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Newly pinned Brigadier General becomes first openly gay flag officer in U.S. military

Friday, August 10, 2012

ARLINGTON, Va. — Former Army Colonel Tammy Smith has become the first openly gay flag officer to come out while currently serving in the U.S. military.

Smith was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in a private ceremony on Friday at the Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. Smith received her stars from her wife, Tracey Hepner.

Tammy Smith (right), with her spouse Tracey Hepner.

“For years, gay and lesbian generals and admirals were forced to hide their families in order to protect their careers. It is a great day for our military and for our nation when this courageous leader is finally able to recognize her wife for her support and sacrifice in the same way that all military families should be recognized for their service to our country,” said Sue Fulton, a West Point graduate and member of the OutServe Board of Directors.

Aubrey Sarvis, an Army Veteran and Executive Director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, praised Smith’s leadership and encouraged others would follow her lead.

“It is indeed a new era in America’s military when our most accomplished leaders are able to recognize who they are and serve the country they love at the same time. Brigadier General Smith made history today – not only as an exemplary service member who renders outstanding service to our nation with integrity and honor – but as a proud lesbian acknowledging the tremendous sacrifice her family makes in order for her to serve and advance,” said Savis.

“This day was long overdue, but I have no doubt more senior enlisted and officers will follow BG Smith in stepping forward smartly with their spouses and loved ones,” he said.

Smith is assigned as deputy chief in the Army Reserve Office of the Chief in Washington, D.C.

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17 more reader comments:

  1. As a Veteran, I think this is WONDERFUL!! Think of how much more intense concentration these Members will be able to bring on their responsibilities to the Troops, knowing that their dependent will be properly taken care of!! We simply MUST utilize the talents of the very best people we can possibly find, and extraneous BS has no business placing limits on the excellence of the United States Military!!

    Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 1:02pm
  2. Fuck this shit.

    Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 1:02pm
  3. this is wonderful anyone whos against this can go right to hell or “SUCK IT”

    Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 1:11pm
  4. love it

    Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 1:22pm
  5. OH WOW…..thank you President Obama!!!!!!! Equality!!!!!!!

    Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 1:23pm
  6. Yes!! Congratzzzzz

    Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 1:35pm
  7. Congrats!! That’s terrific!

    Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 2:00pm
  8. This is great!! As a former soldier, I salute her!

    Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 2:41pm
  9. Closets are for clothes! Congratulations… I’m so proud for you!

    Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 2:47pm
  10. Congratulations!

    Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 3:02pm
  11. this isn’t equality. it’s assimilation. and it’s disgusting. fuck the military.

    Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 3:31pm
  12. Danica most of the time when people are so hard core against gays, it because they have gay tendencies themselves. So when Is your first lesbian date?????? As a veteran myself, if you haven’t served in the military then you don’t deserve a say in anything military. This Brigadier General deserves all of our salutes. Thank you General Smith.

    Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 3:40pm
  13. @Danica Moreno..You don’t have respect for the Military?..Then GTFO of the USA,twat.

    Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 3:48pm
  14. And congrats to General Smith and her partner.

    Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 3:49pm
  15. Congrats to you General Smith you have earned it.

    Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 4:05pm
  16. Happy for you! Glad to hear the homophobic environment is shrinking to the point that you can serve with ease. You earned every bit of your success.

    Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 7:13pm
  17. We are getting there.

    Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 7:24pm