The secret is out. Don't Ask Don't Tell, the controversial policy which bans openly gay military members from disclosing their sexual orientation, has been repealed 65-31 in a historic senate vote Monday.
The don't ask don't tell' repeal also rested on a detailed Pentagon study looking at the potential effect openly gay servicemen and woman will have on troop morale and combat issues. Opponents of the DADT policy argued that such a ban was a violation of a gay military member's right to due process, free speech and open association.
The 300-page DADT Pentagon report will also be instrumental in what will hopefully be a seamless integration of gay and lesbian soldiers. The report outlines numerous situations that may arise and also poses potential solutions ranging from religious issues to combat concerns.
The central inquiry was whether changes in the policy would affect troop readiness, cohesion or military recruitment and retention. It will be interesting to watch just how each branch will incorporate and embrace the DADT repeal.
Successfully implementing the changes, "will depend upon strong leadership, a clear message and proactive education throughout the force," Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told The Washington Post. "With a continued and sustained commitment to core values of leadership, professionalism and respect for all, I am convinced that the U.S. military can successfully accommodate and implement these changes, as it has others in history."
The Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal has been a widely-publicized debate with supporters ranging from the president himself to pop princess Lady Gaga. Still left on the implementation agenda? To draft the necessary military policies and regulations that will guide the change in process. Many believe it will not be much of a change for military life as troops have been doing it for years, just not openly. The openness coupled with new rules will hopefully serve to assuage any potential problems that may develop.