Naval officer attitudes toward the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy
Garcia, Alfonzo E.
Eitelberg, Mark J.
Thomas, Gail F.
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The U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy continues to stimulate heated debate over its effectiveness in promoting unit cohesion, good order and discipline, personal privacy, and other organizational objectives. As military leaders focus on recruiting and retaining the highest quality personnel to fight the global war on terrorism, an increasing number of authoritative voices can be heard asking if the DADT policy has become outdated, unnecessary, or simply too costly. The present research seeks to identify trends in the attitudes of Naval officers regarding DADT, which was implemented in 1993 amid significant controversy. The study involved administration of a survey to students at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in November and December 2004. The same survey was administered at NPS in 1994, 1996, and 1999, providing four data points to evaluate trends and changes in attitudes toward DADT. The comparison of responses to the four surveys shows that a majority of officers in 2004 do not support having homosexuals serve openly in the military. As found in two previous surveys, negative views toward the service of homosexuals have declined over time. Additionally, measures of tolerance have increased noticeably over the years since DADT was introduced.
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