BY Michelle Garcia
February 25 2010 7:20 PM ET
Navy Admiral Gary Roughead said the military's plan to poll its personnel about "don't ask, don't tell" is unprecedented.
Roughead, who is the chief of Naval Operations, spoke to author Nathaniel Frank of the Palm Center after testifying in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"We've never assessed the force because it's not our practice to go within our military and poll our force to determine if they like the laws of the land," he said.
A policy memo by the Palm Center suggested that the Pentagon consult troops for information but not ask for permission to reform the law.
Frank also mentioned looking at foreign militaries and how repealing the ban on gays and lesbians has changed their operations. Roughead said that would be a possibility, while adding that "every military is different than any other military, and as we make serious policy decisions, we have to make sure that we understand the force and that we're making those decisions for the force that will have that policy to deal with."