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Don't Ask Don't Tell


The Repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell": DADT repeal has been certified. Certification was signed on July 22, 2011 by the President, SECDEF, and Joint Chiefs Chairman. Repeal took place 60 days after September 20, 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 he 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."


In 1993 President Bill Clinton attempted to lift the ban on homosexuals in the military. It was one of the most contentious efforts of his administration, sparking months of intense debate.

Following twelve legislative hearings and field trips, Congress passed a law codifying and confirming the pre-Clinton policy. That statute, technically named Section 654, Title 10, P.L. 103-160, is frequently mislabeled “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” A more accurate name would have been the “Military Personnel Eligibility Act of 1993.” The statute, which has been upheld by the courts as constitutional several times, clearly states that homosexuals are not eligible for military service.

In 1993 members of Congress gave serious consideration to a proposal known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which was announced by President Clinton on July 19, 1993. The concept suggested that homosexuals could serve in the military as long as they didn’t say they were homosexual. Congress wisely rejected the convoluted “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” concept and did not write it into law. Members recognized an inherent inconsistency that would render that policy unworkable and indefensible in court: If homosexuality is not a disqualifying characteristic, how can the armed forces justify dismissal of a person who merely reveals the presence of such a characteristic? Instead of approving such a convoluted and legally-questionable concept, Congress chose to codify Defense Department regulations that were in place long before Bill Clinton took office.

The resulting law, identified as Section 654, Title 10, continued the long-standing Defense Department policy stating that homosexuals are not eligible for military service. Following extensive debate in both Houses, the legislation passed with overwhelming, veto-proof bipartisan majority votes. In writing this law, members wisely chose statutory language almost identical to the 1981 Defense Department Directives regarding homosexual conduct, which stated that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service.” Those regulations had already been challenged and upheld as constitutional by the federal courts.

The 1993 statute was designed to encourage good order and discipline, not the dishonesty inherent in “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Congress rejected that concept, and chose instead to codify unambiguous findings and statements that were understandable, enforceable, consistent with the unique requirements of the military, and devoid of the First Amendment conundrums that were obvious in President Clinton’s July 19 proposal.

A thorough search of media reports at the time, however, reveals that there were few news stories reporting passage of the law. Those that did appear in print failed to report its language and meaning with accuracy. [7] Those reports and convoluted Defense Department statements since then have confused the issue by erroneously suggesting that Congress voted for Bill Clinton’s flawed proposal, known by the catch-phrase “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Describing the law as a “compromise” and referring to it as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” gave political cover to President Clinton, who had promised to lift the ban shortly after his election in 1992. In fact, due to overwhelming public opposition, President Clinton failed to deliver on his promise. The only “compromise” involved allowed the Clinton administration to continue its “interim policy” of not asking “the question” regarding homosexuality that used to appear on routine induction forms.

Court Challenges

DADT has been upheld by four of the federal Courts of Appeal,   and in a Supreme Court case, Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, Inc. (2006), the Supreme Court unanimously held that the federal government could constitutionally withhold funding from universities if they refuse to give military recruiters access to school resources, in spite of any university nondiscrimination policies.  

In 2004 a federal lawsuit challenging DADT was filed by the Log Cabin Republicans, the nation's largest Republican gay organization. The case went to trial in 2010, before Judge Virginia A. Phillips. Plaintiffs stated that the policy violates the rights of gay military members to free speech, due process and open association. The government argued that DADT was necessary to advance a legitimate governmental interest.Plaintiffs introduced admissions by President Barack Obama, from prepared remarks, that DADT "doesn’t contribute to our national security", "weakens our national security", and that reversal is "essential for our national security". According to plaintiffs, these statements alone satisfy their burden of proof and compel judgment in favor of Log Cabin Republicans on the due process claims. 

On September 9, 2010, Judge Phillips ruled that the ban was unconstitutional, as a violation of the First and Fifth Amendments. 

On October 12, 2010, Judge Phillips granted a worldwide, immediate injunction prohibiting the Department of Defense from enforcing or complying with the Don't Ask Don't Tell Policy, and ordered the military to suspend and discontinue any investigation or discharge, separation, or other proceeding that have been commenced under the policy. The Department of Justice responded with an appeal and a request for a stay of the ruling, a request which was denied by Phillips but granted by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on October 20.

