Airman Separated under DADT

The Air Force discharged an airman April 29 under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. This was the first time that the Defense Department let go of a service member since Defense Secretary Robert Gates changed the rules last October, requiring that the individual’s service Secretary approve a DADT dismissal. What makes this case interesting is that the airmen apparently sought the separation, rather than being forced out against his will via a policy that is on its final legs. “The Airman 1st Class made a statement that he was a homosexual. After making the statement, but prior to the commander initiating separation action, the airmen wrote the Secretary of the Air Force asking to be separated,” said USAF spokesman Maj. Joel Harper. Air Force officials declined to release any additional information about the individual, citing privacy laws. Harper did say officials informed the airman that the DADT policy is still in place—although efforts are under way to implement its repeal—and “he reaffirmed to the [Secretary] that he desired his separation action be expeditiously processed.” (See Fox News report and Stars and Stripes report.)