Veterans denied honorable discharges, due to ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ to have their case reviewed

| September 23, 2023

Prior to the appeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” thousands of LGBTQ+ veterans were discharged with “under other than honorable conditions.” Supporters for these new reviews argue that many of these veterans put themselves in harm’s way and have done their duties as others have done. However, had it not been for the nature of their discharge, receiving an honorable discharge instead despite their sexual orientation, they would have access to benefits and services.

From CBS News:

To help ease that burden, the Defense Department plans to conduct a review of veterans’ records who served under “don’t ask, don’t tell” for a possible recommendation of a discharge upgrade. This means that these veterans would not have to apply for the upgrade themselves, a process that both veterans and experts have said is often unsuccessful without the help of a lawyer. The department is also launching a website Wednesday with resources dedicated to LGBTQ+ veterans who believe they were wrongfully discharged for their sexuality.

Once the military completes its initial review of veterans’ records who served during “don’t ask, don’t tell,” a senior Pentagon official told CBS News it plans to begin looking at the records of veterans who served before that policy — by many accounts, a time of even greater discrimination against gay and lesbian service members.

“Over the past decade, we’ve tried to make it easier for Service members discharged based on their sexual orientation to obtain corrective relief,” Austin also said in his statement. “While this process can be difficult to navigate, we are working to make it more accessible and efficient.”

And he said that in the coming weeks, the military will start outreach campaigns to encourage service members and veterans who believe they suffered an injustice because of “don’t ask, don’t tell” to try to get their military records corrected.

While the full scope of past discrimination remains unknown due to the opaque nature of military records and the widespread use of cover charges to drum out gay and lesbian troops, figures obtained via Freedom of Information Act and shared with CBS News earlier this year revealed that more than 35,000 service members from 1980 to 2011 “received a discharge or separation because of real or perceived homosexuality, homosexual conduct, sexual perversion, or any other related reason.” According to the most recent data available from the Pentagon, just 1,375 veterans have been granted relief in the form of a discharge upgrade or correction to their record.

CBS News provides additional information here.

Category: Military issues, Veterans in the news

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Wonder how many bootlegging convictions were reversed or vacated when booze became legal? Or how many felonies reduced to misdemeanors when the financial threshold was raised?

A Proud Infidel®™

DITTO with marijuana Convictions when it got legalized in some States?


But if you refused an experimental gene therapy shot with severe side effects…



Regardless of any Court’s ruling or any politician’s decree, the chosen lifestyle of homosexuality is incompatible with military service.

That is the truth no matter whose feelings are hurt by it.


Yep, Spot on, Wilson. The Military is NOT a Social Club. Its primary purpose is to defend the Republic by killing the enemy and breaking sh^t in general. Us Old Geezers remember, as does Pepper Ridge Farms does, that being “gay” was the quickest way to be sent home from the induction center, ‘specially during the draft days. Heck, I had guys show up when I enlisted wearing dresses and acting all swishy. Even had one dood tell the Doc he couldn’t serve ’cause he was (his term) “queer”, Doc dropped his trousers and told dood that if he was “that way” he could get an immediate deferral by proving it then and there. Dood took the oath with the rest of us. Good Times!

Anybody else see a boondoggle program that will be rife with corruption, costing the taxpayer even more money? Next thing will be an award of all back pay, with allowances, along with automatic promotion to the average expected rank, retirement, health benefits and so on. Watch

A Proud Infidel®™

Like any other Federal Government “gimme” there will be at least a horde of con gamers lining up to milk it for all it’s worth.


I’d be willing to bet that most people who stand to benefit from this lean towards a certain political party that is represented by an ass. I see this as just another opportunity to buy votes.


Pandering… Lenin promised peace, land, bread and freedom to the guilible– look where that went instead.


Which “chosen lifestyle of homosexuality” would that be? Believe it or not, there are homosexuals who are not overly aggressive raging queens. You probably know at least one person who you don’t know is gay. I knew a number of homosexuals who served quite well in the Army. Of course I cannot be 100% sure they were gay, not being gay myself, but I would bet substantial amounts of money that they were. Including one guy who used to serenade me in the latrine. He was a real pain in the ass (figuratively speaking, of course). Or the E-6 (one of my favorite NCOs) who just about kissed me goodbye when I left the company. DADT worked pretty well for a couple of centuries as far as I can tell. I would actually be surprised of at least one of that “Band of Brothers” of film fame wasn’t gay.


