US Army’s First Openly Gay General

August 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

Tammy Smith and Tracey Hepner

Almost a year after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was reversed, the US Army promoted an openly gay colonel to general.  Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith has served in the military for 26 years. The beginning of her pinning ceremony went like this:

Smith, then a colonel, strode in with her commanding officer at the stroke of 4 p.m. The audience sang the national anthem and a young boy led the Pledge of Allegiance.

The announcer presented Smith’s father. Then came an introduction: “Col. Smith’s partner, Miss Tracey Hepner.”

The audience burst into applause.

“This part is a little fuzzy for me, because I have to confess, I got choked up,” said Sue Fulton, an Army veteran and friend of the couple who attended the event. “People have been working toward this moment for decades.”

Smith, has said, that while she knows and understands why her promotion is historically important, that, for her, it is secondary to holding up Army values and the responsibilities this new position carries.

For more information:

OutServe Magazine

LA Times

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