This research brief describes work documented in Sexual Orientation and U.S. Military Personnel Policy: Options and Assessment (MR-323-OSD).

Excerpt: In January 1993, President Clinton signed a memorandum directing the Secretary of Defense to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the U.S. Armed Forces. The secretary was directed to recommend a policy that could be carried out "in a manner that is practical and realistic, and consistent with the high standards of combat effectiveness and unit cohesion our Armed Forces must maintain." Les Aspin, Secretary of Defense at the time, asked RAND's National Defense Research Institute to help carry out his mandate by providing a comprehensive analysis of the issues involved in the debate and evaluating different courses of action that could be taken to implement the president's objectives.

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