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 Stories » Lt. Dan Choi on campus Lecture and Q&A on DADT Policy

Lt. Dan Choi on campus Lecture and Q&A on DADT Policy

submitted by Supplanter on Thursday, October 7 at 4:30 PM

As the Technician recently reported, Lt. Dan Choi will be hosted by the Union Activities Board & GLBT Center for an on campus lecture and discussion of the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. This policy was created by Congress in 1993 and is currently facing challenges both in the courts as well as repeal attempts in the Congress.

Who: Lt Dan Choi is a West Point graduate, decorated officer, Arabic Linguist, and was discharged under the DADT policy
When: Tuesday, October 12 · 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Where: Stewart Theater
Admission: Free

"I speak about the consequences of telling the truth under Don't Ask Don't Tell and of living a lie through my personal journey," Choi said. "I let people know our belief system is against our integrity."


For more information, see the facebook event.

posted by egyeyes on Thursday, October 7 at 4:31 PM

 Comments
bbehe
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This guy makes me sick.

Don't get me wrong, I fully support the repeal of DADT, however this guy is a real piece of work.

10/7/2010 4:35:01 PM

FeebleMinded
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I really wish I could be there for this.

10/7/2010 8:41:26 PM

LeonIsPro
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10/7/2010 9:38:32 PM

ThePeter
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~

10/8/2010 8:12:43 AM

CheesyLabia
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Quote :
"I really wish I could be there for this."


Trying to decide whether to come out or not?

10/8/2010 3:13:39 PM

FeebleMinded
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Oh snap.

10/8/2010 10:17:04 PM

joe_schmoe
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NEW LEGS! MAGIC LEGS!

10/8/2010 11:38:06 PM

The Coz
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Do you still get to be called a Lieutenant if you get dishonorably discharged?

10/10/2010 9:34:25 PM

Supplanter
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^I'm not sure about that as a general question. But in this specific case the person in question received an honorable discharge.

10/10/2010 11:02:41 PM

Tenacious J
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I knew a lot of homosexual guys that were serving in the military. They all served honorably and were great guys. I don't know Lt. Choi, but I really feel that he used his sexuality to escape military service. I could be totally wrong, but if he truly wanted to serve his country then he would have respected the current DADT policy as it stands and would have worked to change it prior to coming out the way he did. I have very little respect for anyone who weasels out of serving in this way.

In comparison, many Navy women get pregnant just prior to six month cruises. I would never tell a woman that she couldn't have a baby, but it never failed that we would lose some number of women that we were counting on for our cruise.

10/10/2010 11:51:11 PM

Supplanter
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^Yeah. I get why people have mixed feelings about him. But I also get why the always been on guard, always be lying isn't a great thing for the military either. Whatever his reasoning, and hopefully he'll explain it well on Tuesday, I'm still glad that people are working to bring about the change (& if anyone feels people are using being gay to get out of military service, thats all the more reason to make it not a valid excuse, although I believe he & many others have committed publicly to re-enlisting when the policy is gone). Because however well intentioned DADT might have been, it hasn't worked out all that well.

A few examples:

http://www.sldn.org/blog/archives/Mike-Almy/
Quote :
"During my career, I deployed to the Middle East four times. In my last deployment, I led a team of nearly 200 men and women to operate and maintain the systems used to control the air space over Iraq. We came under daily mortar attacks, one of which struck one of my Airmen and also caused significant damage to our equipment. Towards the end of this deployment to Iraq, I was named one of the top officers in my career field for the entire Air Force.

In the stress of a war zone, the Air Force authorized us to use our work email accounts for “personal or morale purposes” because private email accounts were blocked for security.

Shortly after I left Iraq -- during a routine search of my computer files -- someone found that my “morale” was supported by the person I loved -- a man.

The email -- our modern day letter home -- was forwarded to my commander.


I was relieved of my duties, my security clearance was suspended and part of my pay was terminated.

In my discharge proceeding, several of my former troops wrote character reference letters for me, including one of my squadron commanders. Their letters expressed their respect for me as an officer, their hope to have me back on the job and their shock at how the Air Force was treating me.

Approximately a year after I was relieved of my duties, my Wing Commander recommended I be promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, even though the Air Force was actively pursuing my discharge.

