December 3, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today attended the second hearing this week to further evaluate the Pentagon's report on Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy with the uniform leaders of our military services. As a long-time proponent of listening to our military commanders, Inhofe echoed the concerns of the service chiefs.
"There are many serious implications of a DADT repeal that continue to concern me," said Inhofe. "Our military's ability to fight, protect, and win hinges on their ability to focus on the combat mission. Today, the military service chiefs almost unanimously balked at idea of an immediate repeal of DADT, voicing their concerns about the added stress an immediate repeal would place on our Servicemembers, especially those actively engaged in combat. After a thorough review of the report and listening to our Service Chiefs and Commandants, I believe DADT should not be repealed due to the high risk of impacting military effectiveness and cohesiveness."
Inhofe continued, "The DADT report claims that 30 percent of military members surveyed thought repealing DADT would have a negative impact on their ability to conduct their military mission and nearly 24 percent said they would leave or think about leaving sooner than planned. Additionally, in almost every question, the percentage of service members who believe a repeal would have a negative impact was greater than the percentage of service members who believed a repeal who have a positive impact. These details, along with the results of the information exchange forums (IFEs) should not be ignored as they clearly show a negative impact on our military.
"Furthermore, the DADT repeal also raises many religious and moral concerns among chaplains in the military. These concerns that have yet to be fully addressed and I share their concerns that reversing this policy may negatively impact religious freedom and chaplain retention. I believe additional hearings are needed to include the opinions of our senior enlisted advisors, chiefs of personnel, chaplains, medical surgeon generals, and spouses."