The US Army won't reprimand Lt. General Benjamin Mixon for publicly advocating in favor of “don't ask, don't tell,” the 1993 policy that bans gay troops from serving openly, the Washington Post reported.

Army Secretary John McHugh said Wednesday that the Army considers the matter “closed as of today.”

Mixon, of Fort Shafter, Hawaii, said he disagreed with conventional wisdom that a majority of Americans oppose the law that prescribes discharge for gay and lesbian servicemembers who do not remain celibate or closeted.

“I suspect many servicemembers, their families, veterans and citizens are wondering what to do to stop this ill-advised repeal of a policy that has achieved a balance between a citizen's desire to serve and acceptable conduct,” Mixon wrote in a March 8 letter published in Stars and Stripes, the US military's independent news source.

He also urged people to speak up in favor of the policy.

“Now is the time to write your elected officials and chain of command and express your views,” he said. “If those of us who are in favor of retaining the current policy do not speak up, there is no chance to retain the current policy.”

Both Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have admonished Mixon, calling his remarks “inappropriate.”

McHugh said General George Casey, the Army chief of staff, had spoken to Mixon about the issue.

“The chief and I believe that he is now prepared to lead in the very distinguished manner in which he has led in the past and that brought him to a very, very high level three-star position,” McHugh said.

McHugh said that he agreed that the remarks were inappropriate, but added that Mixon now “recognizes it is inappropriate for him to become an advocate and try to shape the opinion of the force, rather than reach out and ascertain the opinion of the force.”

Both houses of Congress have introduced legislation that would repeal the law. Last week, Secretary Gates implemented new regulations to the policy that make it more difficult to fire gay troops.

Gay activists advocating for repeal have said the overhaul didn't go far enough.

“The reason why 'don't ask, don't tell' is so repugnant is because it forces people to be in the closet and lie, and that hasn't changed,” Army Lt. Dan Choi, an outspoken critic of the policy, told the New York Daily News. “The real price of 'don't ask, don't tell' is that it institutionalizes shame.”