Military Personnel: Financial Cost and Loss of Critical Skills Due to DOD's Homosexual Conduct Policy Cannot Be Completely Estimated
From the passage of the homosexual conduct policy statute, in fiscal year 1994, through fiscal year 2003 the military services separated about 9,500 servicemembers for homosexual conduct. This represents about 0.40 percent of the 2.37 million members separated for all reasons during this period. Questions have been raised about the costs of separating servicemembers for homosexual conduct. Also, in the post-September 11th environment, there has been concern about the separation of servicemembers with critical occupations or important foreign language skills in, for example, Arabic. GAO was asked to determine (1) the military services' annual financial costs from fiscal year 1994 through fiscal year 2003 for certain activities associated with administering the Department of Defense's (DOD) policy on homosexual conduct--e.g., the recruitment and training of servicemembers to replace those separated under the homosexual conduct statute--and (2) the extent to which the policy has resulted in the separation of servicemembers with critical occupations and important foreign language skills. GAO provided DOD with a draft of this report for comment, and DOD provided additional information on separations for homosexual conduct compared with other unprogrammed separations.