On October 19, 2010, military recruiters were told they can accept openly gay applicants. On October 20, 2010, Lt. Daniel Choi, an openly gay man who had previously been honorably discharged under DADT, re-enlisted in the US Army. On October 20, 2010, a federal appeals court in California granted a temporary stay reversing a worldwide injunction against enforcement of the US military’s "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy maintaining the DADT policy.

On November 1, 2010, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals stayed Judge Phillips' injunction pending appeal. The plaintiffs applied to the US Supreme Court to overrule the stay,but the Supreme Court did not intervene.


Military Readiness Enhancement Act

The Military Readiness Enhancement Act was a bill introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2005 by Rep. Martin T. Meehan with the stated purpose "to amend title 10, United States Code, to enhance the readiness of the Armed Forces by replacing the current policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces, referred to as 'Don't ask, don't tell,' with a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation." The bill was introduced again in 2007 and 2009.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010

The Senate passed S.4023 65-31 with all Democrats (except for one abstention) and 8 Republicans in support.

In his 2008 election campaign, President Barack Obama advocated a full repeal of the laws barring homosexuals from serving in the military. On October 10, 2009, Obama stated in a speech before the Human Rights Campaign that he will end the ban, but offered no timetable. As president, Obama said in his first State of the Union Address in 2010, "This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are." This statement was quickly followed up by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen voicing their support for a repeal of DADT.

On March 25, 2010, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced new rules mandating that only flag officers may initiate discharge proceedings and imposing more stringent rules of evidence be used during discharge proceedings.

On May 27, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Murphy amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 on a 234-194 vote that would repeal the relevant sections of the law 60 days after a study by the U.S. Department of Defense is completed and the U.S. Defense Secretary, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the U.S. President certify that repeal would not harm military effectiveness. On the same day the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee advanced the identical measure in a 16-12 vote to be included in the Defense Authorization Act. The amended defense bill passed the U.S. House on May 28, 2010. On September 21, 2010, John McCain led a successful (Yea 56, Nay 43) filibuster against the debate on the Defense Authorization Act. The bill languished in the Senate until December.

Obama meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the eve of publication of a Defense Department report on repeal of DADT.

In late November, the Pentagon published a comprehensive report on the issues associated with a repeal of DADT. The report indicated that there was low risk of service disruptions because of repeal of the ban. Gates, fearing that Courts would force a sudden change, encouraged Congress to act quickly to repeal the law so that the military could carefully adjust. Democrats in Congress quickly scheduled hearings to consider repeal of the law. On December 3, the Joint Chiefs of Staff appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee to testify about repeal. While the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chief of Naval Operations, and Commandant of the Coast Guard said repeal would cause minimal disruption, heads of the Army, Air Force, and Marines opposed repeal because it would cause additional stress on combat focused forces during war.

On December 9, 2010, another filibuster prevented debate on the Defense Authorization Act during the lame duck session of Congress. Susan Collins of Maine voted in favor of cloture on the bill and Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted against cloture. Manchin stated that he did not support cloture because he had not yet consulted constituents on the issue, but said that the policy "probably should be repealed in the near future".

U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins introduced bill S.4022 on December 9, 2010, in reaction to the failure to open discussion on the Defense Authorization Act. It includes the policy-related portions of the Defense Authorization Act which are considered by Lieberman and Collins as more likely to pass as a stand-alone bill. The Washington Post compared it to a Hail Mary pass. The stand-alone bill H.R. 6520 was sponsored by Patrick Murphy and passed the House of Representatives via H.R. 2965 in a vote of 250 to 175 on December 15, 2010.

Obama signs the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010

On December 18, 2010, the Senate voted to end debate on S.4023, the Senate's bill identical to H.R.2965, via a cloture vote of 63-33. Prior to the vote, Sen. Lieberman gave the final argument in favor of repealing DADT and Sen. McCain argued against repeal. The final Senate vote was held later that same day, with the measure passing by a vote of 65-31.

U. S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates released a statement following the vote indicating that the planning for implementation of a policy repeal will begin right away, led by Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford L. Stanley, and will continue until Gates believes he can certify that conditions are met for orderly repeal of the policy.

President Obama signed the repeal into law on December 22, 2010.


The passage of the repeal act does not result in the immediate repeal of DADT. Under the terms of the new law, the President, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff must certify in writing that they have reviewed the Pentagon's report on the effects of DADT repeal, that the appropriate regulations have been reviewed and drafted and that implementation of repeal regulations "is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces". Once certification is given, a 60-day waiting period will begin before DADT is formally repealed.

