Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

DADT certifications issued

President Barack Obama met with new Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen Friday afternoon and certified repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

[Updated 1:10 pm: The president, defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs signed the certification, meaning DADT will be repealed in 60 days, or September 20.

“Today, we have taken the final major step toward ending the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law that undermines our military readiness and violates American principles of fairness and equality,” Obama said in a statement. ” In accordance with the legislation that I signed into law last December, I have certified and notified Congress that the requirements for repeal have been met. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ will end, once and for all, in 60 days – on September 20, 2011.

“As commander in chief, I have always been confident that our dedicated men and women in uniform would transition to a new policy in an orderly manner that preserves unit cohesion, recruitment, retention and military effectiveness,” the president added. “Today’s action follows extensive training of our military personnel and certification by Secretary Panetta and Admiral Mullen that our military is ready for repeal. As of September 20, service members will no longer be forced to hide who they are in order to serve our country. Our military will no longer be deprived of the talents and skills of patriotic Americans just because they happen to be gay or lesbian.

“I want to commend our civilian and military leadership for moving forward in the careful and deliberate manner that this change requires, especially with our nation at war. I want to thank all our men and women in uniform, including those who are gay or lesbian, for their professionalism and patriotism during this transition. Every American can be proud that our extraordinary troops and their families, like earlier generations that have adapted to other changes, will only grow stronger and remain the best fighting force in the world and a reflection of the values of justice and equality that the define us as Americans,” Obama said.]

The Los Angeles Times and other media reported late Thursday that two Pentagon officials said Panetta (pictured at right) and Mullen would announced Friday that the two can certify military readiness to Congress – one of the stipulations for enacting repeal of the federal law banning openly gay people from service. The repeal law passed in December also requires the president to submit written certification to Congress of military readiness.

After the three submit their certifications, a 60-day clock ticks down before repeal is actually implemented.

The Washington Post noted that Panetta is to be sworn in as Defense secretary, replacing retired Secretary Robert Gates, on Friday at the Pentagon in northern Virginia. ABC News reported that the certification announcement will take place at the Pentagon shortly after Panetta is sworn in.

The White House official schedules indicate that Vice President Joe Biden will swear in Panetta at 11 a.m. and that Obama will meet with Panetta and Mullen at 2:45 p.m. EDT. The White House schedule does not indicate the topic of the afternoon meeting and notes the meeting is closed to the press.

– by Lisa Keen

— Cynthia Laird, July 22, 2011 @ 9:39 am PST
Filed under: News

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