The heads of the Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy oppose the current amendment to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." Senator John McCain's office just released letters from the chiefs of the armed services, as well as a statement from the senator urging Congress to let the military complete its study before taking legislative action.
“I cannot over emphasize the importance of completing the comprehensive review prior to taking any legislative action," says McCain. "Our military is currently engaged in two wars and we need to have a true assessment of the impact of repealing ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ on battlefield effectiveness prior to taking any legislative action. We must remain focused on what is in the best interest of our service men and women and not simply fulfill a campaign promise.”
McCain has written a letter to Levin opposing repeal. Here are excerpts from the service chiefs' letters:
“I remain convinced that it is critically important to get a better understanding of where our Soldiers and Families are on this issue, and what the impacts on readiness and unit cohesion might be, so that I can provide informed military advice to the President and the Congress,” said General George W. Casey, Jr, U.S. Army. “I also believe that repealing the law before the completion of the review will be seen by the men and women of the Army as a reversal of our commitment to hear their views before moving forward.”
“We need this review to fully assess our force and carefully examine potential impacts of a change in the law. My concern is that legislative changes at this point, regardless of the precise language used, may cause confusion on the status of the law in the Fleet and disrupt the review process itself by leading Sailors to question whether their input matters,” said Admiral Roughe ad, U.S. Navy.
“I encourage the Congress to let the process the Secretary of Defense created to run its course. Collectively, we must make logical and pragmatic decisions about the long-term policies of our Armed Forces – Which so effectively defend this great nation,” said General James T. Conway, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.
“I believe it is important, a matter of keeping faith with those currently serving in the Armed Forces, that the Secretary of Defense commissioned review be completed before there is any legislation to repeal the DA/DT law. Such action allows me to provide the best military advise to the President, and sends an important signal to our Airmen and their families that their opinion matters. To do otherwise, in my view, would be presumptive and would reflect an intent to act before all relevant factors are assessed, digested and understood,” said General Norton A. Schwartz, U.S. Air Force.