LGBT Pride Month

Guest Column

Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs/Army G-1 (Personnel) Public Affairs

LGBT Pride Month commemorates the anniversary of the June 28, 1969 Stonewall riot in New York City.

This historic demonstration initiated the modern gay rights movement in the United States. First celebrated in 1994, this important tribute was formally proclaimed to be celebrated in June by President Bill Clinton in 2000 and President Barack Obama in 2009.

President Obama stated that the federal government, including the Department of Defense, leads by example to ensure that LGBT citizens “are judged by the quality of their work, not by who they love.” In that spirit, the U.S. Army continues to shape our force where all Soldiers know that their teammates, leaders and country supports them, is proud of them, and has a place for them exactly as they are.

LGBT Pride Month commemorates the proud legacy of LGBT men and women who are the fabric of our nation and Army

Since repeal of DoD’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in 2011, LGBT service members may serve openly and proudly and live the ideals that all are created equal and are endowed with unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The U.S. Army is committed to ensuring that all individuals able and willing to serve by Army values have the full opportunity to do so.

The Army’s diversity is defined by the various backgrounds and experiences of its Soldiers, Army civilians and their family members who enhance the military’s global capabilities.

The U.S. Army strongly embraces diversity as a way to create a system that maximizes individual talents, increases morale and greatly enhances military effectiveness.

Army leadership values the honorable service of all our service members. In June, we acknowledge LGBT service members — past and present — and recognize the contributions they have made in the past and make every day.

Army leaders shape policy and set the conditions to foster and sustain a culture where all Soldiers are able to have viable military careers and opportunities to reach their full potential.

The different attributes and qualities of our Soldiers and Army civilians deepen their pride to serve within the Army profession, and enhances the service’s collective professionalism and capability to accomplish the Army mission to fight and win our nation’s wars.

The Army is proud of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Soldiers who serve with distinction and are role models exemplifying our highest values.

In June, we express our appreciation for LGBT Soldiers and honor their tremendous accomplishments in service to our Army and the nation:

  • Former Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning served as the first openly gay person to head any branch of the U.S. military.
  • Amanda Simpson, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for operational energy, was the highest-ranking transgender appointee of any administration in history. She formerly served as the executive director of the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives.
  • Maj. Gen. Tammy Smith was the first openly gay general to serve in the U.S. Army.
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