Washington D.C. – This morning, U.S. Congressman Duncan Hunter, a Marine combat veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, introduced the Restore Military Readiness Act.  The legislation requires that all four military service chiefs certify that implementation of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)” repeal does not impact combat readiness and effectiveness. 

“The idea behind the Restore Military Readiness Act is not necessarily to prevent the implementation of the DADT repeal, but rather to ensure that military readiness and combat effectiveness are not adversely impacted,” said Congressman Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.  “The service chiefs -- most notably the Commandant of the Marine Corps and Army Chief of Staff -- provided a clear and candid assessment of the unique challenges involving implementation, emphasizing that doing so could take time, attention and resources away from winning in Afghanistan.  All the while, their assessment was contradicted by Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, who reported that repeal presents ‘low risk.’

“Given that the service chiefs carry most of the day-to-day responsibilities for each service branch, their independent certification is just as important and equally necessary.  The implementation process needs to be efficient, and take into account the direct challenges involving our combat personnel.  The best way to do this is to ensure the service chiefs are prominently positioned at the forefront of this discussion.”