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Troops to Soon Undergo 'Don't Ask' Training

A senior U.S. Marine general claims it's having little impact on the troops

By Michelle Wayland and Alicia Dean
|  Thursday, Feb 17, 2011  |  Updated 12:45 PM PDT
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Troops to Soon Undergo 'Don't Ask' Training

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Marines walk through the dusty conditions at Camp Dwyer in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Marines and Sailors will begin undergoing training to prepare for the repeal of the military's ban on openly gay troops and most will have completed it before they return home, according to a senior U.S. Marine general in Afghanistan.

"I really don't think this is going to be earthshaking for them," said Maj. Gen. Richard Mills during a teleconference call from Helmand Province.

Most of the troops serving in Helmand and Nimroz provinces will have had the training before they return home, but it depends on the situation on the ground, said Mills.

The units will attend sessions, "as soon as we can get them in an environment where they can pay attention," said Mills.

The rest will be trained when they return home.

The training sessions and discussion groups are being added to the series of classes Marines and Sailors go through before returning to the U.S. from deployment.

The Maj. Gen. says he and other senior officers gone through the repeal training and claims it's having little impact on the troops under his command. He thinks the Majority of Marines and Sailors will deal with it okay.

"Young Marines will be receptive to it," he said.

Educational material includes setting up scenarios and handling ethical discussions, said Mills.

The classes' instructors will be trained in the next month or so.

Final implementation will go into effect 60 days after the president and his senior defense advisers certify that lifting the ban won't hurt troops' ability to fight.

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