August 24, 2005

Write a Blog, Lose Your Job

I guess us civillian types don't have to worry. Yet:

Jeff Howe may have expected to be drummed out of the Army for being gay; after all, he had made a conscious decision to keep his sexual identity secret in order to serve in the military. But he probably didn’t expect that blogging would cost him his job.

Howe, who was serving as a specialist with the 4th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery, part of a brigade currently attached to the 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq, says he was kicked out of the service last month in reprisal for posting the photo of a destroyed vehicle on his blog. According to Howe, he was halfway through his second deployment to Iraq when he was informed that he was being separated from the service for violating the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which prohibits servicemen and women from being openly gay.

The final irony:

Howe said he had made a conscious decision to stay closeted in order to enlist, post-September 11, at the age of 30. Ironically, he was due to leave the Army in November 2004, but was “stop-lossed” (involuntarily retained) before his unit rotated back to Iraq.

“I had my papers in my hand to get out, and starting to out-process,” he said. “And I was told, ‘The Army cannot live without you, Jeff Howe.’”

1 comment:

larry said...

Obviously, maintaining the facade of "everything's great here" is more important for the military than having the necessary manpower. Interesting, though, that the military obviously found out at some point that he was gay and simply held that information until they felt they needed to use it. Selective enforcement of rules is a very nasty policy (not that we should be surprised).