A senior aide to General David Petraeus, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, has said service members unable to cope with repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” should consider leaving the military.

Command Sergeant Major Marvin Hill made his comments in an interview with Roland Martin on Washington Watch, which airs Sundays on cabler TV One.

“If there are people who cannot deal with the change, then they're going to have to do what's best for their troops and best for the organization and best for the military service and exit the military service, so that we can move forward – if that's the way that we have to go.”

Pointing to a Pentagon report that endorsed repeal of the 1993 law that bans gay and bisexual troops from serving openly, Hill added that he believes troops are ready for the change.

“I'm thinking that the troops are ready for something like this. They are well led,” he said. “Senior leaders are the ones that are going to set the tone in the unit and enable the unit to move forward.”

In testimony before a Senate panel, Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, echoed a similar sentiment: “Should repeal occur, some soldiers and Marines may want separate shower facilities. Some may ask for different berthing. Some may even quit the service. We'll deal with that.”

Senate Republicans last week blocked a defense bill – which includes language to repeal the law – from moving forward. A group of bipartisan senators, led by Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, have since introduced a standalone measure that would end “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”