Tammy Smith Comes Out as She is Promoted to Brigadier General, Becomes Highest Ranking Gay Military Figure

Army reserve officer Tammy Smith (pictured with her wife Tracey Hepner) was promoted to Brigadier General today, and came out of the closet at the same time, the Stars and Stripes reports:

SmithWhat she glosses over is that along with the promotion she is also publicly acknowledging her sexuality for the first time, making her the first general officer to come out as gay while still serving. It comes less than a year after the end of the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” law.

“All of those facts are irrelevant,” she said. “I don’t think I need to be focused on that. What is relevant is upholding Army values and the responsibility this carries.”

But Smith’s pinning ceremony on Friday marks an important milestone for gay rights advocates, giving the movement its most senior public military figure. She has already been assigned as deputy chief at the Office of the Chief at the Army Reserve, and spent much of 2011 serving in Afghanistan.


UPDATE: Outserve has a great report from the event.


  1. says

    Congratulations to Tammy Smith! Unbounded esteem and undying gratefulness to the thousands of American women, men, girls and boys who’s service and sacrifice to the nation, both in and out of the armed services has made this newly bought legacy possible; people in service to the Constitution of The United States of America, in service to doing the right thing, in service to truth, integrity, honesty and a myriad other attributes of goodness we as a culture and society revere. It was on the bodies, lives and sufferings of the many who have gone before that now make possible the presentation of this particular silver tray.

  2. Icebloo says

    Good news but she needs to pray shi#head Romney doesn’t win the election because he has promised to reverse the ruling on “Don’t ask don’t tell” which means anyone who has come out since the Democrats struck down DADT will automatically be fired.

    It’s justice – Republican-style !

  3. Jeff says

    I’m more and more proud everyday to be a gay soldier in our U.S. Army. Congrats to BG Smith and her wife.

  4. says

    Wow! What an honor! Congratulations BRIGADIER GENERAL TAMMY SMITH! As a gay man I couldn’t be more proud of such an achievement!

  5. says

    It’s awesome that we’re increasingly part of the culture and society that values hired murderers over everybody else.

    She’s a whore.

    We were better off universally loathed, and dying from STD’s and drug abuse.

  6. Byron St. James says

    I’ve said it before DADT was removed: gay men and women will be some of the finest soldiers this country has ever known and will rise to the highest echelons if given the chance. (Maybe that is what “they” were afraid of). @LITTLEKIWI: you are irrelevant here, be gone, worm!

  7. acd says

    It is interesting to me as a foreigner to see in the comments how many buy into the US aggression and imperialism around the world. Many seem to have been sucked into the belief that military action is heroic and that all out gay military personnel ought to be lauded.

    I totally understand and support Little Kiwi’s comments.

    While Smith is to be lauded at a very current superficial level, she made the easy decision to come out now rather than before the repeal of DADT.

    But real bravery and standing up for world justice comes from questioning and fighting the idea that there is any justice in these “military actions” inflicted on the world in the name of “democracy” when they are mostly for oil and control of resources.

    I can hardly wait to see the vitriol I inspire.

  8. "The Gay" says

    I wonder what dirty little human rights violations secrets she keeps…

    The FBI has files on ALL US citizens now.

    If you think we’re free, and this is progress, you’ve given yourselves a collective lobotomy.

    I’m so ashamed of America…

  9. Titi says

    If she’s ever captured in a middle eastern country, they’ll stone her to death. Not for being an American General, but for admitting that she’s a LESBIAN!

  10. says

    No honor and no integrity! She should have resigned long before pinning on BG as the rules over the last 20+ years have gone from conservative to liberal. As a general, she enforced the current standards on others while violating those standards as a younger and lower-ranking officer!