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Officials plan first 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal briefing

WASHINGTON -- The first in a series of briefings to describe the Defense Department's progress in implementing repeal of the so-called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law is coming soon, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said Jan. 26.

Clifford L. Stanley, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are slated to give the briefing Jan. 28, Mr. Morrell said.

Mr. Stanley is leading the effort for the Pentagon.

The House of Representatives passed legislation in May 2010 that called for the president, defense secretary and Joint Chiefs chairman to certify the implementation plan before the repeal takes effect.

On Nov. 30, 2010, Pentagon officials released the report of a working group that reviewed issues associated with a potential repeal. On Dec. 18, 2010, the Senate voted 65-31 for repeal, and President Barack Obama signed the bill into law Dec. 22.

On Jan. 7, at a Pentagon news conference with Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates updated reporters on the department's plan for implementing repeal of the law, which has been in effect since 1993 and remains in effect until the process is complete.

Secretary Gates said the three-step process includes finalizing changes in regulations and policies and getting a clearer definition on benefits.

The second phase is to prepare training materials for use by personnel specialists, chaplains, commanders and other leaders and those who are in daily contact with service members, he said.

The third phase, the secretary explained, is the actual training for service members.