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.