Discharging Gays Cost Pentagon $193M

Each discharged service member cost $53K to replace
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2011 6:11 AM CST
Updated Jan 21, 2011 7:51 AM CST
Discharging Gays Cost Pentagon $193M
Lt. Dan Choi, center, stands with other protesters after handcuffing themselves to the fence outside the White House during a gay rights protest last fall.    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Recruiting and training replacements for gay service members discharged under the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy cost the Pentagon a whopping $193 million from 2004 to 2009, according to the Government Accountability Office. The analysis found that 1,442 of the 3,664 service members dismissed for being gay during those years held critical jobs or spoke an important foreign language, AP reports.

The discharges cost an average of $52,800 each, according the GAO, which produced the report at the request of Rep. Susan Davis, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee. “Clearly this was the right thing to do,” Davis said of the policy's repeal. “No longer will American taxpayers continue to pay to throw out patriotic service members who want only to serve their country." (Read more Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal stories.)

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