I'm an Army Captain, and my boyfriend and I are breaking out the Champagne! Thanks for speaking out for those of us who can't couldn't!!!
I am one deeply conflicted Air Force Brat at the moment. I did not think I would see this happen in my lifetime. I'm equally weeping with joy that this disgraceful period is ended, and shaking with anger that I was prevented from following in my father's footsteps.
From @Aidan Wilde:
As a Veteran, and a Gay man that was blackmailed by a fellow sailor and almost tossed out of the Navy in 2005 (luckily I was able to leave at my EOS before JAG investigated), I can say I am truly glad this policy is dead.
This policy ruined my life, and my career. I am glad that no other person will have to face the decision I had to make, and the anguish of living with yourself after making it.
After the jump, a cautionary note.
I'm not posting this to be picky or antagonistic. It was actually Truman that issued the 1948 order (EO9981) integrating the military. Eisenhower, in '44, allowed integration of combat units during WW2, which is often acknowledged as the first step in military desegregation and laid the groundwork for Truman's order.
There was significant resistance within the military leadership. While the AF took only a year to fully integrate, the Army took 3. And the Navy, desegregated in word only, maintained a defacto/unofficial segregation until 1970.
Women faced similar high level resistance to their service during the 70's and 80's. And as I'm sure you are aware, the fight to fully integrate the sexes within the military continues today. Often over the objections of top leadership.
It's dicey comparing race or gender and sexual orientation and I am hesitant to do so except in one regard. Much of the military's top leadership is on board with the repeal of DADT, so I'm hopeful that this will be a smoother transition and take less time.
After 21 years in the military, I'm pretty aware of how slowly the military culture changes. I would expect 2-3 years before full policy implementation and gays being allowed to serve openly. It will be 10-15 years before you see gay couples openly and fully embraced by the services. Why? Because this kind of change is generational, we have to wait for the old leadership (and thus old ideas) to retire.