U.S. Gains First Openly Gay General
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Tammy Smith, right, with Tracey Hepner (photo: Courtesy of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network)
The U.S. Army achieved a milestone last week when it promoted its first openly gay officer to the rank of general.
Tammy Smith, a veteran of the Afghanistan war, was officially promoted to brigadier general in a ceremony that featured her wife, Tracey Hepner, pinning Smith’s stars to her uniform. As little as a year ago, Smith was still giving interviews under a pseudonym, rather than come out to her fellow service members.
Smith said she was excited and humbled by her promotion. She also downplayed the attention paid to her being the Army’s first acknowledged gay general.
“I don’t think I need to be focused on that,” she told Stars and Stripes. “What is relevant is upholding Army values and the responsibility this carries.”
Smith’s next assignment will be deputy chief at the Office of the Chief at the Army Reserve, making her responsible for providing support to the families of reservists. This includes benefits for married spouses, something Smith cannot share with Hepner under current law, gay rights advocates pointed out.
To Learn More:
Smith Becomes First Gay General Officer To Serve Openly (by Leo Shane III, Stars and Stripes)
First Openly Gay Flag Officer Promoted (by Sue Fulton, OutServe Magazine)
For First Time, Uniformed Troops March in Gay Pride Parade (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Two Female Officers Sue Pentagon for Right to Join Combat Units (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)
Military Spent $193 Million to Kick out Gay Troops (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
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