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
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