Dude, enough with trying to normalize the abnormal.


Just trying to bring a little reality into the discussion. Since it’s Sunday, I will misquote Jesus; “The abnormal you will always have with you”.

USMC Steve

I think it was also said about liberals.

USMC Steve

And lost along with that is the fact that no one has any “right” to serve. You can be denied enlistment.


It was no secret that one of the quickest ways out of the Army was under DADT. I knew of Soldiers who “came out” and were out of the Army less than a month later. So, the question is, how many of these Other Than Honorable discharges were legit, and how many just based on a spiteful command trying to screw over a Soldier one last time?

When DADT was lifted in 2011, USAREC released a memo stating that all RE-4 Applicants that received that code based solely on DADT were automatically considered RE-1. In non-Recruiter speak, RE-4 means that there’s no chance of reenlistment, RE-3 is usually waiverable, and RE-1 means fully qualified for reenlistment.

Anyway, story time: in November 2002 I was a Rifleman and about to board the bus for JRTC when my Squad Leader saw me and told me I’d drawn the wrong weapon. I was made SAW Gunner on the spot, since our previous SAW Gunner came out as gay the night prior. I loved that weapon and suspect it was an earlier contract M249, since it was made in Belgium and not SC like most FN weapons used over here now are, but I digress.

Rumor had it that there were pictures that had gotten out of the SPC and his “boyfriend” partying with a bunch of drugs in the barracks. Once they learned that they were looking at Article-15s or even court-martial, they walked hand-in-hand into the CO’s office and kissed in front of him. They were both out before we got back from JRTC.

Green Thumb

Great fucking point.

Saw a few clowns that “smoked pole” to get out quick time.

Dirtbags they were.


Here we go again. The problems with DADT from my jaded perspective were that it worked pretty well for most folk. A squadron is a family and everyone knew who the gay boys and girls were, and as long as everyone was professional nobody cared. Just do your job as if my life depended on it, which in fact it did. The rest, adults closed doors and all that.
‘Good order and discipline’ was replaced because a few drama queens felt constrained and now look what there is. Sad.

A Proud Infidel®™

It seems that things go to total shit every time they cater to said drama queens and primadonnas!


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Pat Condell calls ’em out for coming for the kids:


It did work well, in my opinion. I saw a bit of a change between the first half of my career under DADT and the second half without it. Under DADT, what happened in the bedroom stayed in the bedroom. Many of us knew of people we suspected were closeted, and that policy ensured that things stayed closeted. It had/has no bearing on the ability of someone to do their job.

Post-2011, though, it seemed like things were a bit more flagrant. I knew a few married Army couples, especially on the officer side of the house, who besides having the same last name you’d have never thought were intimate with each other. They’d be assigned to different commands and made the habit of not associating with each other during business hours, unless it was strictly professional. In 2014 we had a couple of female CPTs who had come out and were married to each other. For some reason, they were permitted to work in close proximity, and they made no attempt to hide the fact that they were intimate with each other. PDA as a whole seemed to be more permissible post-DADT, with NCOs like me being hesitant to correct certain people due to their enhanced status as the Next Big Thing for the Army.

We see it even worse now. A middle-aged White male like me is not who the Army wants to promote, either rank-wise or through advertising and being the “Face of the Army”. It’s the strong empowered women and especially the transwomen like MAJ Jones and Levine they want to see in uniform. What used to be considered general military authority to make on-the-spot corrections regardless of rank or position is now dependent on who you’re correcting and who you are.

USMC Steve

Heh, heh, he said “queens” there.

Prior Service

Gonna be a case of “stolen swaller” soon.

Honor and Courage

A lot of those guys just did it as a way out!!!!! Who is checking the checker???

Green Thumb

Odd in a way.

No one cared about Lesbians back in the day. Just gay men.

Just an observation.


I knew a whole lot of lesbian/bi women in the Army. Only knew of two gay men. I’m sure there were more, they just weren’t exactly out and proud.

Green Thumb


MSG Eric

Well it’s a social justice issue, so I’m sure the boards for correction of military records in each branch will work overtime to get them all resolved and push anything else to the bottom of the priority list.