But instead, after 16 months, I was given a police escort off the base as if I were a common criminal or a threat to national security. The severance pay I received was half of what it would have been had I been separated for any other reason.

Despite this treatment, my greatest desire is still to return to active duty as an officer and leader in the United States Air Force, protecting the freedoms of a nation that I love; freedoms that I myself was not allowed to enjoy while serving in the military."


http://www.sldn.org/blog/archives/stories-from-the-frontlines-former-navy-petty-officer-third-class-jose/
Quote :
"Shop talk in the unit revolved around sex, either the prostitute-filled parties of days past or the escapades my comrades looked forward to. They interpreted my silence and total lack of interest as an admission of homosexuality."


http://www.sldn.org/blog/archives/stories-from-the-frontlines-chief-hospital-navy-corpsman-brian-k.-humb/
Quote :
"After a strong push by my faithful defense team, the board ruled that I could keep my retirement benefits and be discharged honorably.

I served for 22 years and wanted only to fulfill the remainder of my time. A promise I made to my country.

The criminal investigation by NCIS took all but six months. But one person -- a JAG officer -- spent the next eighteen months and countless man hours attempting to have me discharged with a reduction in rank and no retirement, all because I was gay.

Sir, those two years were frankly, mental hell, all because one person felt I shouldn’t be in the Navy, a service I loved and still love today."


http://www.sldn.org/blog/archives/stories-from-the-frontlines-lcpl.-danny-hernandez-usmc-separated/
Quote :
"My discharge came from the fear that my sexual orientation was going to be revealed by a third party; a group of unknown Marines who threatened to use my sexuality as a way to retaliate after a dispute in a bar. I had spoken with two fellow Marines from my unit; both of whom I trusted. They calmed me, told me that it wasn’t a big deal, and reassured me that everything was going to be fine.

I returned to drill only to find out that the two Marines – the Marines I confided in -- had mentioned it and word had reached my 1st Sergeant and Commanding Officer. They told the two Marines to submit written statements detailing everything I had told them.

When I walked in to my 1st Sergeant's office the first question out of his mouth was, "Are you gay?"

I answered honestly. The investigation was now underway.
"


http://www.sldn.org/blog/archives/stories-from-the-frontlines-a-soldier-returning-to-baghdad/
Quote :
"my unit is extremely undermanned. We're working around the clock in Baghdad. My commander informed me that the Army cannot afford to lose me. I was told that they would prepare my discharge paperwork, "stick it in a Manila envelope, and keep it in a desk -- for now."

One moment they wanted to throw me out and the next they are hiding evidence to keep me in.

My comrades now know that I am gay, and they do not treat me any differently. Work runs as smoothly as ever, and frankly the only difference I see -- besides my pending job loss -- is that I am free of the burden of having to constantly watch my words and ensure my lies are believable.

Having this out in the open makes things a bit less stressful. But it's also clear the Army is only keeping me around until they are done with me. After I have served my two deployments -- and only a year shy of separating from the military honorably -- I suspect they will kick me to the street.

It's bad enough that there is a law that denies tens of thousands of service members from serving with integrity, but it's even worse when such a law is carried out with such inconsistency, without any warning of when it might come down.

If my suspicions are true, my discharge will move forward after my deployment. I am good enough to serve in war, but not at peace?"

10/11/2010 12:52:21 AM

Supplanter
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aubrey-sarvis/air-force-boots-their-25_b_205553.html

Quote :
"Air Force Boots Their 25 Million Dollar Aviator

Lieutenant Colonel Victor J. Fehrenbach, a fighter weapons systems officer, has been flying the F-15E Strike Eagle since 1998. He has flown numerous missions against Taliban and al-Qaida targets, including the longest combat mission in his squadron's history. On that infamous September 11, 2001, Lt. Col. Fehrenbach was handpicked to fly sorties above the nation's capital. Later he flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has received at least 30 awards and decorations including nine air medals, one of them for heroism, as well as campaign medals for Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He is now a flight instructor in Idaho, where he has passed on his skills to more than 300 future Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force weapons systems officers.

