Sexual Orientation and U.S. Military Personnel Policy: An Update of RAND's 1993 Study

Sexual Orientation and U.S. Military Personnel Policy: An Update of RAND's 1993 Study

Sexual Orientation and U.S. Military Personnel Policy: An Update of RAND's 1993 Study

Sexual Orientation and U.S. Military Personnel Policy: An Update of RAND's 1993 Study

Synopsis

This study on sexual orientation and U.S. military policy, requested by the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Secretary of Defense in order to weigh repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, examines public and military opinion on allowing gay men and lesbians to serve without restriction; research on sexual orientation, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention; and experiences of domestic agencies and foreign militaries.

Excerpt

In his January 27, 2010, State of the Union address, President Barack Obama announced that he would work with Congress to repeal 10 U.S.C. 654, the law commonly known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). On February 2, 2010, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), announced that he had established a high-level working group within the Department of Defense (DoD) to review the issues associated with properly implementing a repeal of the DADT policy. He also stated that, in response to a request from the chairman of SASC, Senator Carl Levin, and the ranking member, Senator John McCain, he would ask the RAND Corporation to update its 1993 study, Sexual Orientation and U.S. Military Personnel Policy: Options and Assessment.

RAND’s update of the 1993 study is documented in this report. It provides information and analysis required to structure the issues relevant to ending discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in determining who may serve in the U.S. armed forces and to do so in a manner that is practical, realistic, and consistent with the high standards of combat effectiveness and unit cohesion that U.S. forces must maintain. An overview (Chapter One) provides a synthesis of the entire study and serves as a road map pointing the reader toward the 12 substantive chapters and associated appendix.

The research was sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and conducted by a multidisciplinary team of researchers within the Forces and Resources Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

Public Law 101-160 (November 30, 1993), codified at United States Code, Title 10, Subtitle A, Part II, Chapter 37, Section 654, Policy Concerning Homosexuality in the Armed Forces.

Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Authorization Request For Fiscal Year 2011; The Future Years Defense Program; The 2011 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR); The 2011 Ballistic Missile Defense Review (BMDR); The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy, Washington, D.C., February 2, 2010.

RAND Corporation, Sexual Orientation and U.S. Military Personnel Policy: Options and Assessment, Santa Monica, Calif., MR-323-OSD, 1993.

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