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Don't Ask Don't Tell Facts
RADM Alan M. Steinman, USPHS/USCG (Ret)

  1. The DADT law was founded on the assumption that there exists in the military sufficient dislike of homosexuals that the mere knowledge of the presence of a gay, lesbian or bisexual service member would degrade unit morale, unit cohesion and combat readiness.  No military or academic study or objective data has ever supported this assumption.

  1. By contrast, a DoD commissioned study in 1993 found exactly the opposite.  The Rand Corporation found that “the presence of known homosexuals on the force is not likely to undermine military performance."  And a 2008 Flag Officer Study Group Report stated the following: “Evidence shows that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly is unlikely to pose any significant risk to morale, good order, discipline or cohesion.”

  1. More recently a Zogby International Poll of Iraq/Afghanistan troops indicated that 68% of the personnel either knew for certain or suspected there were gays or lesbians in their own unit, and 73% of them said they were comfortable working around gays and lesbians.  And an on-going informal poll of young Naval and Marine Corps officers attending the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey, CA found that 75% of the students personally know of gays on active duty in the military.  Despite the widely known presence of gays and lesbians among combat troops, the Department of Defense has not reported any diminution in unit morale, unit cohesion or combat readiness. 

  1. Therefore tens of thousands of U.S. troops know for certain or suspect there are gays in their own unit, and operational readiness and effectiveness is not impaired.

  1. With so many gays already serving honorably, known to their peers and sometimes even to their commands without negative impact, there is no justification for continuing the DADT law.

  1. On the contrary, the DADT law not only results in the involuntary discharge of 650-700 troops per year, but more importantly, it causes the voluntary departure of 2500-3000 gay, lesbian or bisexual service members each year.  The total annual loss of 3000-4000 trained and experienced troops, many of whom are in critical specialties (linguists, physicians, corpsmen, pilots, etc.), and none of whom can be easily replaced with a recruit out of boot camp or a young officer out of OCS or a service academy, results in a degradation of combat effectiveness and a negative impact on national security. 

  2009 Gay Military Signal