It will be sometime late this year when the Pentagon officially lifts its ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.
Clifford Stanley, the Defense Department’s top civilian leader for personnel, and other top officials say in Politico all four branches will start training next month on how to implement the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
The ban on open service will stay in effect until Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff agree to certify that the force is ready. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell goes away 60 days after that.
Stanley says the Department’s main goal will be to confirm that it has trained all units – as opposed to all troops – before top commanders tell the Secretary they’re ready for the ban to end.
Eventually every service member – including members of the Guard and Reserves – will receive training. He says the initial focus on large groups will let DoD move more quickly.
This story is part of Federal News Radio’s daily DoD Report. For more defense news, click here.