Petraeus' top NCO pushes for repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell'
December 11th, 2010
02:03 PM ET
3 years ago

Petraeus' top NCO pushes for repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell'

Washington (CNN) – The top enlisted adviser for U.S. forces in Afghanistan said on Friday that he believes the troops are ready for a repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell,' and that those who oppose ending the policy should leave the military.

"If there are people who cannot deal with the change, then they're going to have to do what's best for their troops and best for the organization and best for the military service and exit the military service, so that we can move forward – if that's the way that we have to go," Command Sergeant Major Marvin Hill told 'Washington Watch' host and CNN contributor Roland Martin in an interview that will air Sunday on TV One Cable.

Hill also said that military leaders are prepared to lead their troops through a smooth transition of the repeal to the policy banning openly gay and lesbian soldiers from service, despite concerns by some combat units that ending 'don't ask, don't tell' will cause disruption at the frontlines of the war.

"We know that if there is a change, that that change will have to be led, and it's going to have to be led by senior leaders such as myself and – and others across the battlefield," Hill said. "Senior leaders are the ones [that are] going to set the tone in the unit and enable the unit to move forward."

A year-long Pentagon review found that repealing the policy would have "some limited and isolated disruption to unit cohesion and retention," but few long-term effects on the military.

But the Senate last week rejected a Democratic bid to open debate on a defense authorization bill that includes a provision to repeal the 'don't ask, don't tell,' potentially dealing a blow to efforts to pass the measure before the House changes into Republican hands come January.


Filed under: Don't Ask Don't Tell
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Gil

    I'm sure John McCain will find something wrong again with its repeal! Why couldn't he been as careful of his choice of sarah Pathetic!

    December 11, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. soren

    Good, and we also need to get rid of that archaic ban on women in combat too...

    December 11, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. Henry

    Listen to the Senior Enlisted Advisor and you will not go wrong. They have their finger on the pulse of an organization. No politicking there.

    December 11, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    "The top enlisted adviser for U.S. forces in Afghanistan said on Friday that he believes the troops are ready for a repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell,' and that those who oppose ending the policy should leave the military."

    Sounds good enough to me! Let's let ALL Americans serve our country!

    December 11, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  5. Liz the First

    Bravo!!! so glad to see folks in the military standing up to the bigots. now if we can get the bigots in the senate to let it come to a vote and pass, we can join the civilized countries where gays have served with honor for decades without incident.

    December 11, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  6. trojan fan

    he is correct, anybody that wants to serve this country should be able to proudly and openly without having to hide or lie about who they are. Lets kick the bigots out of the military and move into the 21st century and let freedom ring for all in this great country of ours.
    While we are at it once we kick the bigots out of the military lets kick them out of the Senate and House of Representatives.

    December 11, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. doug

    Bravo Sergeant Major Hill! For all those who still dont get it, DADT is not asking for permission to let gays serve in the military. Gays are already serving. I am a vet, I am also gay. I signed up to do a job and that's exactly what I did without any hidden agenda. This is all that gay military personnel are asking, To let them do their job with no hidden agenda's. That we're still dealing with this in the 21st century still astounds me, and Sergeant Major Hill has issued the best statement about this issue that I have seen since. Get with the program or get out and take your medieval thinking with you. There is too much work to do.

    December 11, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. TOTUS 4 PRESIDENT

    If this guy was speaking to Roland Martin, then he is clearly a lib to begin with, and does NOT reflect the attitude of the great majority of servicemen. HE should be the one to go.

    December 11, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |