Dan Choi Called Back to Active Duty

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


The Advocate is reporting gay military rights advocate Lt. Dan Choi has been called back to active duty. Lt. Choi confirmed the report in a phone interview Tuesday.

Choi was scheduled to appear at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change conference over the weekend but instead rejoined his unit. Choi said his commander called him personally, asking him to return.

Choi told The Advocate that he felt welcomed back by his fellow guardsmen in his infantry unit.

“Initially, I sensed a feeling of territorialism,” he said. “They were like, ‘That’s right, he came back to us!’”

Even though Choi faced an Army National Guard committee in June, the board recommended he be discharged under the viciously antigay, Clinton-era policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” his commanding officer was highly supportive of the decorated Arabic translator and West Point graduate.

“The paperwork has been floating around in the Pentagon very slowly,” Choi said. “Usually people wait six or seven days for their discharge. Meanwhile I’m waiting for months to hear back.”

Since his hearing in June, Choi hasn’t been able to perform drills with his unit. He’s been substituting by doing those routines on the side. Now that he is back, he has been spending time “shooting rifles and doing all of the regular drill exercises.”

“It felt good to just put away a lot of the past year,” he said, also comparing his return to that of a Thanksgiving gathering. “Obviously there were soldiers following everything I was doing, or there were others who didn’t have a clue.”

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7 Responses to Dan Choi Called Back to Active Duty

  1. bradfrmphnx says:

    This is great news. Obama is finally getting down to the business we elected him to do.

  2. Arizona Leatherneck says:

    The foundation that keeps DADT standing is about to fall and the Republicans in the congress who don’t want to get with the program, will be crushed under the weight of change.

    Congrats. Lt. Dan Choi, and welcome home.

  3. JollyRoger says:

    Excellent. Lt. Choi is the kind of soldier who does his country proud.

    Now, let’s put an end to the wasting of our military talents once and for all with a quick repeal of DADT. The President, as is normal, gave us nice platitudes and then wobbled off in search of a spine. This is unacceptable. If we don’t get rid of DADT now, a Jesusistani asshat like Chimpy will come up with something even more draconian later on.

  4. Brigadoon says:

    A small victory in the overall war to repeal DADT but a huge victory for Dan Choi. He is a fine man and he deserves a formal apology from Robert Gates. There are still thousands like Choi ready to return to the service. Let’s not let this token gesture become the replacement for a complete repeal of the terrible military policy.

  5. Matteo says:

    Perspective, folks. Dan Choi wasn’t kicked out under DADT. We can’t let this recall to active duty take our eye off the ultimate goal of full repeal of the policy.

    Newsweek has a good piece ob Choi.

    Dan Choi Can’t Be Reinstated to the Army Because He Was Never Kicked Out (But His Return to Drill Is Still Kind of a Big Deal)

    http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thehumancondition/archive/2010/02/09/dan-choi-can-t-be-reinstated-to-the-army-because-he-was-never-kicked-out-but-his-return-to-drill-is-still-kind-of-a-big-deal.aspx

    The New York National Guard’s spokesman, Lt.Col. Richard Goldenburg, confirmed that Choi has always remained on the rolls of his unit. “His violation of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy is being run through the channels of the Department of the Army, which has not yet made a final determination on the revocation of his commission,” Goldenburg said. Until the Army’s chiefs decide Choi’s fate, Goldenburg said the state militia – which remains under the command of New York Gov. David Paterson unless Washington requests its soldiers for national service – will continue to let Choi serve. “The New York National Guard doesn’t have an issue with this,” Goldenburg said of Choi’s serving status. Sometimes a soldier, it turns out, is just a soldier.

  6. Joe in Colorado says:

    Matteo is correct. Technically, Dan Choi hasn’t been discharged under the policy but the Pentagon put the wheels in motion. Once the process makes its way through the military court, they will have no choice but to kick him out. Repeal the ban. This is the only way to stop the process of separation.

  7. libhomo says:

    This is wonderful news. The metaphorical wall is starting to get a lots of cracks in it.

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