Forgive the lack of political relevance, but honestly, at this point following the timeline of the DADT repeal has been a lot like following the alien plot in X Files: you feel a revelation coming each episode where someone finds an abandoned boxcar in the desert or a secret cave full of filing cabinets, but then if you take a step back and are honest with yourself you realize it’s season five and you still have no idea what’s going on, and no one else in the show seems to either, and in fact sometimes seems like they’ve forgotten this particular subplot is even happening. The point is, is DADT even repealed? Like a little bit? If so, what does that actually mean? If your feeling is “It seems like that changes every time the question comes up,” you would not be alone in feeling that way!
Although several soldiers have recently had their DADT-related discharges halted in recognition of the fact that the policy is – slowly! – on its way out the door, that appears not to mean that some people aren’t still affected by it. For instance: Out lesbian West Point cadet Katie Miller will not be readmitted, because although she’s in good standing and was in fact class valedictorian before her resignation, she has to wait until the repeal process is completed. Why, exactly? Because the government needs bodies in the army more urgently than it needs cadets at West Point? Because so far the stories of discharges postponed or canceled have all been about men, and female servicemembers aren’t worth making the distinction for? Because there is very little actual consistency around this issue, and most officials seem to be making it up as they go? Who can say? Not Katie Miller!
The military does seem to be taking some concrete steps towards complete repeal; given the level of bureaucracy and approval in triplicate that any decision involves in the military or government, their progress seems in good faith. It seems unlikely that this decision is a result of someone’s personal vendetta against Katie Miller, whom even the person denying her admission describes as having done “exceptionally well academically, militarily and physically.” But at the same time, it’s frustrating that many of the people who have dedicated much of their lives and given over their careers to fighting this policy aren’t yet benefiting from it. I guess no one ever said the military was the one place where life was fair – but in their defense, it is billed as the place where hard work and dedication really will pay off. For Katie Miller, it seems like the payoff will have to wait a little longer.