The Pentagon has confirmed that it officially discharged an Air Force airman on April 29 under Don't Ask, Don't Tell—the first DADT discharge since President Obama signed repeal into action.
Eileen Lainez, a spokeswoman for the Pentagon, confirmed the discharge in a letter, ''The only separation approved following the Oct. 21, 2010 policy change is an Air Force separation, approved Apr. 29, 2011.''
Reports Metro Weekly's Chris Geidner:
Air Force Major Joel Harper, an Air Force spokesman, clarified the specifics of the discharge to Metro Weekly, writing, ''On April 29th, 2011, the Secretary of the Air Force approved the discharge of an Airman under the provisions of 10 USC 654, after coordination with the DoD General Counsel [Jeh Johnson] and the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness [Stanley].''
Harper continued, ''Each of these officials evaluated the case carefully, and concluded that separation was appropriate. The Airman in the case asked to be separated expeditiously.''
Responding to the confirmation, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network's Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis said, ''This discharge underscores the need for the President, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the Secretary of Defense to certify 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal and put this ugly chapter in American history behind us. It also highlights the undeniable and unfortunate fact that service members remain under investigation and at risk of discharge.''