Representative Duncan D. Hunter announced plans in January 2011 to introduce a bill designed to delay DADT repeal. Should his bill be adopted, all of the chiefs of the armed services would need to submit the certification currently required only of the President, Defense Secretary and Joint Chiefs Chairman.


Public Opinion:

Protest in New York by Soulforce, a civil rights group.

According to a December 2010 Washington Post-ABC News poll 77 percent of Americans say gays and lesbians who publicly disclose their sexual orientation should be able to serve in the military. That number showed little change from polls over the two years, but represents the highest level of support in a Post-ABC poll. The support also cuts across partisan and ideological lines, with majorities of Democrats (86%), Republicans (74%), independents (74%), liberals (92%), conservatives (67%) and white evangelical Protestants (70%) and non-religious (84%) in favor of homosexuals' serving openly.

A November 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 58 percent of the American public favors permitting homosexuals to serve openly in the military, while less than half that number (27 percent) are opposed. According to a November 2010 CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll 72% of adult Americans favor permitting people who are openly gay or lesbian to serve in the military, while 23 % oppose it. "The main difference between the CNN poll and the Pew poll is in the number of respondents who told pollsters that they didn't have an opinion on this topic - 16 percent in the Pew poll compared to only five percent in the CNN survey," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The two polls report virtually the same number who say they oppose gays serving openly in the military, which suggests that there are some people who favor that change in policy but for some reason were reluctant to admit that to the Pew interviewers. That happens occasionally on topics where moral issues and equal-treatment issues intersect."

A February 2010 Quinnipiac University national poll shows 57% of American voters favor gays serving openly, compared to 36% opposed, and 66% say the current policy of not allowing openly gay personnel to serve is discrimination, opposed to 31% who see no discrimination. A CBS News/New York Times national poll done at the same time shows 58% of Americans favor gays serving openly, compared to 28% opposed.

Military Personnel Opinion:

A 2006 Zogby International poll of military members found that 26% were in favor of gays serving in the military, 37% were opposed, while 37% expressed no preference or were unsure. Of the respondents who had experience with gays in their unit, 6% said their presence had a positive impact on their personal morale, 66% said no impact, and 28% said negative impact. Likewise, regarding overall unit morale, 3% said positive impact, 64% no impact, and 27% negative impact. As for respondents uncertain whether they had served with gay personnel, 2% thought gays would have a positive effect on personal morale, while 29% thought that they would have no impact and 48% thought that they would have a negative effect. Likewise, regarding overall unit morale, 2% thought that gays would have a positive effect on overall unit morale, 26% thought they would have no effect, and 58% thought they would have a negative effect. More generally, 73% of respondents said that they felt comfortable in the presence of gay and lesbian personnel.

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Shalikashvili (Ret.) and former Senator and Secretary of Defense William Cohen spoke against the policy publicly in January 2007: "I now believe that if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces," General Shalikashvili wrote. "Our military has been stretched thin by our deployments in the Middle East, and we must welcome the service of any American who is willing and able to do the job."

In December 2007, 28 retired generals and admirals urged Congress to repeal the policy, citing evidence that 65,000 gay men and women are currently serving in the armed forces and that there are over 1,000,000 gay veterans. On November 17, 2008, 104 retired generals and admirals signed a similar statement.

On May 4, 2008, while Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen addressed the graduating cadets at West Point, a cadet asked what would happen if the next administration were supportive of legislation allowing gays to serve openly. Mullen responded, "Congress, and not the military, is responsible for [DADT]." Previously, during his Senate confirmation hearing in 2007, Mullen told lawmakers, "I really think it is for the American people to come forward, really through this body, to both debate that policy and make changes, if that's appropriate." He went on to say, "I'd love to have Congress make its own decisions" with respect to considering repeal.

In an interview on CNN's State of the Union broadcast on July 5, 2009, Colin Powell said he thought that the policy was "correct for the time" but that "sixteen years have now gone by, and I think a lot has changed with respect to attitudes within our country, and therefore I think this is a policy and a law that should be reviewed." In the same program, Admiral Mullen said the policy would continue to be implemented until the law was repealed, and that his advice was to "move in a measured way... At a time when we're fighting two conflicts there is a great deal of pressure on our forces and their families."

Several gay servicemembers have written novels and nonfiction works about life in the military under DADT. In 2005, Rich Merritt released his memoir Secrets of a Gay Marine Porn Star, and in 2008 Brett Edward Stout released his first novel, Sugar-Baby Bridge. Openly gay servicemember Dan Choi, a founder of West Point's LBGT group Knights Out, made an appearance on the web-based documentary series In Their Boots, criticizing the U.S. military's neglect of servicemembers' families. As a linguist, Choi was among 59 gay Arabic speakers discharged by the military, along with 9 gay Farsi speakers discharged by the military up to June 2009 despite a shortage of translators for these languages.

