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Defense GC Jeh Johnson Writes Don't Ask, Don't Tell Plan

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By Laura Strachan, Esq. on December 22, 2010 5:57 AM

Don't Ask Don't Tell has been repealed. The controversial 17-year policy that banned openly gay men and women from serving in the U.S. military was repealed by a 65-31 vote in the senate just before the end of the year. The long process may meet its biggest challenge yet: implementing and integrating homosexual servicemen and women.

Hoping for a seamless integration process is the goal. Helping this process is the Don't Ask Don't Tell plan drafted by Defense Department general counsel Jeh Johnson along with Army General Carter Ham. The duo led a 66-person team in drafting the almost 300-page Pentagon study that will help guide the transition. The Don't Ask Don't Tell Plan not only looked at how ending DADT would affect troop readiness and morale, but also posed potential problems and solutions to the new issues the military may be confronted with.

In addition to playing a key role in the drafting of the plan, Jeh Johnson also had a chance to step outside of the courtroom, literally. As part of his research, Johnson, 53, visited military bases across the country and in Europe.

"Most general counsels do not have a chance to get out and about like I did, so this was a huge learning experience for me. I was impressed with the level of civility and professionalism we were able to have about this debate," The Washington Post quotes Johnson. Johnson, a Columbia Law School graduate worked exclusively on the Don't Ask Don't Tell Plan for nine months. Johnson has been the Defense Department's top lawyer since February 2009.

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