Carter: Military ‘stronger than ever’ 5 years after repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’
Stars and Stripes | .
published: September 23, 2016
Today’s military is “a cross-section of America” that’s stronger than ever, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said while marking five years since the ban on homosexuals openly serving in the military was repealed.
“Don’t ask, don’t tell,” instituted in 1994 by the Clinton administration, prohibited those who “demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts” from military service because their presence “would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.”
In 2011, President Barack Obama lifted the policy, in which servicemembers were not to ask about others’ sexual orientation or talk about their own.
“I am proud to report that five years after the implementation of the repeal of `don’t ask, don’t tell,’ our military, drawn from a cross-section of America, is stronger than ever and continues to exemplify the very best that our great nation has to offer,” Carter said in a statement issued this week by the Department of the Defense.