Airman Discharged Under DADT After Repeal Signed
The Pentagon has confirmed that a recently-discharged airman INTENTIONALLY ‘outed’ him-or-herself in order to trigger his own discharge under the soon-to-be repealed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.
ABC News reports that the servicemember even wrote to the Secretary of the Air Force asking for his April 29th separation to be “expeditiously processed,” despite being told of the current status of the 17-year-old ban.
The First Class airman–whose actual gender has not been disclosed–is the FIRST to be relieved of his duties since Defense Secretary Robert Gates issued new dismissal guidelines last October—and also since President Obama signed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal into law at the end of last year.
The ban on openly gay military service is expected to be officially lifted by the end of this month.
Servicemembers United Executive Director Alex Nicholson tells OutQ News that he does NOT think this case will postpone repeal efforts or have any effect on ongoing training. But he says the “flawed” military law may still be used by LGBT troops to get out of their service obligations if repeal takes longer than expected.
NICHOLSON: You know, people make career decisions every single day about reenlistment, about continuing on with their commission, staying in the military, based on projections around ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal. And that’s one of the reasons why Servicemembers United, we always opt for being completely upfront and honest with our members and with the gay military community about our predictions with respect to repeal and certification and the timeline on that.
Nicholson says it’s still “very unusual” for people to voluntarily ask to leave the armed forces because of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” especially with repeal on the horizon.