Yesterday, West Point Cadet Katherine Miller, a junior ranked 9th in her class, came out to her superiors and offered her resignation, explaining that she could no longer comply with the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy:
Specifically, I have created a heterosexual dating history to recite to fellow cadets when they inquire. I have endured sexual harassment for fear of being accused as a lesbian by rejecting or reporting these events. I have been coerced into ignoring derogatory comments towards homosexuals for fear of being alienated for my viewpoint. In short, I have lied to my classmates and compromised my integrity and my identity by adhering to existing military policy.
While at the academy, I have made a deliberate effort to develop myself academically, physically, and militarily, but in terms of holistic personal growth I have reached a plateau. I am unwilling to suppress an entire portion of my identity any longer because it has taken a significant personal, mental, and social toll on me and detrimentally affected my professional development. I have experienced a relentless cognitive dissonance by attempting to adhere to §654 and retain my integrity, and I am retrospectively convinced that I am unable to live up to the Army Values as long as the policy remains in place.
Interestingly, Miller was active around DADT issues throughout her time at the academy. She conducted “a study of the cadet attitudes on the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell'” policy and worked with the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) — an LGBT focused organization. Blogging under the pseudonym Private Second Class Citizen for the velvet park, Miller reported on the “underground” lesbian culture in the Academy and the harassment she underwent to remain in the closet. The Wonk Room excerpts Miller’s experiences, which only highlight the failures of DADT.