- The study received survey responses from 115,052 servicemembers and 44,266 military spouses, and another 72,384 online comments from servicemembers and their families. The 68-member working group held 95 in-person forums with 24,000 servicemembers at 51 military installations, and held 140 smaller focus groups.
- 70% of servicemembers said repeal would have a positive, mixed, or no effect on unit cohesion and readiness. A "significant majority" of 30% expressed negative views or concerns with regards to repeal
- 69% of servicemembers said they believed they had worked with someone who is gay. Of those who knew they had worked with a gay person, 92 percent said their experience was very good, good, or neither good nor poor.
- 74% of spouses said repeal would have no bearing on whether they wanted their spouse to stay in the military; 12% who said they would want their spouse to leave sooner.
From the Executive Summary:
"Our assessment is that, when coupled with the prompt implementation of the recommendations we offer below, the risk of repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to overall military effectiveness is low. We conclude that, while a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will likely, in the short term, bring about some limited and isolated disruption to unit cohesion and retention, we do not believe this disruption will be widespread or long-lasting, and can be adequately addressed by the recommendations we offer below. Longer term, with a continued and sustained commitment to core values of leadership, professionalism, and respect for all, we are convinced that the U.S. military can adjust and accommodate this change, just as it has others in history."Recommendations for Repeal:
Courtesy of the Huffington Post:
- Repeal needs to have "strong leadership, a clear message, and proactive education." Commanders in the field need to be equipped with the proper education and training tools to educate the force on the changes.
- Military does not need to establish an extensive set of new standards of conduct for repeal, but does need to issue guidance making clear that all standards of conduct apply uniformly, without regard to sexual orientation.
- A large number of servicemembers expressed religious and moral objections to homosexuality. While the report's co-authors noted that these concerns should not be dismissed, members of the U.S. military already serve alongside people of different faiths and values. An important message of repeal needs to be servicemembers "will not be required to change their personal views and religious beliefs; they must, however, continue to respect and serve with others who hold different views and beliefs."
- Certain benefits should be accorded to same-sex partners and families of gay servicemembers, although full benefits cannot be legally extended because of the Defense of Marriage Act. For ones that are not barred by this law, the report's co-authors recommend "the benefit be refashioned to become a member-designated one -- in other words, to give the Service member, gay or straight, the discretion to designate whomever he or she wants as beneficiary."
- Servicemembers who have been discharged under DADT should be allowed to apply for re-entry.