WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates has tapped his chief legal adviser and a four-star Army general to lead a landmark study on how the military would lift its ban on openly gay service members.
Pentagon General Counsel Jeh (jay) Johnson and Gen. Carter Ham, who leads Army forces in Europe, will conduct the yearlong assessment.
Gates made the announcement in an appearance Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee. It marks a measured step toward President Barack Obama's goal of eliminating the military's policy against gays, which is based on a 1993 law. Ham is a former enlisted infantryman who rose to command troops in northern Iraq. Johnson played an integral role in the effort to close the military prison in Guantanamo Bay.
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