Story from the Frontline of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell':
Chief Hospital Corpsman Brian Humbles

The Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) on base, acting without authority, continued her own investigation and convinced the ranking Admiral that regulations mandated that he move to administratively separate me with an “Other Than Honorable” discharge; a move that would result in the loss of my 20+ year retirement.

Acting without the proper authority, she even went over the Admiral’s head and appealed to the Navy’s personnel office, telling them I was taking “sexual liberties” with patients, which she knew was not true.

I wanted to serve my country. Now, I was fighting to not be humiliated by it. At the SJA’s encouragement, the command initiated discharge proceedings. I knew I’d be discharged but my retirement and my livelihood was also on the line.

In the middle of opening statements at my discharge hearing, a fellow service member who also sat on the Administrative Separation Board, lashed out and called me a “sexual predator.” While she was removed from the board, the damage was done.

After a strong push by my faithful defense team, the board ruled that I could keep my retirement benefits and be discharged honorably.

I served for 22 years and wanted only to fulfill the remainder of my time. A promise I made to my country.

The criminal investigation by NCIS took all but six months. But one person — a JAG officer — spent the next eighteen months and countless man hours attempting to have me discharged with a reduction in rank and no retirement, all because I was gay.

Sir, those two years were frankly, mental hell, all because one person felt I shouldn’t be in the Navy, a service I loved and still love today.

Mr. President, the men and women in the armed forces need your leadership now. Repeal this law, this year. Help stop the pain of so many people who are currently facing discharge hearings. Help them keep their honor. Help them keep their integrity.

With great respect,

Brian K. Humbles

Chief Hospital Corpsman

Surface Warfare/ Fleet Marine Forces

United States Navy (RET)


April 27 – Captain Joan Darrah
April 28 – LCpl Danny Hernandez
April 29 – An Active-Duty Military Chaplain
April 30 – Captain Rebecca H. Elliott
May 4 – Former Ssgt Anthony Loverde
May 5 – Former First Lieutenant Laura Slattery
May 6 – Former Staff Sergeant Anthony Moll
May 7 – Clifton Truman Daniel
May 10 – Former Sgt. Tracey L. Cooper-Harris
May 11 – Former Petty Officer 2nd Class, U. S. Navy Jason Knight