Preparing the U.S. military for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is entering its final phase, according to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who told troops in Baghdad on Thursday not to expect much change in military life once the repeal takes effect.
“My guess is you won’t see much change at all,” Gates said during a question-and-answer session with about 175 U.S. Division Center soldiers at Camp Liberty, “because the whole thrust of the training is you’re supposed to go on treating everybody like you’re supposed to be treating everybody now — with dignity, respect and discipline.”
According to a Pentagon statement, repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will take effect 60 days after the President, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify in writing that the military is ready to implement it.
A three-phase program toward that end is well under way, Gates told the soldiers.
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The first phase, he said, was writing the changes to regulations and policies that need to be in place when the repeal takes effect. The next, he explained, was to prepare training materials, and the third phase was to conduct the training, which also has three phases.