Thursday, April 1, 2010

Army Sec. McHugh Won't Seek Discharges During DADT Study

Army Secretary John McHugh has said that while conducting the year-long study on the impact of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT), he wants to talk to gay and lesbian service members to get their input. The problem is, doing so violates the policy. According to the NY Times, Sec. McHugh has said that he will ignore the policy in order to get queer soldiers to come forward.
Mr. McHugh, who spoke at a breakfast with Pentagon reporters, said it made no sense to pursue discharges of service members as he speaks with them about the change in policy. Mr. Obama, Mr. Gates and Admiral Mullen have all asked commanders to assess opinion within the military about the change in law.

Mr. McHugh said it would be “counterproductive” to “take disciplinary action against someone who spoke with me openly and honestly.” He said the Pentagon was still trying to devise a way to more formally poll large numbers of service members about their views on changing the law.

At the same breakfast, Mr. McHugh also said that a three-star general who was criticized by the Pentagon leadership last week for speaking out against repeal of the law would not receive a letter of reprimand. Instead, Mr. McHugh said the officer, Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, had had numerous conversations with Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Army chief of staff, and now recognized that his comments were “inappropriate.”

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