The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the U.S. military’s policy of banning openly gay servicemembers, was signed into law late last year. Nevertheless, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., has already introduced a bill that would require the signature of chiefs of the four branches of the military to sign off on the repeal as well.
Hunter, a Marine combat veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, is calling the legislation the Restore Military Readiness Act.
“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,” Hunter said in a statement.
“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 current law requires the president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to sign off on the repeal.
A new Government Accountability Office report says the military spent over $193 million between 2004 and 2009 to replace around 3,660 troops. A Palm Center study in 2006 reported that $363.8 million was spent by the military in the policy’s first 10 years.
It’s worth noting that although Gen. James Amos — a Marine Corps Commandant — opposed the repeal, he said he would implement it anyway if Congress passed a law.
Cosponsors of the legislation include:
Rep Bartlett, Roscoe G. [MD-6] Rep Bilbray, Brian P. [CA-50] Rep Chaffetz, Jason [UT-3] Rep Conaway, K. Michael [TX-11] Rep Davis, Geoff [KY-4] Rep Fleming, John [LA-4] Rep Franks, Trent [AZ-2] Rep Gibbs, Bob [OH-18] Rep Gingrey, Phil [GA-11] Rep Huelskamp, Tim [KS-1] Rep Lamborn, Doug [CO-5] Rep Luetkemeyer, Blaine [MO-9] Rep Manzullo, Donald A. [IL-16] Rep Miller, Jeff [FL-1] Rep Pearce, Stevan [NM-2] Rep Rogers, Mike D. [AL-3] Rep West, Allen B. [FL-22]
Luke Johnson reports on Florida for The American Independent.