Effects of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on Retention among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Military Personnel

By Gary J. Gates
March 2007

This research brief quantifies how the United States military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy affects retention rates among lesbian, gay, and bisexual military personnel. If the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy had not been instituted, an estimated 4,000 lesbian, gay, and bisexual military personnel would have been retained each year since 1994.  The military intends to add more than 18,000 new troops each year for the next five years.  If patterns observed in 2004 were to continue for the next five years, the estimated retained LGB personnel would account for nearly one in six of the additional troops required.

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