A senior military official says that while President Barack Obama has been clear that he wants to repeal the ban, there is no specific timeline to do it. The official says that leaves room that the military wants to use to make sure the eventual change goes well.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the Pentagon has not begun formal planning for the repeal. The official says there is a concern the repeal could set off a polarizing debate. And that, the official says, runs the risk of placing an overstretched fighting force in the middle of a divisive policy fight.
Still, the official says the military expects the ban eventually will be repealed.