The law that more than 1,000 military officers predicted would “undermine recruiting efforts, negatively affect troop readiness and eventually break the All-Volunteer Force “ has proven their claims false.
No Disastrous Consequences For Armed Forces Resulted from DADT Repeal
The Palm Study, the first academic study of the military’s new open service policy, from the Williams Institute, found that within the first year of DADT repeal, there has been no “ overall negative impact on unit cohesion, recruitment, retention of morals or military readiness.”
Aaron Belkin, the Palm Center’s Founding Director and lead author of the study, attests “now the evidence is in, and the conclusion is clear: repealing the 1993 law that openly banned gay and lesbian service members from the service did not harm the military, and if anything made it easier for the Pentagon to pursue its mission.”
How Was The Study Done?
The co-authors of the study include professors at the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, and U.S. Marine Corps War College.
The goal of the study was to” affirmatively and vigorously look for problems in the implementation of openly gay service,” according to file://localhost/”New Study on DADT Repeal/ “Openly Gay Service Has Worked,” Huffpost Gay Voices:09:10:2012, To do this, the authors interviewed almost one hundred troops and experts, conducted a statistical experiment, administered surveys, and observed the field operations of military units. They contacted public opponents of DADT repeal. They solicited the views of top staff members who were anti-DADT repeal and reached out to 553 retired generals, who in 2009, professed that the repeal would ruin the All-Volunteer Force.
Findings of the Palm Study
Tammy Schultz, one of the authors, a professor at the U.S. Marine Academy, expressed relief at the findings: “the study showed that the repeal actually improved trust and cohesion among the troops.
Pentagon data illustrate that recruitment and retention remained robust after repeal. The troops reported that the same level of morale and readiness was operative after repeal as before repeal. Cohesion was thought to be better. Only two service members, who are chaplains, left the military due to DADT repeal.
Harassment Still a Problem
There are still isolated incidents of anti-gay slurs in the military, but the authors found evidence that DADT’s repeal improved trust among troops, facilitated problem resolution and has led to more frank discussions that debunk myths about gay people. A Pentagon spokesperson told the study’s co-authors that she was not aware of an episode of violence associated with repeal. While the military has benefitted from having gays serve openly, what have the gays achieved from the military’s one year-old law?
G.O.P. Doesn’t Think It’s Gone So Smoothly
Last month, the GOP added a provision to its platform that implies that some members of the Republican party are skeptical about its success. In the first passage, the platform promises to “reject the use of the military as a platform for social experimentation.” In the second, it states that the Republicans will conduct an “objective and open-minded review of the current Administration’s management of military personnel policies and will correct problems with appropriate administrative, legal, or legislative action.” Romney told the Des Moines Register that he was not planning on reversing the repeal “at this stage.”