Conway: Study needed before DADT repeal
02-24-2010 12:15 PM
The top officers of the Marine Corps and Navy said Wednesday that they oppose repealing the 17-year-old policy banning gays from serving openly in the military until a one-year study on its effects is completed by the Pentagon.
Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway and Navy Adm. Gary Roughead made the point during a budget hearing before the House Armed Services Committee.
“That needs to be done, because only with that information can we talk about the force we have,” Roughead said of the proposed study. “We need to proceed down that path.”
Defense Secretary Robert Gates called for the study earlier this month while voicing his personal support for the repeal of the policy, a flash point for some in the military.
Conway agreed with Roughhead, saying the “central issue” for the Marine Corps needs to be keeping the force ready to engage in ongoing military operations in Afghanistan.
“I would argue that we’ve done a pretty good job of bringing that to pass,” Conway said.
The testimony of the two officers comes one day after the top officers in the Army and Air Force weighed in on repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
Gen. George Casey, the Army chief of staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee he had “serious concerns” about overturning the policy. He added that he does support a yearlong study, however.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz circled around the issue.
“This not the time to perturb the force … without careful deliberations,” Schwartz told the House Armed Services Committee.
Army chief of staff opposes quick change in gay policy
Study argues for quick repeal of gay policy
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