Former USAF major reaches settlement in ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ discharge

A former airman who was discharged from the U.S. Air Force under the now repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that barred openly gay service members, has settled his lawsuit against the Department of Defense.

Michael Almy, a major in the U.S. Air Force who served in Iraq, was discharged in 2006 after his commanding officer found out he was gay.

Michael Almy

During his career, Almy was deployed to the Middle East four times. In his last deployment, he led a team of nearly 200 men and women to operate and maintain the systems used to control the air space over Iraq.

During a directed search of private emails, messages to his then-boyfriend were were discovered and forwarded to his commander. He was relieved of his duties, his security clearance was suspended, and part of his pay was terminated.

Shortly before, he had been named one of the top officers in his career field. During the discharge process he was recommended for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, ahead of his peers. Following a discharge investigation that lasted sixteen months, he was given a police escort off the base and severance pay he received was half of what it would have been had he been separated for any other reason.

“I appreciate all of those who worked on my behalf to find a resolution and close this painful chapter in my life with a positive ending. America has moved on from this discriminatory law, and it’s my hope that one day soon we will realize the vision of full equality in our military,” said Almy, who was represented by Outserve-SLDN and the law firm Morrison & Foerster.

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Today’s resolution is the final of three in the case, Almy v. U.S. Department of Defense, filed in 2010, which challenged the constitutionality of the three plaintiffs’ discharges under DADT and sought their reinstatement to active duty.

A resolution was reached in December 2011 on behalf of Petty Officer 2nd Class Jase Daniels, who was reinstated in the U.S. Navy as a linguist. Then in April 2012, a resolution was reached on behalf of Staff Sergeant Tony Loverde, who was reinstated in the Air Force.

“The settlement we announce today is an excellent conclusion to this case,” said Army veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson. “Mike will receive service credit and a cash payment, and will finally be able to move beyond his discharge under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell nearly eight years to the day after he was fired.”

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