The High Price of DADT

By Editors

Originally published on January 20 2011 5:05 PM ET

A new study by the Government Accountability Office has found that
enforcing "don't ask, don't tell" cost taxpayers nearly $200 million
between 2004 and 2009.

During those years, the Defense Department discharged 3,664 service members at a cost of $193.3 million, or $52,800 per discharge, according to the report

About 96% of DADT-related expenses — or $185.6 million — was spent on recruiting and training personnel to replace service members who had been separated from the armed forces. 

The GAO initiated the study to determine both the costs of discharges under DADT and the extent to which the policy has led to a brain-drain of service members with critical occupations and important foreign language skills.

Nearly 40% of service members discharged during the five-year period studied had held a position deemed critical or had crucial foreign language skills, including Arabic or Spanish.

The summary and full text of the GAO report is available here