Hill to Obama: Don't repeal DADT policy

In a letter to President Obama, American Legion National Commander Clarence Hill stated his group's opposition to repealing the military's ‘don't ask, don't tell' (DADT) policy.

"We feel strongly that the current policy has served the U.S. military well for 17 years and it would not be wise to make a major cultural change in the middle of two wars and with tension rising on the Korean peninsula," Hill wrote. "Moreover, the Department of Defense has already directed a study on the policy and it would be premature to act before the commission conducting the study releases its findings. It defies logic."

The American Legion is concerned with reports that members of Congress might seek to repeal the law.

"House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, who sat on the committee when DADT was implemented, opposes its repeal. Additionally, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway and Army Chief of Staff George Casey have also voiced concerns about the impact such a chance would have on the current force structure," said Hill, a retired U.S. Navy captain and veteran of the Gulf War. "The military is a unique environment, in which DADT has worked well without diminishing our nation's war-fighting capability. Indeed, the core purpose of our military is to fight and win our nation's wars. We believe that repealing the DADT policy at this time may well be detrimental to the security of our nation. Therefore, we urge you to postpone any such decision until the wisdom of this action has been fully studied."

Following is the text of the letter.

The Honorable President Barack ObamaThe White House1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NWWashington, DC 20500Dear Mr. President, The American Legion is concerned about reports that you might seek an amendment in Congress which would end the military's "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy. As the nation's largest wartime veterans organization, we feel strongly that the current policy has served the U.S. military well for 17 years and it would not be wise to make a major cultural change in the middle of two wars and with tension rising on the Korean peninsula. Moreover, the Department of Defense has already directed a study on the policy and it would be premature to act before the commission conducting the study releases its findings. It defies logic. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, who sat on the committee when DADT was implemented, opposes its repeal. Additionally, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway and Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey have also voiced concerns about the impact such a change would have on the current force structure. The military is a unique environment, in which DADT has worked well without diminishing our nation's war-fighting capability. Indeed, the core purpose of our military is to fight and win our nation's wars. We believe that repealing the DADT policy at this time may well be detrimental to the security of our nation. Therefore, we urge you to postpone any such decision until the wisdom of this action has been fully studied. Sincerely, Clarence E. Hill National CommanderThe American LegionCC: U.S. Congress Secretary of Defense Robert Gates Joint Chiefs of Staff