Changes to “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” Law
The "Don't Ask Don't Tell" law is implemented by two regulations: DoD Instruction 1332.14 ("Enlisted Administrative Separations") and 1332.30 ("Separation of Regular and Reserve Commissioned Officers"). Here's how the change will affect you:
- Raise the level of the officer who is authorized to initiate a fact-finding inquiry or separation proceedings regarding homosexual conduct to a general or flag officer in the Service member's chain of command.
- Raise the level of the person who conducts a fact-finding inquiry regarding homosexual conduct to the level of O-5 (Lieutenant Colonel or Navy Commander), or above.
- Raise the level of the officer who is authorized to separate an enlisted service member for homosexual conduct to a general or flag officer in the service member's chain of command. (Under current policy, the separation authority for officers is the Service Secretary).
- Revise what constitutes "credible information" to initiate an inquiry or separation proceeding, by, for example, specifying that information provided by third parties should be given under oath, and by discouraging the use of overheard statements and hearsay.
- Revise what constitutes a "reliable person," upon whose word an inquiry can be initiated, with special scrutiny on third parties who may be motivated to harm the service member.
- Specify certain categories of confidential information that will not be used for purposes of homosexual conduct discharges:
- Information provided to lawyers, clergy, and psychotherapists;
- Information provided to a medical professional in furtherance of medical treatment or a public health official in the course of a public health inquiry;
- Information provided in the course of seeking professional assistance for domestic or physical abuse;
- Information about sexual orientation or conduct obtained in the course of security clearance investigations, in accordance with existing Department of Defense policies
If you have a potential issue regarding the "Don't as Don't tell" policy, if may be best to contact an experienced court martial defense lawyer as soon as possible to discuss all of your options.