IAVA Joins Top Military Leaders in Supporting Repeal of DADT
Posted by Isabel Black on December 9
On December 3rd, IAVA released a statement in support of the Defense Department's and top military leaders' position in favor of repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
As an organization that represents veterans and troops serving in the current conflicts, our members have a unique perspective on the modern dynamics of this issue. A recent IAVA survey revealed that a clear majority of our membership does not object to gay men and women openly serving in the military. These survey results come after years of extensive discussions with our members, key leaders in the new veterans community and the Department of Defense (DoD), all of which helped IAVA reach an informed decision on this policy. Our membership’s views are consistent with the results of the Pentagon’s Comprehensive Working Group report released earlier this week, which revealed that over two-thirds of servicemembers do not think ending this policy would have an impact on military cohesion and readiness.
“IAVA shares Secretary Gates’ and Admiral Mullen’s opinion that upholding the integrity of the military as an institution is critical. All men and women who have committed their lives to service and sacrifice in our military should be treated equally,” IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff stated. “We also share the concern of military leaders that a prolonged court battle resulting from failure to repeal DADT legislatively would be damaging and disruptive to our armed forces. Allowing the courts to decide this issue could result in an overnight repeal that may not allow adequate preparation time for troops on the ground. Our military needs clear leadership and guidance on this policy to maintain the highest level of cohesion, effectiveness and readiness. That clarity can only come with legislative action now. We urge the Senate to move quickly to pass the NDAA, including the DADT provision.”
In addition to DADT, the NDAA contains key provisions to expand mental health care resources, address Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and improve electronic sharing of health records between the DoD and the VA, all issues of critical importance to IAVA’s membership.
To see the DoD’s full report, click here. IAVA is listed as a VSO contributor on page 41.
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