U.S. Military’s First Openly Gay Flag Officer
October 4, 2012
On August 10, 2012, Army Reserve officer Tammy Smith was promoted to the position of brigadier general, making her the U.S. military’s first openly gay flag officer. The military hasn’t been completely accepting of members of the LGBTQ community, and until the recent repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” LGBTQ people in the military couldn’t be open about their sexual orientation. Becoming the first openly gay flag officer is a pretty big deal considering the struggle gay and lesbian service members have had to face.
It is amazing that Brigadier General Smith is able to be open about her sexual orientation on such a national scale. It must be especially inspiring to LGBTQ teenagers everywhere who want to come out, but are too scared. Smith may be giving teenagers the courage that they need to come out or feel comfortable entering the military if they are LGBTQ. Smith is a role model who has inspired me and, I’m sure, other teenagers as well.