This promises to be a big week for the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell so it seemed appropriate to put up a round up recent events and what you can expect this week. (Info courtesy of SLDN)
But, the org warns that servicemembers are still in jeopardy of being discharged until the policy is fully repealed. According to spokesperson Trevor Thomas, "A general just approved the separation of an SLDN client serving overseas in the U.S. Air Force. This service member now faces an administrative separation board. If the discharge moves forward, the fate of the service member's career will ultimately fall to Secretary Michael B. Donley, Dept. of Defense General Counsel Jeh Johnson, and Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel Dr. Clifford L. Stanley."
What can you expect later this week? I'll tell you after the jump.
This week looks to be chockful of action on DADT repeal. Here's what you can expect:
- Monday, November 29: President Obama will meet with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a private meeting starting at 2pm Eastern.
- Tuesday, November 30: Comprehensive Review Working Group to release its report on the implementation of repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
- Thursday, December 2: Hearing by the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on the report begins at 9am Eastern. Appearing Day 1: Honorable Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense; Honorable Jeh C. Johnson, General Counsel, Department of Defense and Co-Chair, Comprehensive Review Working Group; Admiral Michael G. Mullen, USN, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; General Carter F. Ham, USA, Commander, United States Army Europe and Co-Chair, Comprehensive Review Working Group.
- Friday, December 3: Hearing by the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on the report begins at 9 a.m. in SD-G50/ Dirksen Senate Office Building. Appearing Day 2: General James E. Cartwright, USMC, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; General George W. Casey, Jr., USA, Chief of Staff of the Army; Admiral Gary Roughead, USN, Chief of Naval Operations; General James F. Amos, USMC, Commandant of the Marine Corps; General Norton A. Schwartz, USAF, Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
After passage in the Senate, repeal advocates will focus on the conference committee where staff work would begin shortly thereafter. The committee will be tasked with resolving any differences in the House and Senate versions of the NDAA. At this time, the language in the repeal amendment for DADT is the same in both chambers - a good thing.
With identical amendment language in both chambers, it is out of the scope of conference. However, SLDN does not underestimate the "Big Four." The "Big Four" are the chairs and ranking members in the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. Traditionally, the significant policy differences are resolved by the chairs and ranking members. Only one of the four supports repeal: Senate Chairman Carl Levin. The ranking member in the Senate, Sen. John McCain, and House Chairman Ike Skelton and ranking member Rep. Howard McKeon, do not.
The conference committee will produce a conference report and and we can expect a vote in both the House and Senate chambers on that report.
Stay tuned. It's gonna be a bumpy couple of weeks.