In September 2009, Air Force Colonel Om Prakash sharply criticized the policy in an article published in Joint Force Quarterly. He argued that it is unsound for several reasons, including the complete lack of any scientific basis for the proposition that unit cohesion is compromised by the presence of openly gay personnel.[78][79] The article won the Secretary of Defense National Security Essay competition for 2009.

Speaking in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 2, 2010, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen denounced the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.

In November 2010, the Defense Department published a comprehensive report on the effects of repeal. The report included the results of a survey of military personnel on bases throughout the United States and overseas, including 400,000 servicemembers and 150,000 military spouses. Overall, 70 percent of military personnel thought that integrating gays into the military would be positive, mixed, or of no consequence. However, 40 to 60 percent of personnel in the Marine Corps and combat specialties said that repealing the ban would be negative.

Scholarly Opinions:

In 1993, Gregory M. Herek, associate research psychologist at the University of California at Davis and an authority on public attitudes toward lesbians and gay men, testified before the House Armed Services Committee, chaired by Representative Ron Dellums. Testifying on behalf of the American Psychological Association and five other national professional organizations (the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Counseling Association, the American Nursing Association, and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States), Herek stated "My written testimony to the Committee summarizes the results of an extensive review of the relevant published research from the social and behavioral sciences. That review is lengthy. However, I can summarize its conclusions in a few words: The research data show that there is nothing about lesbians and gay men that makes them inherently unfit for military service, and there is nothing about heterosexuals that makes them inherently unable to work and live with gay people in close quarters." In his testimony, Herek reviewed existing scientific research concerning issues of unit cohesion and effectiveness and the fitness of lesbians and gay men for military service. He concluded that straight personnel can overcome their prejudices and adapt to living and working in close quarters with gays. Furthermore, he said gays are not inherently less capable of military service than are straight women and men. "The assumption that heterosexuals cannot overcome their prejudices toward gay people is a mistaken one," said Herek. Herek stated in 2008: "Today, as then (1993), the real question is not whether sexual minorities can be successfully integrated into the military. The social science data answered this question in the affirmative then, and do so even more clearly now. Rather, the issue is whether the United States is willing to repudiate its current practice of anti-gay discrimination and address the challenges associated with a new policy."

The American Psychological Association has stated:

Empirical evidence fails to show that sexual orientation is germane to any aspect of military effectiveness including unit cohesion, morale, recruitment and retention (Belkin, 2003; Belkin & Bateman, 2003; Herek, Jobe, & Carney, 1996; MacCoun, 1996; National Defense Research Institute, 1993).

Comparative data from foreign militaries and domestic police and fire departments show that when lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are allowed to serve openly there is no evidence of disruption or loss of mission effectiveness (Belkin & McNichol, 2000–2001; Gade, Segal, & Johnson, 1996; Koegel, 1996).

When openly gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals have been allowed to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces (Cammermeyer v. Aspin, 1994; Watkins v. United States Army, 1989/1990), there has been no evidence of disruption or loss of mission effectiveness.

The U.S. military is capable of integrating members of groups historically excluded from its ranks, as demonstrated by its success in reducing both racial and gender discrimination (Binkin & Bach, 1977; Binkin, Eitelberg, Schexnider, & Smith, 1982; Kauth & Landis, 1996; Landis, Hope, & Day, 1984; Thomas & Thomas, 1996).

On November 30, 2010 the Palm Center issued a joint statement from 30 professors and scholars (current and former academics at the Army War College, Naval Academy, West Point, Air Force Academy, Naval Post Graduate School, Naval War College, Air Command and Staff College and National Defense University as well as civilian universities including Harvard, Yale and Princeton) in response to the Pentagon’s Comprehensive Working Group Report on gays in the military. The statement read in part:

We write as scholars who have studied the military for decades. The release of the Pentagon’s Comprehensive Working Group report on gays in the military echoes more than 20 studies, including studies by military researchers, all of which reach the same conclusion: allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly will not harm the military. Unsurprisingly, the new Pentagon study, which is based on exhaustive research, confirms that the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” poses little if any risk to the armed forces. We hope that our collective statement underscores that the debate about the evidence is now officially over, and that the only remaining rationale for “don’t ask, don’t tell” is prejudice. In light of the report’s findings, this month’s debate in Congress is about one thing and one thing only: will prejudice continue to determine military policy or not?

