Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, faces the challenge of acting as a kind of cultural mediator between President-elect Barack Obama, who wants to repeal the gay military ban, and the rank-and-file troops, a majority of whom say they are against lifting the ban. Mullen said he plans to conduct a "very thorough review" of the effect of ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" before making any recommendations for change.

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