Training for Post-DADT Policy Set to Begin

Defense Department officials say they expect to certify the policy changes necessary to implement the repeal of the Clinton-era Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law within the next year. However, the date will be “subjective,” leaving some wiggle room in case unexpected problems arise, Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright, Joint Chiefs vice chairman, told reporters last week during a Pentagon briefing. DOD intends to implement a three-tier training phase, starting with the experts, then moving on to commanders and other military leaders, before educating the overall force. The training methods are left up to each individual service to develop, but Pentagon officials are working on a standardized training package for commanders that will include a video, presentation slides, and vignettes touching on everything from housing to benefit packages to initiate discussion. DOD anticipates finalizing the training package this week; training will start in the field as well as stateside in February. Cartwright said every single member of the US military does not need to receive the training before Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen certify the changes to policies and regulations—one of the final steps before the repeal is officially implemented and homosexuals may openly serve. Instead, he said, DOD is aiming for 100 percent of units trained. (Cartwright–Stanley transcript)