The Pentagon and the Air Force have confirmed to Metro Weekly’s Chris Geidner that one servicemember has been discharged since the military announced more lenient guidelines for enforcing the ban against homosexual conduct. The new rules — announced in March and October of 2010 — introduced various changes from raising the level of the officer who is authorized to start a fact-finding inquiry or order a separation proceeding to requiring the service branch secretary to approve the separation.
From Geidner’s report:
An Air Force spokesman confirmed today that the secretary of the Air Force approved a discharge under the military’s ”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on April 29 of this year. The discharge, according to a Pentagon spokeswoman, is the only such discharge since the Pentagon on Oct. 21, 2010, directed that DADT discharges would require the approval of the service branch secretary. [...]
Air Force Major Joel Harper, an Air Force spokesman, clarified the specifics of the discharge to Metro Weekly, writing, ”On April 29th, 2011, the Secretary of the Air Force approved the discharge of an Airman under the provisions of 10 USC 654, after coordination with the DoD General Counsel [Jeh Johnson] and the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness [Stanley].”
Harper continued, ”Each of these officials evaluated the case carefully, and concluded that separation was appropriate. The Airman in the case asked to be separated expeditiously.”
President Obama signed repeal of the ban on open service in December, but the policy will remain in place until 60 days after the president, defense secretary, and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that repeal will not undermine military readiness and effectiveness. Just yesterday, the White House revealed a new website touting its accomplishment of repealing DADT.