"The service chiefs wanted to have more than a year to implement the new policy, citing the need to train the force and prepare it for “open service,” according to a source close to the matter. Marine Commandant Gen. Jim Amos, for example, may demand that physical modifications be made to accommodate concerns among some Marines about showering with other Marines who are serving openly. All of this could take time.
"Amos may have backing on Capitol Hill, where Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), a former Marine, has been pushing the Pentagon to phase in any new policy. Webb said in a statement last week that Defense Secretary Robert Gates confirmed to him that implementation would be “sequenced in order to protect small unit cohesion.”
"'We have not determined the specific methodology that would be used should this legislation pass, but I can assure you that the specific concerns that you raise will be foremost in my mind as we develop an implementation plan,' Gates told Webb in a Dec. 17 letter. 'Further, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and I remain committed to work closely with the Service Chiefs and the Combatant Commanders in developing this process.'"
Marine Commandant Gen. Amos now says the Corps will "step out smartly" to implement repeal.
The New York Times reports Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the President wants gay personnel integrated quickly but ...
"[M]ilitary officials said they did not yet have a timetable for putting the change into effect. President Obama is expected to sign the bill early this week. 'There will certainly be pressure to get it done in 2011,' one defense official said, indicating that repeal will be a relatively slow but not years-long process.
"Phasing in the repeal by service branch, with some parts of the military affected before others, was “highly unlikely,” said the official, who asked for anonymity to talk more freely about internal deliberations at the Pentagon.
"Under the terms of the legislation that passed the Senate on Saturday and the House earlier last week, the Defense Department will not carry out the repeal until Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates , Mr. Obama and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “certify” that the military is ready to make the change. After that, the legislation requires a 60-day period before the change takes place.
"Gay rights advocates said Sunday that repeal should be carried out as quickly as possible, preferably in the first quarter of next year."
The PALM Center, RAND Corporation, NATO partners and other nations that have successfully integrated gays into military, such as Great Britain, South Africa and Israel, suggest a rapid timeline to end anti-gay bans in the armed forces.
In contrast, in 1994 the Pentagon was able to start enforcing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in only 40 days, reports The Advocate.