from answering -- commenting on the situation before we knew what was going on? Or were you calling on people to behave with --
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Right, calling on people to exercise restraint in a volatile situation.
Q: Who do you mean? Including the Egyptian military, right?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Including everybody's that's involved.
COL. LAPAN: Yes, ma'am.
Q: Hello. I wanted to follow up on Rachel's question about gay marriage. I'm curious about what the process for reviewing the benefits would be if, for example, somebody was sent on an overseas deployment who is legally married; would they be able to request to take their spouse with them? I mean, how does that process work in reality when you have a service member who is legally married in one of the states that recognize that?
DR. STANLEY: Well, again -- well, first of all, the Defense of Marriage Act, marriage recognizes heterosexual. So that's the first piece. And so from a -- from the legal standpoint, you've introduced a policy aspect that's -- gets into a hypothetical -- or hypothetical construct that I couldn't address. I'll leave that there for right now, but I may not have answered all of your question.
Q: I guess, in the State Department, for example, there are regulation- and policy-level changes that can be made to sort of ease those kinds of transitions. And I'm curious about if somebody was in that position in the military, what would be your approach there.
DR. STANLEY: Well, let me just say that I don't want to get into the hypotheticals, okay, because that really does get to a dangerous, slippery slope. But commanders -- if you just take out your hypothetical and deal what a commander can deal with in dealing with a normal, just a person deploying, there are policies in place right now about who goes with whomever.
So if you just take the whole issue of orientation out of it, there are policies that already exist. And we haven't changed the policies. There are benefit issues that may become gray areas that we'll look at later. We're not sure where we're going to be on that yet. So we're not saying everything's ironclad, but right now as we move forward toward implementation and ultimately repeal, we don't anticipate that change at this time. I hope that helps. Okay.
COL. LAPAN: Andrew.
Q: Is it still accurate that no service members have been approved for separation since October when those policies were changed?
DR. STANLEY: Well, I --
Q: -- when it was required that you, Dr. Stanley, and the general counsel would have to sign off on individual --
DR. STANLEY: Well, since the decision was made by the secretary that general counsel, myself and the service secretary would be, we essentially don't comment on cases or, you know, individual cases. So, I mean, I wouldn't even be allowed to talk about anything pending, gone through, whatever, since we've dealing with that particular confine. I hope that helps.
Q: So you can't say whether you've approved or not approved any --
DR. STANLEY: Oh, if it was approved and done, that's there. But I -- I'm not -- I can't talk to you about what's coming forward or whatever.
Q: I'm not asking -- I'm saying, is it still accurate that no service members have been separated under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" since October? That is accurate for some six or eight weeks out? I'm wondering --
DR. STANLEY: I don't think that's accurate; not since October.
Q: But, I mean -- (inaudible) --
MS. PENROD: There was this --
DR. STANLEY: Well --
MS. PENROD: There was one case, but the approval was before this policy was changed.
DR. STANLEY: Yeah.
MS. PENROD: It was in November, but the approval was already signed off on before the procedures were changed.
Q: So no one’s been approved?
MS. PENROD: That's correct.
DR. STANLEY: Yeah.
COL. LAPAN: Hang on, David. Go ahead, Phil.
Q: On the question on the timing, just to be very clear about it, have you built in the 60-day lag time into your target for getting this accomplished by the end of this year; or is the situation that you could get to December 31st before the recommendation is made, which would push us into next year -- once that extra lag time before the actual ban goes away would take place?
DR. STANLEY: Well, the conditions -- the conditions on the ground would dictate how fast we go. To even imply that we have a target to do it by this date would be a misnomer. And that's since we're going to move responsibly, quickly, but deliberately as we go through the process.
As Secretary Gates says, we believe we can do it within this year. Based upon what we know right now, we believe we can do that. But there's no artificial target put down because that would create an artificiality that just wouldn't be real.
Q: But his belief and your ability is that you'll get to the certification point, the 60 days will take place and then whatever date that is, whenever it is, will be within 2011?
DR. STANLEY: We believe -- I believe, Secretary Gates believes, the service chiefs believe, that it can be done. But there could be unknowns. And at the same time, we're not going to put any artificialities, pressures on the services to do the training that has to be done in order to ensure that we have a responsible, deliberate process.
COL. LAPAN: Luis.
Q: If I could go back to the certification process, the general said that you don't require a hundred percent training of the force. Later you said the bulk of the force; then you said it was a judgment call.
And how do we reconcile? Do you have a target date? I'm not -- I'm sorry, not target date but a target percentage for the active component and for the reserve component?
And given the challenges posed by the reserve component, like, in tracking them down, is that -- is it going to be lower than what would be for the active component?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: All right. I mean, I -- as I said, I believe it's a subjective judgment based on what we have seen as we go through the training. If we get out to some percentage of the force and we're not seeing any anomalies, we think we've gotten -- they've taken on anything that would have come up in our reviews to adjust and we're moving now through the force, you know, my sense is -- and I can't say, because it is a subjective judgment -- that the chairman and the secretary will look at that and say: I think we've gotten the bulk of the units completed. We still have more to do, but we understand exactly what they are, and we'll be able to get at them. And there are going to be individuals out there that are going to be harder than others; and that we're ready to certify because we're comfortable that we have -- we understand the challenges in front of us and we also have the history of what we've trained behind us.
