DADT made sense when it was written. The basic premise was “you can serve, but if you do, you’re a soldier first and foremost. You’re not a ‘gay soldier’, just a soldier.” It helped prevent activists from being gay first, soldier second and providing a huge distraction in a culture that wasn’t ready for it. But it allowed many gays to serve. (As many service members have commented, most people didn’t care if someone was gay as long as they weren’t a fuckup or a distraction, so DADT was only rarely invoked.)
It was a deeply flawed policy, but it provided a bridge from where we were then to where we are now, and prevented a lot of ridiculous turmoil during the transition. Now we need to move on. Is there a clever moniker for “serve openly, but don’t be a distraction”?