I actually joined before DADT. During that time, I hadn't fully accepted my own sexuality and figured it was just a phase. I'll never forget that moment in my head when I was initialling on the recruiter's form where it asked if I was gay or not.
When Clinton became President and fought to repeal barred homosexual service, I was rather excited at the prospects. At that time, I was at my first duty station and very excited to meet people in my unit from several different walks of life. Imagine my surprise when before I got to my unit and was at the end of Advanced Individual Training, that I asked one of my classmates what he was doing after he returned (he was Reserves) and he said "Fuck around and get laid." I asked again thinking he was joking, and his buddy turned around and said, "Literally, fuck around and get laid." The guy was a male prostitute.
Anyways, I felt progress had been made with DADT, but it didn't stop witch hunts and harrassments. I was never suspected, but we always knew about the reports. Besides, my first unit was a medical unit and medical personnel are the biggest freaks in the ranks. True that! There were at least a dozen bisexuals and homosexuals, even married to women, who had some story to them...
But I felt that DADT was a piece of shit legislation when PFC Barry Winchell was murdered in the barracks because of his sexuality. And it was by his "buddy". WTF!? Around that time, the Army began Consideration of Others training (not related) and one of the topics we had to talk about was DADT. I couldn't stand hearing all this homophobic garbage and this was a small group discussion. I felt like the only one defending PFC Winchell, as his murder was discussed. I had also recently accepted my homosexuality at this time.
In the late 1990s, I began playing rugby and befriended a married couple that I consider my best friends to this day. He is an officer and is still active duty and I came out to them way back in 2001. It also helps that his wife is an outspoken homo-lovin' liberal. For crying out loud, she idolized Greg Louganis when she was growing up!!
Then in 2004, I was assigned to Korea where I made friends with a peer so quickly that we hung out and went to the juicy bars together. After 3 weeks of my not trying to get laid, he flat out asked me if I was gay, and he prepped the question by saying that it's okay with him if that is the case. So I came out to him and he respected that and kept it hush. I think his wife knew later on (he wasn't married at the time we met). I told him that I was considering resigning from the army if the Constitution would be amended to where gay marriage would be banned on the grounds that I cannot fully support a constitution that doesn't fully support me.
And so, here we are, with 3 years to go and feeling not so optimistic of DADT's repeal.
But if it were repealed, I would be ecstatic about it, but very nervous when it came time for the mandatory training that goes with it. Too many homophobic comments get slung around without reprocussion and I can imagine it far worse in all male units and Special Ops Neo-Con land. The problem with the morale point of view on DADT is not because of open homosexual service, it's because of homophobic soldiers who refuse to believe that their masculinity is okay already. The brass is trying to protect them, who are otherwise stellar soldiers, from doing regrettable things. The wisest way of transitioning DADT is have a one year transition period in which gays are to remain closeted and begin the training and identifying those with problems with homosexuals and deal with them individually. Then after that one year, lift the ban and integrate with additional training. It's safest for us all if the transition is phased as such.