Gay sailor Petty Officer 2nd
Class Jase Daniels (born Jason Daniel Knight) was reinstated in the
U.S. Navy on Monday after twice being discharged under “Don't Ask,
Don't Tell,” the recently repealed policy that for 18 years banned
gay and bisexual service members from serving openly.
Daniels, a 29-year-old Hebrew linguist,
was discharged for violating “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” in April
2005 and again in March 2007.
“Today, I took an oath and affirmed
to defend the Constitution of the United States of America. I am
humbled as I am reinstated to the job I love and by the enormous
support I have received on this momentous day,” Daniels said in a
statement. “I look forward to returning to the Defense Language
Institute, my career in the military.”
Daniels first entered the military in
2001. On his July, 2004 wedding night, Daniels accepted that he's
gay and moved to get his marriage annulled. In explaining his
changing circumstances to the Navy, Daniels acknowledged his
sexuality and was subsequently discharged.
Two years later, the Navy recalled
Daniels and he served in Kuwait for a year with the U.S. Navy Customs
Battalion Romeo before he was discharged a second time after he spoke
to Stars and Stripes about serving openly in the military.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
(SLDN) represented Daniels and two other service members in a 2010
lawsuit seeking their reinstatement to active duty.
“The reinstatement of Petty Officer
Daniels into the United States Navy underscores that all qualified
and needed service members are now officially welcomed back into the
ranks,” said SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis. “The new
policy and regulations in this post-repeal era make this historic
occasion possible. We continue to work with our clients and the
services to facilitate more reinstatements and help process
applications for those discharged under DADT, who wish to serve their
country again, whether it be on active duty, in the reserves, or in