1LT Dan Choi has been officially discharged from the United States Army due to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT)."
I know the joys and pleasures of being released from active service. In fact, I am coming up on my two year anniversary since being honorably discharged from active naval duty.
This is not one of those times to celebrate someone completing their service.
I would have preferred to welcome Lt. Choi to the DD-214 had he been able to complete his service. Even though he has his honorable discharge and can maintain his title as Lieutenant, his service was cut short due to an asinine policy.
The military has lost a dedicated officer. Proof of Lt. Choi's dedication was demonstrated as a West Point cadet, an Army Arabic linguist while serving in Iraq, and currently as the voice for our LGBT Service Members.
Right now as we speak, the West Point Class of 2014 is undergoing cadet basic training. In order for the Army to directly replace an officer of his skills and talents, they will have to wait until that class graduates in four years.
Who knows how many lives in terms of training and leadership will be impacted due to Lt. Choi's discharge having to wait for his replacement to arrive over that time period?
It may be even more difficult to replace him because Lt. Choi was an Arabic linguist.
And of course, there was only ONE 1LT Daniel Choi.
That is the aspect of DADT that is most damaging to our military: the loss, replacing, and the wait for the replacements for those with critical mission skills that are essential to our nation's defense and service. It's not the hardware that makes our military great, but the people who are manning (term I use loosely) the watch as I type this.
All I can really do is repost my rants about DADT to highlight my point about why it needs to be overturned NOW.