The (US) military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, one described in 1993 by President Bill Clinton as “an honorable compromise” that eventually destroyed thousands of careers, ended Tuesday at 12:01 a.m., nine months after Congress repealed the law.
Though September 20, 2011 may be remembered as much as a nonevent for the nation’s armed forces as it is a landmark day for equality, an official military memorandum on the end of DADT distributed Monday is striking nonetheless:
“From this day forward, gay and lesbian Soldiers may serve in our Army with the dignity and respect they deserve,” Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh and Army officials wrote. “For over 236 years, the U.S. Army has been an extraordinary force for good in the world. Our Soldiers are the most agile, adaptable and capable warriors in history — and we are ready for this change.”