Gates 'confident' of implementing 'Don't ask' repeal this year

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said this week he is confident he U.S. military will be able to admit gay service members this year.

Gates said he is working to allow gay people to enlist as soon as possible and emphasized that his department is working to speed up the writing of new regulations regarding gay soldiers.

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“We don’t know how long it’ll take to train the entire force, but I’m confident we can get it done this year, and we’re shooting to get it done sooner rather than later,” Gates told The New York Times. “We will move as fast as we responsibly can."

President Obama signed the repeal of the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy late last year, but the Pentagon is still working to implement a new set of rules. 

During his State of the Union address Tuesday, Obama said, "Starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love."

Gates said that the implementation process "involves several phases: rewriting the regulations, putting together the content of the training, and then 'tiering' of the training."

"The front end of that I’ve asked to be accelerated to get done as quickly as possible," he said. 

The implementation of new rules requires training for existing troops and regulations regarding housing, recruiting and personal conduct.