Dan Choi | Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Military | News

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Activist Lt. Dan Choi Back in Active Service


Lieutenant Dan Choi, a prominent face of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" debate since he was threatened with discharge and announced the formation of Knights Out in early 2009, is back in active service, Jeff Sheng at Bilerico Project reports:

"To clear everything up for our readers, I spoke to Lt. Choi at length earlier about what exactly the situation is. Apparently, Lt. Choi's commander has always been in full support of him, and even after Lt. Choi came out on The Rachel Maddow Show, his commander did not press for his discharge. The military did eventually serve Lt. Choi a discharge notification - essentially firing him from his job, but he was allowed to fight this at trial, and as it currently stands, the discharge has not been finalized. Given the current state of how DADT is in such flux, and also, in my opinion, the prominence and celebrity of Lt. Choi, his discharge might never be fully enforced."

So what is Choi's new role in the debate now? Said the Lieutenant to Sheng: "Actions speak louder than words."

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  1. Yes! Woo-hoo! This is great news for the Lt _and_ for the country! Fight on, brother!

    Posted by: tjc | Feb 9, 2010 10:42:10 AM

  2. It's really pretty wacked - to see Dan Choi back where he belongs...defending us, risking his life (perhaps) - and I'm crying tears of joy. Godspeed to him and the swift repeal of DADT.

    Posted by: Geoff Alnutt | Feb 9, 2010 10:49:48 AM

  3. Lieutenant Choi is clearly a man of great courage and I am grateful to him and his supporters for their true patriotism.

    (And let's bring all our brave soldiers home from Iraq.)

    Posted by: grateful | Feb 9, 2010 11:08:11 AM

  4. Congrats Choi - keep your head down and your powder dry.

    Posted by: niles | Feb 9, 2010 11:11:26 AM

  5. Dan,

    I think I can speak for all who will read this article: We are VERY proud of you and thank you for your service to help keep us safe.

    How could any descent person believe that DADT should stay in place! These solders are willing to put their lives on the line for our country and some are worried about their sexual preference! It’s completely absurd.

    Again, thank you, Dan.

    Posted by: Jake | Feb 9, 2010 11:12:34 AM

  6. Another chink in the armor of Don't Ask, Don't Tell!

    Posted by: ttt | Feb 9, 2010 11:32:46 AM

  7. good on you lt. choi, for being brave here and abroad. stay safe.

    Posted by: nic | Feb 9, 2010 11:37:26 AM

  8. This man is my hero.

    Posted by: elcamino | Feb 9, 2010 12:13:37 PM

  9. the best DADT news yet.

    Posted by: DR | Feb 9, 2010 12:22:26 PM

  10. TTT,
    You're a racist ass! You couldn't have come up with a better choice of words, idiot!

    Posted by: CoCo | Feb 9, 2010 12:23:07 PM

  11. The post and comments need more Obama bashing. A gay rights/DADT post does not feel right with it.

    Posted by: Jane Roe | Feb 9, 2010 12:56:28 PM

  12. Er, I mean "without." Damn.

    Posted by: Jane Roe | Feb 9, 2010 12:58:27 PM

  13. NO! NO! NO!

    I haven't been able to connect with Dan yet....who sent me the same pictures a few days ago, captioning the one above, "See, Tony Perkins there ARE openly gay people in the no-privacy bunks!"....but I'll post any necessary correction when I do. UNTIL THEN:

    Dan is NOT "back in active service" in the way people are apparently interpreting the headline.

    Unlike when Victor Fehrenbach was outed, Dan was NOT "active duty" when he outed himself. He had moved from active duty with the Army to the New York Army National Guard. National Guards are "reserve" military, who are only activATED at various times by their governor or the President. The majority of the time, Guard members are allowed to hold down other jobs, do whatever they want with their time, as Dan has since June 2008. There are National Guard units who have been "activated" serving "full time" in war zones, but obviously Dan's is not one of them.

    Thus, the training he was on last week ONLY was TEMPORARY, the kind periodically required of all National Guard members to keep their skills intact.

    Further, "trial" is the wrong word. Because he chose to contest his discharge, rather than simply going quietly as most regretfully but understandably choose to do, Dan was given an administrative hearing. [He would have only been put on trial, in this regard, if he were being charged with a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice of which "being gay" is not.]

    After the administrative hearing recommends discharge, the servicemember can appeal. While that appeal is in process, they remain in the military, though their assignments often change. Fehrenbach is awaiting the results of his appeal to the Secretary of the Air Force, and remains on active duty until then.

    A commenter to the misleading article linked to suggests that Dan is being silenced by the military. I won't believe that until I hear Dan say it. Once someone has gone public, I'm aware of them never having seriously attempted that. And given the atmosphere right now, post Gates and Mullen's lip service to repeal, I can't imagine them not knowing such an attempt would blow up in their faces.

    As for the support of his Commander in relation to DADT repeal, it's the kind of thing that has certainly contributed to the process generally, but he's at the wrong end of the proverbial stick to be any indication of what will be decided at the other end.

    Finally, it is not just repeal that we should be demanding, but a freeze on discharges UNTIL repeal. Until then, talk is just talk, as the hundreds who were discharged last year prove.


    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Feb 9, 2010 1:57:02 PM

  14. This is such a great piece of news. I'm so proud to see Dan Choi serving again. The story brightens my day, and I'm so thrilled about this. Awesome!

    Posted by: Bi-Guy | Feb 9, 2010 3:40:34 PM

  15. @Jane

    Seriously, can't have a post about DADT without the racism and Obama bashing.

    Thanks to TTT, we already got the racism part.

    Posted by: John | Feb 9, 2010 8:38:04 PM

  16. Good to hear!

    Posted by: MickW | Feb 9, 2010 8:53:14 PM

  17. "Another chink in the armor of Don't Ask, Don't Tell!"

    ROTLFMAO! And if anyone has a problem with that, kill yourself. Comedy.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 9, 2010 9:02:49 PM

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