President Barack Obama on Friday
credited outgoing Navy Admiral Mike Mullen for the repeal of “Don't
Ask, Don't Tell,” the recently-ended 18-year-old policy that banned
gay and bisexual troops from serving openly.
Obama made his remarks during a hail
and farewell ceremony at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia in which
Mullen's responsibilities as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
were transferred to Army General Martin E. Dempsey.
“Put simply, despite the stresses and
strains of a hard decade of war, the military that Admiral Mullen
passes to General Dempsey today is the best that it has ever been,”
the president said.
“Soon women will report for duty on
our submarines and patriotic service members who are gay and lesbians
no longer have to lie about who they are to serve the country they
“History will record that the tipping
point towards this progress came when the 17th chairman of
the Join Chiefs of Staff went before Congress and told the nation
that it was the right thing to do,” he added.
DADT gone, Pentagon decides military chaplains may perform gay