A Private Speaks Out on DADT

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A Private Speaks Out on DADT

As an active duty member of the Army, I am subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and subsequently the controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which prohibits homosexuals from openly serving in the Armed Forces. Two years ago, I submitted to a contract that claimed the policy was necessary in maintaining unit cohesion and good order and discipline. I hesitated for a moment before I ultimately agreed to surrender a significant piece of my identity with the flick of a pen. After two years of silence I am finally aware of the magnitude of discrimination the policy condones. 

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell prevents me from forming close personal bonds among my peers because I am unable to disclose my true identity. It forces me to create a nonexistent heterosexual dating history to avoid raising suspicions. It coerces me into ignoring derogatory comments toward homosexuals because I will be alienated for my unpopular viewpoint otherwise. And of course, it legally prevents me from falling in love with another woman.

The discrimination I have faced as a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, an institution regarded as the pinnacle of leadership excellence, has exposed me to the harsh reality of ramped inequality in the military and in society. As a result of this epiphany, I have redirected my life from battling terrorists in the Middle East to combating hatred and intolerance domestically.

I have participated in various activities that support the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell while maintaining my anonymity, but I have already exhausted the amount of political activism I can pursue within the confines of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. After months of careful reevaluation and ceaseless retrospection, I am ready to take the next step. I plan on publicly disclosing my sexual orientation while still a member of the United States Corps of Cadets. This blatant violation of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will force me to be legally removed from the academy. I only hope that the forced discharge of a capable West Point cadet will raise awareness to the injustice imposed upon military personal throughout their time of service.


Private Second Class Citizen will be periodically posting blogs on Velvetpark, discussing the issues surrounding DADT from inside the armed services.

Comments [5]

ashez19's picture

Wow, you're my hero.

Wow, you're my hero.


Rusty's picture



You might want to hold off just a bit. I just got this email from Servicemembers United:

Dear DADT Repeal Supporter,

We wanted to share some exciting news with you before we even speak to the media about this new development. After relentless pressure, the White House and the Pentagon have finally changed their tune and announced that they will now support an amendment to repeal the DADT law THIS YEAR.

We have been working tirelessly on this for a long time, both in public and even more so behind the scenes. This news now makes it much more likely that we will lock in repeal of DADT this year, even if the implementation of repeal is delayed until after the Comprehensive Review Working Group finishes its implementation management study. If we succeed, the major battle (getting the law off the books) will be over.

But this fight is far from won! Even with the President's and the Pentagon's public support for repealing DADT this year, we still need to invest the time to do everything WE can  to help push this over the finish line. As you may already know, key votes will take place this week on the Senate Armed Services Committee and on the floor of the House of Representatives. We MUST win these votes, and we need your help to make sure that happens.

We have waited 17 long years for this very week. Please take a few minutes to help us out by calling and emailing your Senators and Representatives to voice support for repeal. Then, please  call and email the offices of the 6 Senate Armed Services Committee swing voters who hold the fate of this law in their hands. They are Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN), Scott Brown (R-MA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Robert Byrd (D-WV), Ben Nelson (D-NE), and Jim Webb (D-VA). And finally, if you have just a few extra moments, please consider calling Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), George LeMieux (R-FL), and John McCain (R-AZ) and urging them to support repeal of the DADT law this year.

The contact information for Senate offices can be found here:

The contact information for House offices can be found here:

Thank you. And to those still serving on active duty under the cloud of DADT, keep fighting for us and we'll keep fighting for you!

Alex Nicholson
Executive Director
Servicemembers United

P.S. Below is a copy of our press release about this announcement today.


White House and Pentagon Announce Support for DADT Repeal Amendment This Year

New Administration Position Presents Realistic Window of Opportunity to Secure Repeal Now






Clint King - Desk: 202.349.3803 | Cell: 202.834.7659 | Email: cking@servicemembersunited.org


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, commended the announcement today that the administration will now support an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law this year. The proposed amendment would include a delayed implementation provision that would not allow repeal to take effect until the Pentagon's Comprehensive Review Working Group completed its nine-month implementation management study and until the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certified that the military is ready to implement repeal smoothly.

"This announcement from the White House today is long awaited, much needed, and immensely helpful as we enter a critical phase of the battle to repeal the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law," said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former U.S. Army interrogator who was discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." "We have been making the case to White House staff for more than a year now that delayed implementation is realistic, politically viable, and the only way to get the defense community on board with repeal, and we are glad to see the community and now the administration and defense leadership finally rally around this option."

The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law, passed in 1993 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994, has resulted in the abrupt firing of more than 14,000 men and women because of their sexual orientation, and has led tens of thousands more to voluntarily terminate their careers because of the burden of serving under this outdated law. There are an estimated 66,000 gays, lesbians, and bisexuals currently serving in the U.S. military and an estimated 1 million gay, lesbian, and bisexual veterans of the U.S. armed forces.

For more information about Servicemembers United, please visit www.servicemembersunited.org. For the latest information on discharge numbers, polling, statistics, studies, and other archival and reference information related to the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' issue, please visit www.dadtarchive.org.



Servicemembers United, a non-profit and non-partisan organization, is the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans and their allies. Based in Washington, DC, Servicemembers United actively engages in education, advocacy, and lobbying on issues affecting the gay military, veteran, and defense community.

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

Tex's picture

Here we go!


Thanks, Rusty, for the news!

Twitter Time @kdhales

Tex's picture

Capable West Point Cadet

Let me extend congratulations to you on being one of only 100 people accepted to the Academy in your year of admission. It is an honor bestowed on the few. 

It is my sincere hope that your chosen path of 'battle' for the repeal of DADT works not only to your best interest personally and professionally, but to all of us as a whole. You are sacrificing your dream for the good of the many....thank you.

Nothing but love



Twitter Time @kdhales

minniesota's picture

Dear Cadet

Dear Cadet,

Your post demonstrates the insidiousness of DADT and that living a lie is no way to best serve your country. I am sorry for the toll this policy has had on your life. I applaud you for your brave decision to tell your truth.

We can support you by continuing to push our adminstration, the military and Congress to change this harmful policy.

Best, Mins

Still searching for the right brainy quote.