Hi All,
Below please find an email the President sent out yesterday on his certification of DADT, along with his official statement on the official Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Getting “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Done

Posted by Katelyn Sabochik on July 22, 2011 at 05:49 PM EDT
President Barack Obama signs the certification stating the statutory requirements for repeal of DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) have been met, in the Oval Office, July 22, 2011.
Today, President Obama signed a certification ending the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for good beginning September 20, 2011. The President signed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” into law last December.
The President sent the email below to individuals and organizations who worked hard to make this victory possible.
Last year, I visited Afghanistan. I was there to thank our men and women in uniform, the brave Americans who have given so much on behalf of this country and who make me so proud to be Commander-in-Chief.  At one of America’s bases there, I was shaking hands and taking pictures, walking along a pretty tight crowd of service members.  A young woman in uniform pulled me into a hug.  She leaned in close so I could hear her over the noise and whispered, “Get `Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ done.”
I said to her, “I promise you I will.”
A few weeks later, after a struggle that lasted almost two decades, I signed a law to repeal this policy.  I signed it with absolute confidence in our men and women in uniform, in their professionalism and in their capacity to adapt to this change, just as they have adapted and grown stronger with other changes throughout our history.  And I signed this repeal knowing that our military would be stronger – and our nation safer – for the service of patriotic gay men and women who would no longer have to live a lie in order to defend the country they love.
Today, in accordance with this law, I signed the certification that will end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” once and for all.  The Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also have certified that the military is ready for the repeal.  Sixty days from now, on September 20th, the repeal will be complete and gay men and women will be able to serve their country openly.
On that day, I’ll be thinking of the young woman I met in Afghanistan.  And I’ll be thinking of the countless others like her, straight and gay alike, who love this nation and the ideals for which it was founded, and who have signed up to serve so that we might all live in freedom and uphold this simple creed: we are all created equal.
Thank you for helping to make this victory for our country possible.
Barack Obama
Read my statement on the Certification of Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.


Office of the Press Secretary



July 22, 2011

Statement by the President on Certification of Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell


Today, we have taken the final major step toward ending the discriminatory `Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law that undermines our military readiness and violates American principles of fairness and equality.  In accordance with the legislation that I signed into law last December, I have certified and notified Congress that the requirements for repeal have been met.  `Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ will end, once and for all, in 60 days—on September 20, 2011.


As Commander in Chief, I have always been confident that our dedicated men and women in uniform would transition to a new policy in an orderly manner that preserves unit cohesion, recruitment, retention and military effectiveness.  Today’s action follows extensive training of our military personnel and certification by Secretary Panetta and Admiral Mullen that our military is ready for repeal.  As of September 20th, service members will no longer be forced to hide who they are in order to serve our country.  Our military will no longer be deprived of the talents and skills of patriotic Americans just because they happen to be gay or lesbian.


I want to commend our civilian and military leadership for moving forward in the careful and deliberate manner that this change requires, especially with our nation at war.  I want to thank all our men and women in uniform, including those who are gay or lesbian, for their professionalism and patriotism during this transition.  Every American can be proud that our extraordinary troops and their families, like earlier generations that have adapted to other changes, will only grow stronger and remain the best fighting force in the world and a reflection of the values of justice and equality that the define us as Americans.

Attached are the certification and transmittal letters concerning the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.



Secretary Panetta’s Statement on Certification of Readiness to Implement Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Fri, 22 Jul 2011 16:25:00 -0500




No. 644-11
July 22, 2011




Secretary Panetta’s Statement on Certification of Readiness to Implement Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell


“Last December, this department began a careful and methodical process to prepare for the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

“Since then, the Repeal Implementation Team has worked to coordinate the necessary changes to policy and regulations, and to provide education and training to service members.  This effort, led by Undersecretary of Defense Clifford R. Stanley, was designed to ensure the smoothest possible transition for the U.S. military to accommodate and implement this important and necessary change.

“Today, as a result of strong leadership and proactive education throughout the force, we can take the next step in this process.  The President, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and I have certified that the implementation of repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the armed forces.  This certification decision was carefully made after receiving input from the service chiefs, service secretaries and from all the combatant commanders, who stated their views that the force is prepared for this change.