President Barack Obama:

During his presidential campaign, then-Senator Barack Obama stated in an open letter that he "called for us to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell". During 2009, President Barack Obama advocated a policy change to allow gay personnel to serve openly in the armed forces, agreeing with General Shalikashvili and stating that the U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops expelled from the military, including language experts fluent in Arabic because of DADT.

Nineteen days after his election, Obama's advisers announced that plans to repeal the policy may be delayed until as late as 2010, because Obama "first wants to confer with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and his new political appointees at the Pentagon to reach a consensus, and then present legislation to Congress."

In May 2009, a committee of military law experts at the University of California at Santa Barbara concluded that the President can issue an Executive Order to suspend homosexual conduct discharges. Obama's position was that he wanted Congress to change the law and not have the change come from executive action.

In July 2009, the White House and other Democrats reportedly pressured Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings to withdraw an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 2647) that would have prevented the military from using federal funds to expel gay servicemembers.

Obama's Justice Department continues to defend the gay ban in court, citing a "traditional" duty to enforce and defend all laws. In court documents, government lawyers agreed with the ruling of the Federal Appeals Court in Boston that DADT is "rationally related to the government's legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion." An appeal of this case brought by Captain James E. Pietrangelo II, Pietrangelo v. Gates 08-824, was subsequently rejected in June 2009 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Obama administration asked that the Supreme Court turn down the challenge to the policy.

On the eve of the National Equality March in Washington, D.C., October 10, 2009, Barack Obama stated in a speech before the Human Rights Campaign that he will end the ban, but he offered no timetable.

In January 2010, the White House and congressional officials started work on repealing the ban by inserting language into the 2011 defense authorization bill.

During President Obama's State of the Union Address on January 27, 2010, he claimed that he would work with Congress and the military to enact a repeal of the gay ban law. He had made similar statements during other speeches; however, his State of the Union speech was the first in which he definitively committed to repealing the law on a set timetable.

Obama meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff about repeal of DADT on November 29, 2010.

On 30 November 2010, the Department of Defense's Comprehensive Review Working Group (CRWG) on DADT repeal issued its formal report outlining a path to implementation of repeal in the Armed Forces. The United States Senate took up two days of hearings on 2 and 3 December 2010 to discuss the CRWG report and interview Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen, and each of the Service Chiefs. During these hearings, President Obama undertook a surprise trip to Afghanistan to visit deployed servicemembers and was, therefore, unable to provide any direct statement of support for the Senate hearings while they were in the media spotlight.

Number of Discharges

Since the policy was introduced in 1993, the military has discharged over 13,000 troops from the military under DADT. The number of discharges per fiscal year under DADT dropped sharply after the September 11 attacks and has remained comparatively low since. Discharges exceeded 600 every year until 2009. Unofficial statistics on the number of persons discharged per year follow:

YearCoast GuardMarines Navy ArmyAir ForceTotal
1994036258 136187617

*Breakdown of discharges by service branch not available

1994–2003, 2006, 2007 from Servicemembers Legal Defense Network – Annual Gay Discharges Under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue, Don't Harass"

2004–2005 from – Military Discharging Two Soldiers Per Day For Being Gay Despite War Group Says[dead link]

2008 from Continued discharges anger 'don't ask, don't tell' critics The Boston Globe, Bryan Bender – May 20, 2009

2000–2002 individual service numbers from Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, "Freedom to Serve"

Not accurate numbers of discharges under DADT due to some soldiers not disclosing their discharge. These statistics are only from those who came forward to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

Financial Impact of Policy

In February 2005, the Government Accountability Office released estimates on the cost of the policy. The GAO reported at least $95.4 million in recruiting costs and at least $95.1 million for training replacements for the 9,488 troops discharged from 1994 through 2003, while noting that the true figures might be higher.

In February 2006, a University of California Blue Ribbon Commission including Lawrence Korb, a former assistant defense secretary during the Reagan administration, former Defense Secretary William Perry, a member of the Clinton administration, and professors from the United States Military Academy at West Point concluded that figure should be closer to $363 million, including $14.3 million for "separation travel" once a servicemember is discharged, $17.8 million for training officers, $252.4 million for training enlistees and $79.3 million in recruiting costs. The commission report stated that the GAO didn't take into account the value the military lost from the departures.