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Sergeant Maj. James Walsh, the Headquarters Battalion sergeant major, discusses a scenario designed to test the decision-making abilities of Marines and their understanding of the rules and regulations covering the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Photo by Lance Cpl. D. J. Wu

Leaders ready Marines for DADT repeal as training deadline nears

13 May 2011 | Lance Cpl. D. J. Wu

Although Title 10 United States Code Section 654, more commonly known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” is still in effect in the Armed Forces, the Marine Corps is making sure all of its Marines are ready if and when it is repealed.

Execution for Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Marine Administrative Message 108/11, states that all tier 3 training and education must be completed by May 31.

The tier 3 training consists of a message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, and a standard presentation loaded with all the pertinent information on what to be ready for once the repeal is set in place. The training also provides vignettes, demonstration scenarios to clarify the policy and test Marines’ decision-making abilities, according to the rules and regulations after the repeal of DADT. The training is a requirement for all Marines, sailors assigned to Marine units and civilian supervisors.

The brief does not force anyone to change their beliefs, rather, its main purpose is to educate Marines on the repeal and its effects. It also emphasizes that discrimination against any Marine will not be tolerated, and that remains true.

“Leaders at all levels must set the example and must be fully committed to the Department of Defense intent to sustain unit effectiveness, readiness and unit cohesion,” according to MARADMIN 108/11.

Leaders like Headquarters Battalion sergeant major, Sgt. Maj. James Walsh, who gave a DADT tier 3 training brief Tuesday, said, “It doesn’t matter if you agree with the repeal or not; as Marines, we’re here to follow orders.”

While face-to-face delivery of the brief is the preferred method, personnel who make it to commander or office-in-charge briefs will be directed to MarineNet to complete the training online.

As it stands, the repeal is not yet in effect and all policies concerning DADT are still being upheld. But the education and training is a step in the successful and smooth implementation of the repeal.

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