Washington (CNN) — A Pentagon study on how to implement a plan to allow gays to serve openly in the military, “can only be successful if it is managed in a way that minimizes disruption to a force engaged in combat operations,” according to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Gates made the comments in a letter sent Tuesday to the four service heads and other senior staff who will work on a study looking at implications of repealing the “don’t ask don’t tell” law.
President Barack Obama requested that the Congress repeal the law and directed Gates to consider how best to implement a repeal.
The letter by Gates included an outline with objectives for the study and how to approach executing it throughout the services.
Some of the objectives include:
However, senior military officials have said that attitudes among troops about serving with openly gay service members have relaxed and many now do not worry about serving along side homosexual troops.
To prove the more relaxed attitude for the Gates study, an anonymous survey will be given to troops to voice their attitudes toward the possible repeal of the law, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told a Congressional panel last month.
The Pentagon review is the first since the Congressional law took effect in 1993 banning service members from acknowledging they are gay.
The final report is due to Gates on December 1, and then will be presented to Obama.