Since 1987, when Fehrenbach entered Notre Dame on a full Air Force ROTC scholarship, the government has invested twenty-five million dollars in training and equipping him to serve his country, which he has done with what anyone would agree was great distinction. He comes from a military family. His father was a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, his mother an Air Force nurse and captain. Lt. Col. Fehrenbach has honored that tradition.

And the Air Force is about to discharge this guy, a virtual poster boy for Air Force recruiting, because he is gay?"


http://www.sldn.org/content/military-stories/
Quote :
"A decorated sergeant and Arabic language specialist, I was discharged from the U.S. Army under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," though my accuser was never identified. I was "outed" by a stream of anonymous e-mails to my superiors in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C. An eight-month Army investigation culminated in my honorable discharge from the Army - less than four years after I enlisted, motivated by a sense of duty to my country in the days following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks."



Quote :
"Then, last October the annual inspection of my base, Fort Gordon, Ga., included a perusal of the government computer chat system; inspectors identified 70 service members whose use violated policy. The range of violations was broad: people were flagged for everything from profanity to outright discussions of explicit sexual activity. Among those charged were my former roommate and me. Our messages had included references to our social lives — comments that were otherwise unremarkable, except that they indicated we were both gay.

I could have written a statement denying that I was homosexual, but lying did not seem like the right thing to do. My roommate made the same decision, though he was allowed to remain in Iraq until the scheduled end of his tour.

The result was the termination of our careers, and the loss to the military of two more Arabic translators. The 68 other — heterosexual — service members remained on active duty, despite many having committed violations far more egregious than ours; the Pentagon apparently doesn’t consider hate speech, derogatory comments about women or sexual misconduct grounds for dismissal.

My supervisors did not want to lose me."


http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2010/03/13/today-in-un-american-activities

Quote :
"Police in Rapid City, South Dakota, looked through the window of a home and spotted an Iowa marriage license sitting on the kitchen table. They were at the home to serve an arrest warrant to one of two women who lived there. The other woman who lived in the home—a woman who wasn't wanted for anything—happened to be a sergeant in the Air Force. The Air Force sergeant wasn't in trouble with the law, the sergeant hadn't broken any laws, her marriage license and her military career had no bearing on the case. But the Rapid City police officers—just for shits and giggles—let the Air Force know about the Iowa marriage license and Sgt. Jene Newsome's nine-year military career is over."


Given that all 3 branches of government are bushing back on this policy (2 recent court cases finding it unconstitutional, a majority of legislators voting for repeal, although not a filibuster proof majority, and the Commander-in-Chief advocating for an end to this policy), I think its on its way out. Not to mention the American public (including 59% of North Carolinian independents from a poll earlier this year) is generally supportive of open service, and that General Colin Powell who served under Bush, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates who served under President Bush and President Obama, Admiral Michael Mullen the highest ranking officer in the United States armed forces, and General David Petraeus who obviously knows a little something about the current conflicts, all agree that DADT needs to be rethought, that certainly helps.

I'd also point out the countries that do and don't allow open service. Do:
Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Colombia ,Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Uruguay

Don't:
Cuba, People's Republic of China, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Jamaica, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Syria, Turkey, Venezuela, Yemen

While recognizing we have a unique military, we certainly share more in common with most of the people on the Do list, and our troops have served with theirs in coalition forces, which is something we can build on.

I think time has come for a change, and not just for non-discrimination type reasons (although I think its absurd for someone to see a marriage license in someones private property & report it to the military to get them kicked out), but also because I think kicking out qualified committed people is bad for the military, and a waste of public funds (recall the 25 million dollar aviator example, the thousands of people who have been discharged, & the many who have avoided re-enlistment, or enlisting in the first place).

I think reasonable people can disagree whether or not this policy served a viable purpose when it was started, but I think almost everyone agrees its time for it to go.

10/11/2010 12:52:27 AM

ThePeter
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We get it, you're gay

10/11/2010 11:55:28 PM

Supplanter
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^That is all you took from a well researched and detailed discussions of why a particular policy has failed?

[Edited on October 12, 2010 at 1:04 AM. Reason : .]

10/12/2010 12:46:23 AM

bbehe
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^^^

An Officer commit to re-enlisting?

