Washington D.C. – During consideration of the national defense authorization act this week by the House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Duncan Hunter will offer an amendment to require that all four military service chiefs certify that implementation of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)” repeal won’t impact combat readiness and effectiveness. The amendment mirrors legislation previously introduced by Hunter—H.R. 337, the Restore Military Readiness Act.
“The four military service chiefs are far more closely connected to the day-to-day realities facing each respective service branch than those who are currently required to sign off on the repeal—including the President,” said Hunter, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “The President, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs should all take part in the certification process, but excluding the service chiefs is a mistake. They may agree to move forward with the repeal or they may have other recommendations for implementation and timing. Either way, their unvarnished perspective is critical to this process—especially as it relates to preserving the military’s high rate of effectiveness.
“I’ve said before that our priority should be winning in Afghanistan and focusing on the roadside bomb threat, the primary source of U.S. casualties. The repeal of DADT won’t make our troops any safer or help achieve victory any faster. Even so, any movement toward implementation must be efficient and show respect for the culture and tradition unique to each service branch and the military as a whole.”