Anonymous military officials revealed the results of a year-long Pentagon study to NBC News today. The outcome of the study is that most U.S. troops and their families don’t care whether gay and lesbian service members serve openly and they think the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy should be discontinued. The Pentagon has officially refused to discuss the study until after December 1 when its own plan for repeal is announced.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered the study earlier this year when it became apparent that the President and the Democratic-controlled Congress wanted the policy repealed. 400,000 surveys were sent out to troops and 150,000 were sent out to military families to see what their opinion was of gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. The cost of the survey was $4.5 million.
NBC News’ Richard Engel reported, “A key thing this study kept coming back to is that it’s very important about the chain of command. What commanders say. How far commanders act. What tone they set. The marines were the most negative out of the services. They had the most people who were — with negative responses. And the Marine Corps leadership has taken a stance and has been very vocally against this issue. And the study found that most soldiers and sailors and all different service members follow a chain of command. So if the chain of command accepts this as the law, the data is that so will the soldiers.”