Anyways...this guy went to Iraq, didn't like it, went to the National Guard, didn't like it...and then came out on some MSNBC tv show and was surprised when he got discharged.

10/12/2010 5:32:05 AM

bbehe
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Also, chaining himself to the White House fence? twice? Yeah...no respect for this guy.

10/12/2010 5:50:56 AM

HUR
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If Lt. Choi really gave a shit about serving in our armed forces he would have kept his relationship status with his butt buddy on the DL. Not that i am arguing it to be right or wrong but Lt. Choi knew the position of the military regarding homosexuals and about the DADT policy. Instead Lt. Choi in my opinion choose to be a martyr.

10/12/2010 8:33:40 AM

bbehe
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^ Pretty much, I've been stationed with a couple gay guys, honestly no one really gives a damn as long as it's not flaunted (bringing your life partner to a squadron/base function for example)

10/12/2010 4:11:12 PM

CheesyLabia
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And that's the problem.

Gay? Fine, keep it to yourself and I'll keep my hetero to myself

People like Supplanter try to flaunt their homo-ism and act like they deserve a medal of honor for it

10/13/2010 12:03:56 AM

Supplanter
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Quote :
"People like Supplanter try to flaunt their homo-ism and act like they deserve a medal of honor for it"


I hesitate to respond given that your low post count and username choice indicate the possibility of a troll. But in case I'm misreading the situation, I'll give it an honest response.

First, that being "hetero" isn't flaunted is BS. Not a week goes by on tdub that I don't see countless breasts, or convos at school about the hottest chicks don't come up. Now I wouldn't change tdub's culture in that area at all, because I see no harm in people not being super uptight about sex. Even so you'd be hard pressed to find me posting much of anything that requires a NSFW tag on tdub.

And never once I have I said I'm gay in this topic. I did however argue for why a bad public policy should be ended (& I do call out public figures on it from time to time). I think you'll find that I discuss sex less than many tdubbers, but public policy more than most tdubbers (as a soap box regular). You could easily find multiple threads I've started on election fairness issues, like campaign finance reform, voter owned elections, party ballot access issues, or animal welfare, animal cruelty laws, puppy mill ban attempts (I say attempts b/c the last one failed, but they're trying it again next year & it has a decent short), pet food drives (had that story front paged just like this one we're discussing in now), etc. I view making a thread calling out the pork industry for defending deplorable puppy mill conditions solely on the basis that if puppies can't be tortured, then next thing you know we wont be able to eat bacon, in the same light (rather than as flaunting anything) as making a thread calling out someone defending a bad policy like the topic at hand.

[Edited on October 13, 2010 at 12:30 AM. Reason : .]

10/13/2010 12:25:41 AM

AxlBonBach
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i read all this shit and i'm like

boo fucking hoo.

10/14/2010 7:55:00 PM

FroshKiller
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bbehe said:
Quote :
"^ Pretty much, I've been stationed with a couple gay guys, honestly no one really gives a damn as long as it's not flaunted (bringing your life partner to a squadron/base function for example)"


"Honestly, no one really gives a damn as long as you don't do anything with your partner that no one would even think twice about a straight couple doing, like things that couples do. Also, I'm a tremendous piece of shit."

P.S. It's just Technician, not the Technician.

10/17/2010 9:01:45 PM

bbehe
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Uh what?

I don't care if someone is gay, however, openly flaunting that you were breaking an order gives supervision no choice but to punish or follow the law.

DADT is a horrible policy, and I'm glad it's on it's on it's way out. When it goes away, I don't give two shits if homosexuals bring their partners to a squadron function. However, until then, doing stuff like attempting to become a martyr on MSNBC and not expecting to be kicked out is fucking dumb.

10/18/2010 1:25:05 AM

Hawthorne
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All I'm gonna say is that a promotion to captain is pretty much guaran-fucking-teed unless you're a real fuckup, and somehow, before he came out and admitted he was gay, he was still stuck as a 1LT. I will also say that unless you can document it really well, and senior rater isn't going to simply accept "He's a bad officer" on an OER. Bottom line, this guy was bad at his job, and he decided fuck it, I'm gonna make a stink about me being gay.



10/22/2010 9:05:28 PM

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