Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell Update

Earlier today, the Commandant and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard released an update on the Department of Defense’s review of the policy commonly known as “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” (DADT).

As many of you know, President Obama asked Congress in his 2010 State of the Union address to repeal the law that established DADT. Following the speech, the Department of Defense established the Comprehensive Review Working Group to explore the best way to transition our Armed Forces should Congress elect to repeal that law.  Last week, Congress began its work to develop legislation to do just that.

As an Armed Force, the Coast Guard is actively participating in the DoD Working Group exploring these options and will follow Pentagon policy changes on this issue.

Today’s update from Admiral Papp and Master Chief Leavitt informed Coast Guardsmen of specific ways the Working Group is engaging members of the military around the country this summer to inform their recommendations to the President, Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on how best to implement a repeal of DADT consistent with standards of military readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion and recruiting/retention of the Armed Forces.

As part of the development of its report, the Working Group will continue to engage the military around the country this summer, a survey will be released in the late June, and an Online Inbox has been established for military members and their families to provide anonymous input to the Working Group leadership.  Your participation in these efforts is highly encouraged.  The feedback from our Shipmates and their spouses will help shape this important policy.

The repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell would mark a sea change for the Coast Guard. As senior leadership looks to the men and women who make up the Coast Guard family to inform this policy, we wanted to take the opportunity not only to share this update with our readers, but to encourage a respectful dialogue on the issue here on Coast Guard Compass. Currently, only active duty military can access the Anonymous Online Inbox, but the Working Group intends to establish a web-based non-DoD website this summer where confidential input can be submitted. In the meantime, we invite you to share your thoughts in our comment section.

To be clear, we will NOT publish comments that violate our comment policy, but appreciate that there are two sides to every issue and look forward to sharing what you have to say with our leadership.

Click here to read Admiral Papp and Master Chief Leavitt’s message to the women and men of the Coast Guard.