“With this certification, and in accordance with the law, on Sept. 20, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ will be repealed.  We will have taken the time necessary to get this done right and to ensure that service members are properly trained for a change that I believe is essential to the effectiveness of our all-volunteer force.

“All men and women who serve this nation in uniform — no matter their race, color, creed, religion, or sexual orientation — do so with great dignity, bravery, and dedication.  As secretary of defense, I am committed to promoting an environment free from personal, social, or institutional barriers that prevent service members from rising to the highest level of responsibility that their talents and capabilities warrant.  They put their lives on the line for America, and that’s what really matters.  Thanks to the professionalism and leadership of the U.S. military, we are closer to achieving the goal that is at the foundation of America — equality and dignity for all.”

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)

On the Web:http://www.defense.gov/releases/
Media Contact: +1 (703) 697-5131/697-5132
Public Contact:http://www.defense.gov/landing/questions.aspx or +1 (703) 428-0711 +1


Adm. Mike Mullen’s Statement on Certification of Readiness to Implement Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Fri, 22 Jul 2011 16:25:00 -0500




No. 642-11
July 22, 2011




Adm. Mike Mullen’s Statement on Certification of Readiness to Implement Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell


“I believe the U.S. armed forces are ready for the implementation of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.  I conveyed that opinion yesterday to the President and to the secretary of defense, and today we certified this to Congress.

“My opinion is informed by close consultation with the service chiefs and the combatant commanders over the course of six months of thorough preparation and assessment, to include the training of a substantial majority of our troops.

“I am comfortable that we have used the findings of the Comprehensive Review Working Group to mitigate areas of concern and that we have developed the policy and regulations necessary for implementation — consistent with standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention.

“Certification does not mark the end of our work.  Ready though we are, we owe it to ourselves and to the nation we defend to continue to train the remainder of the joint force, to monitor our performance as we do so, and to adjust policy where and when needed.

“My confidence in our ability to accomplish this work rests primarily on the fact that our people are capable, well-led and thoroughly professional.  I have never served with finer men and women.  They will, I am certain, carry out repeal and continue to serve this country with the same high standards and dignity that have defined the U.S. military throughout our history.”

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)

On the Web:http://www.defense.gov/releases/
Media Contact: +1 (703) 697-5131/697-5132
Public Contact: +1 (703) 428-0711 +1



REPEALWASHINGTON – PFLAG National (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians
and Gays) – the nation’s largest grassroots-based organization for
parents, families and friends of lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT) people – has issued the following statement
regarding the certification of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,”
the law which bans gays and lesbians from openly serving in the
military.”This is the end of government-supported discrimination against gay
and lesbian service members who honorably serve their country and the
beginning of a new chapter in our military history, one focused on the
inclusion of everyone who nobly defends our nation and our
responsibility to them when they come home. PFLAG National hopes that
the Joining Forces program spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama
and Dr. Jill Biden will be inclusive of all military families and
reflect programs and outreach that are responsive to our gay and
lesbian service members, their spouses and families, and the unique
issues that they often face,” said PFLAG National Executive Director
Jody M. Huckaby.”It has been 212 days since the president signed the repeal of `Don’t
Ask, Don’t Tell’, and there will be another 60 days to wait before
implementation begins. Beyond that, more waiting lies ahead, as legal
partners and spouses of serving gays and lesbians will not receive any
benefits or even recognition from the Department of Defense.  Without
that all-important U.S. military spouse identification card, these
spouses and partners will have no medical coverage, no on-base housing
and, perhaps most important, no survivor benefits or next-of-kin
notification in case of death.  Repeal of `Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is a
significant victory, but an incomplete victory.  DOMA must be repealed
to ensure that serving gay or lesbian is truly equal to serving
straight,” said PFLAG National board member Col. Daniel Tepfer, USAF

PFLAG National is committed to securing full civil rights for lesbian,
gay, bisexual, and transgender people, by providing support, education
and advocacy. Founded in 1973 by mothers and fathers, PFLAG has more
than 200,000 members and supporters in more than 350 chapters
throughout the United States. To learn more, please visit http://www.pflag.org.


If you have any questions about the certification process of repealing DADT, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 202-467-8180 x 221 or rperry@pflag.org.
Thank you for all of your hard work advocating for the final repeal of this discriminatory law!
Rhodes Perry
Associate Director of Policy and Programs
PFLAG National