WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Gary Roughead, announced to the Fleet Sept. 20 repeal of the 18-year old statute known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," allowing gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members to begin serving openly.
NAVADMIN 271/11 is the 15th message in a series informing leadership and Sailors as the Navy moved through planning and training towards the repeal. In this message, CNO explained to the Fleet how this significant policy change will be effectively implemented through command leadership and adherence to Navy's core values.
"I have been impressed with our training, detailed preparation, demonstrated professionalism, and decency of our Navy as we prepared for repeal. You have supported the process admirably and treated all your shipmates with dignity and respect. Thank you for how you have conducted this transition," said Roughead. "I know your superb professionalism will continue in the post repeal environment as our Navy continues to be a positive, inclusive environment for all."
Immediately following that message NAVADMIN 272/11, offered further policy guidance regarding the repeal. The message explained that sexual orientation or lawful acts of homosexual conduct will not be considered as a bar to military service or admission to service academies, ROTC or any other accession program. Accordingly, Sailors who were discharged solely under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" may apply to reenter the Navy and can expect to be evaluated according to the same criteria and service requirements applicable to all prior-service members seeking reentry.
While the primary focus of repeal has been on changes in the law, some of the most important aspects can be found in what will remain the same. For instance, sexual orientation will continue to be a personal and private matter. Current and future Sailors will not be asked, nor be required to reveal, their sexual orientation.
Standards of conduct remain unchanged. Existing Navy standards of conduct will continue to apply to all Sailors regardless of sexual orientation. Enforcement of standards, including those related to public displays of affection, dress and appearance, and fraternization will be sexual orientation neutral. All members are responsible for upholding and maintaining the high standards of the U.S. Navy at all times and in all places.
The diversity of the force will remain a strength. Success of the Navy is enabled by the diversity of our Sailors, representing many different racial, religious, ethnic and economic backgrounds, and by the expectation that all Sailors will be treated with dignity and respect. Accordingly, there will be no changes regarding the exercise of religious beliefs.
All Sailors, regardless of sexual orientation, are entitled to an environment free from personal, social, or institutional barriers that prevent service members from rising to the highest level of responsibility possible.
To learn more about the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," visit www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/support/dadt/pages/default.aspx.
To read NAVADMIN271/11 and NAVADMIN 272/11, visit Navy Personnel Command at http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/reference/messages/NAVADMINS/Pages/NAVADMIN2011.aspx.
To read more from the chief of naval personnel, visit www.navy.mil/cnp.