don't ask, don't tell.
Washington, DC (Vocus) November 23, 2010
The Pentagon has recently announced that its Working Group’s study, offering recommendations on how best to implement the potential repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that bans openly gay men and women from serving in the military, will be released on November 30, 2010, one day earlier than previously scheduled. The report is expected to inform debate on a likely Senate vote on the National Defense Authorization Act, the defense appropriation bill containing language that would enable the Pentagon to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” next year. In light of these developments, representatives from OutServe, a leading organization representing gay active duty and reserve service members, will be available for interviews and media appearances.
JD Smith, OutServe’s Co-Director of Military Operations, will be available for interviews regarding the current status of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Due to Smith’s status as an active duty service member, “JD Smith” is a pseudonym. Smith has spoken to numerous media outlets including The New York Times, Denver Post and National Public Radio.
JD Smith can speak to:
- The impact of repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” on active duty service members
- What other active duty service members think of the prospect of repealing the policy
- The anticipated content of the Pentagon Working Group’s report
- Life after “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” for those currently serving and the role Outserve hopes to take in a post-DADT world
Jonathan Hopkins, spokesman for OutServe and a former United States Army captain, was honorably discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law in August 2010. He graduated fourth in his class of 901 at West Point in 2001, and served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning three Bronze Stars, including one for valor. During his third tour, his commander identified him as one of the top three commanders out of thirty in his brigade. In spite of his decorated career, Captain Hopkins was informed by his battalion commander in June 2009 that he had been outed, on the very day that he learned of his early promotion to major. Since his discharge, Hopkins has been a leading advocate for repealing "don't ask, don't tell." He has written for The New York Times and appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show to discuss the "don't ask" policy.
Jonathan Hopkins can speak to:
- His discharge and how it reflects the injustice of “don’t ask, don’t tell”
- How the military is already a post-“don’t ask” military in many ways, and how many service members are fully accepting of openly gay colleagues
- The toll that the “don’t ask” policy takes on gay service members who must hide in order to maintain their careers
Katherine Miller, an OutServe spokesperson and board member, spent the first two years of her undergraduate education as a cadet at the United States Military Academy (West Point) where she was ranked 17th in her class of over 1,000. In August 2010, she resigned from the academy, citing her inability to simultaneously adhere to the Army’s values and to “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Since then, she has given interviews for The New York Times, the BBC, and NPR, and has appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and ESPN’s Outside the Lines. Miller is currently studying political science at Yale University on a Point Foundation scholarship. She intends to rejoin the military and return to West Point in the event that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is repealed.
Katherine Miller can speak to:
- The impact of “don’t ask, don’t tell” on gay and lesbian military cadets
- How repeal will enable gay and lesbian military cadets to serve in full accordance with the values promoted by our armed forces
EDITORS: To schedule an interview with JD Smith, Jonathan Hopkins, or Katie Miller, please call or email Cathy Renna at the phone number or email address to the right.
OutServe is a network of actively serving members of the United States Armed Services who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender. The organization launched publicly on July 26, 2010. The organization is led by an active-duty member who goes by the pseudonym of JD Smith and civilian Co-Director Ty Walrod. For more information, go to http://www.outserve.org.