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Their flow charts

Washington is full of policy wonks who tout their flow charts and heavily researched policy papers that make your head spin. But the visuals from this week's press conference in Washington take the cake. Sadly, they aren't even serious policy proposals or potential outcomes. If you believe the charts, the military would absolutely disintegrate.

Here’s our narrative flow chart. It's quite simple really compared to Elaine Donnelly's.

As a practical matter, steps must be taken to implement open service. Defense Department regulations will have to be reviewed and some revised, but tweaking existing regulations is generally direct and straightforward. The services will need to engage in education and training to explain and address the day-to-day practical realities of this new non-discrimination policy. Real leadership within each service will be critical as it was in ending segregation and creating greater parity for women.

Equally compelling is what the services will not have to do, despite the claims of those who don’t want gays in the military. Open service does not create an “affirmative action” requirement in recruiting or promotions to compensate for past discrimination. Open service will not require changes to the military’s system of benefits. Nor will it require changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Nothing has to be done regarding living arrangements. Gay service members are already integrated in every branch of the military and currently share barracks and berthing areas with their straight peers (including on submarines) without reported problems.

And it will cost nothing to institute a non-discrimination policy. In fact, getting rid of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will save the taxpayers millions every year.

That's pretty much it. A period of transition is needed but it can be done calmly, professionally and without flow chart hysterics. How do we, who are experts in military law and in DADT law specifically, know this? We’ve been listening to Admiral Mullen, Secretary Gates and looking at the experiences of other countries that lifted their bans.