DR. STANLEY: There's -- I just want to add, there -- my sense is-- really good working relationship with the services as we do this. They -- not only the service chiefs, but the senior enlisted. It's just -- you get good vibes about where we are in terms of cooperation, information coming forward and everything. But there is a subjective part to this, and that's where their commander, as the general was saying, makes that call, and then that dialogue goes between people within the chain of command.
COL. LAPAN: OK, David.
Q: Just to follow up, maybe -- (inaudible) -- follow up on a previous question. Will it be against military regulations for -- to discriminate against service members based on their sexual orientation -- in other words, if somebody says: “I didn't get a promotion because my commander doesn't like the fact that I'm gay.”
Can they -- can they -- is that a -- is that a sort of bit of evidence that they can cite in claiming discrimination; in other -- that they've been unfairly treated? Will that be in military regulations?
DR. STANLEY: I think it's already in military regulations.
Q: Is it?
DR. STANLEY: Yeah, if you believe that you've been unfairly treated --
Q: But based on sexual --
DR. STANLEY: Based upon anything -- anything. If you, in fact, based upon anything that you believe, and you can substantiate that -- what I'm saying now is that essentially, if you believe that you've been discriminated against, there are ways to address that or redress that within the system.
Q: Well, you couldn't have before said, “I've been discriminated against because I'm gay,” because that would have been telling.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Right. Right.
Q: Now you can.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: So the absence of it, you know, in law before, once removed, just removes the category if it doesn't -- it doesn't really change the fact that we don't discriminate against anybody. You've got redress if you believe that you have been aggrieved.
Q: But I -- (inaudible.)
Q: You don't have -- I'm sorry. Go ahead.
Q: No, sorry. I believe it's not a protected class, though. I think that's what you're getting at.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: That's correct. That's correct.
Q: If it's not a protected class, can you actually assert discrimination?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: You're starting to take us to a legal area which I think is a reason why we probably ought to get a lawyer to look at this and make sure you have the exact right language. Because there is this issue of protected class and how we refer to it. So I think it would be better if we do that and not try to guess at it; make sure you've got the exact right language. So allow us to do that for you.
COL. LAPAN: Okay. Rachel.
Q: I just wanted to clarify. You say that no one has been officially discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" since last year. But there are still people reportedly who are being processed for discharge, according to gay rights groups.
Can you just clarify if it's still possible for someone, before certification, to be discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." And if that is the case, is there any consideration of putting a temporary moratorium -- (inaudible)?
DR. STANLEY: Okay. It is still possible for a person to be discharged under the existing law. I've heard nothing about a moratorium, and that's not on the table, as I understand it.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: And if it goes out through certification plus the 60 days, we'll certainly look at every case. But we can't discuss any cases.
COL. LAPAN: Sir.
Q: We were talking about the training along the same lines of where we've gone. How specific are we going to get? Are -- is the training going to be that you shouldn't discriminate against others, or is the training going to be, you know, no name calling, no jokes, no avoiding certain people because of their orientation?
Can you give us a sense of, you know, will there be examples? And are we -- is that something that the services are supposed to come back with, or is that something that is coming from the -- from the DOD level?
DR. STANLEY: Well, first of all, that we've given -- worked with the services in putting together the guidance that they're going to be implementing. The services have been given even some vignettes that go through some scenarios.
But again it goes back to leadership. And I'm not trying to wear out that word, but it really does go back to how commanders -- because they're actually evaluated based upon their judgment of how they treat their people, how disciplined they are, professionalism, those things like that.
So the training will be service-specific and it will be unit- specific, because you have some units that won't -- you know, they won't need certain things, depending on what the unit is.
Hoss, I know you've probably got a -- say something.
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: I think you've covered it.
Q: I'm wondering, though, is saying, you know, good leadership and good discipline going to be specific enough for that Marine unit that, you know, may already be saying some of that? Is there -- again, I think you said there are some scenarios. So is that some specific examples, then, of what would be acceptable and not acceptable behavior now?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: I'm trying to understand how to go at this to give you what you're looking for in an answer. But there are already behavior and conduct standards out there. They are reviewed to make sure that they cover the entire waterfront of all of these issues. We've really not found, to my knowledge, anything that has been lacking there. In other words the standards are still valid.
COL. LAPAN: General Hummer.
GEN. HUMMER: I can add -- (inaudible). What we're developing is a standardized commander's tool kit. So it has the various things in there for the training. And the reason that we've brought the services together for the last several weeks was to develop a great foundation to standardize the training, then from which the services can go and put their cultural pieces on it. But there are vignettes that are included in the training, and that allows the leadership to present those vignettes and then allows the discussions so that people can get a better understanding as they go through that kind of normal course of events of talking through vignettes.
Q: Can you tell us what's in the tool kit? What exactly is there?
Q: Or an example of a vignette?
