In letters to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader John Boehner, American Legion National Commander Clarence Hill said The American Legion opposes repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) provision, an issue that has resurfaced with reports that members of the House might address the Clinton-era policy in the upcoming defense authorization bill.
"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," 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."
The Legion is concerned that members of the House might seek an amendment to the FY11 defense authorization bill to repeal the law.
"Under current policy, men and women are already allowed to serve their country regardless of their sexual preference. Allowing homosexual members to announce their preference within the ranks could jeopardize the unit cohesion which is so essential to military success," 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," Hill continued. "Indeed, the core purpose of our military is to fight and win our nation's wars. Enacting any law that does not enhance the military's ability to accomplish that mission would be detrimental to the security of our nation. We believe that the repeal of DADT would be such an action."