GEN. HUMMER: They'll get various types of training materials, conceivably could be the service commanders video showing the leadership from the front. They will also get the Power Point slides that have the policy, and specific for the various tiers, and then the vignettes.
Q: Are the vignettes the ones in the back of that -- (inaudible) -- book?
GEN. HUMMER: Very similar. Some of the same, very similar.
Q: About all of those, right? Are they are --
GEN. HUMMER: I think they are, because there's a purpose that they were in there. I think the CRWG, as you well know, did a very, very good job through the survey and then through their recommended implementation.
Q: But that's part of the training, is the discussion of those vignettes with the -- just rank and file, with the troops?
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: Yes. Using the vignettes to spur the conversation.
COL. LAPAN: Tom, and then back there.
Q: Dr. Stanley, you said you were a Marine commander at one time. Let's say you're in Helmand province at a combat outpost. You call your NCOs together. What would you say to them about the way ahead allowing gays to serve openly? What would you tell them?
DR. STANLEY: Well, I don't know if I'd want to use that construct right now. I guess what I would say is that we are serving on the tip of the spear. We want to take care of our Marines. It's important for us to not only watch our -- each other, but I mean this is a family, and quite frankly, I'm pretty close to you when I'm out here, because I'm depending on you.
What's changed? Not a whole lot, because I'm not sure I'm going to be too concerned about your orientation. I'm concerned about something else. I want to come back alive and I want to bring you back alive. And that's the focus here in accomplishing the mission.
And although we complicate it sometimes by orientation, I want to accomplish this mission, bring you back alive. You got a family, you're coming back too. And again, that gets into we're talking about things of orientation -- of a person's sexual orientation as opposed to what we should be focusing on, which is a mission and taking care of our Marines, in this case. And I'm going to take care of my Marines.
Q: If an NCO says to you, "Sir, I don't want to serve with someone who's openly gay, I don't want that person in my tent," what would you say to them?
DR. STANLEY: We're going to take care of our Marines.
COL. LAPAN: Yes, ma'am.
Q: (Inaudible) -- the original training, is this going to become an annual certification or annual training, like suicide prevention or something like that that the troops will have to go through?
DR. STANLEY: We haven't talked about that, but that's up to the commander in terms of how they do that. We haven't talked about -- we are talking about implementation right now, which is where we're moving toward. What happens annually and where we go from here, I'm sure we're going to be having that book open.
If history is any indication of things, there's going to be a need for not just this but continual -- I know in terms of professionalism; the training and development of those who wear our uniform is a constant. Schooling, education, it's just a constant.
Q: Okay. If there's no de facto moratorium in place, can you explain what the reason is for why there have been no discharges in the last three months since the secretary changed the policy on having three of three, the two of you plus the -- (inaudible) -- chief overseeing a discharge? (Inaudible) -- lack of discharges --
DR. STANLEY: Well, I think it's been -- I don't want to categorize it as a lack of discharges, but --
Q: Well, one of the reasons --
DR. STANLEY: Yeah, it's been a -- it's been a very deliberate process. It's a -- the process is deliberate now. It's -- there's more scrutiny with the general counsel, my office, a service secretary as you go through the process in terms of whatever you're going to do. And when you raise something from wherever it was before with a commander doing -- you know, processing discharge, you are -- automatically add a level of review that elongates a process. So I'm not saying there won't be discharges, as we -- the question came up earlier. I'm saying that, as we are right now, there is a lot of review that goes on within the process.
Q: Would you actually -- would you actually discharge somebody right now in this climate as you're moving towards repeal and certification? Would you actually do that?
DR. STANLEY: Each individual case is judged on its own merits or demerits. And so, quite frankly, the answer is yes, if the case merits it. And there are a number of circumstances that could lead to that, each case. I can't talk about any individual case, but yes.
Q: I'm sorry. Could you just clarify? Like, what would a circumstance be? I mean, you're making it sound like that there would be -- have to be something additional than just a simple violation, a statement or something. What would the circumstances be that would lead you to feel that it was appropriate to authorize discharge?
DR. STANLEY: I can't tell you what a specific circumstance would be because when you look at the gestalt of any case, when I review a package -- even now before we had this discussion dealing with any number of different issues, there is not one particular string that you pull that deals with that. It's the gestalt of all of what that individual is or is about. And to be able to come out and say this fits the absolute what-that-is or what-that-wasn't is inaccurate. You may not like it, but that's it.
COL. LAPAN: Okay. Julian, last one.
Q: Well, just to try one last time on that, if you -- (laughter) -- if you had a package --
COL. LAPAN: Never mind, Julian. We're done. (Laughter.)
Q: -- if you had a package of somebody who would meet the criteria to be readmitted to the military for -- and you were deciding whether to discharge that person, and he otherwise you know kind of from the gestalt of his package that he would be let in after he's released, are you going to at least slow-roll those ones just to -- it seems like there's a lot of bureaucratic waste here to proceed and kick out some people throughout the year who you're going to readmit next year. I mean --
DR. STANLEY: Here's where we are right now. The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law is still in effect. And we are obligated to follow that law. And to say anything other than that at this time would be inappropriate.
COL. LAPAN: All right. Thank you all.