This information is excerpted from Freedom to Serve: The Definitive Guide to LGBT Military Service. To download the full guide, click here.
Re-accession and re-instatement
Many of those discharged under DADT want to rejoin the service now that DADT has been repealed. The Defense Department has made clear that service members discharged under DADT do not have a right to rejoin. Instead, those wishing to rejoin must apply through a recruiter. DoD has said that the negative re-entry codes will be waived, and that applicants with Honorable discharges will be assessed using the same criteria as other prior service applicants. They will be accepted or not based on the needs of the particular service. For prior service members, there are a variety of potential bars to re-entry, including age limits, fitness standards and cutoffs relating to time out of service. For many, this may mean that they do not meet the criteria for rejoining. SLDN will continue to advocate that the regulations for re-entry be as accommodating as possible to those discharged under DADT while still ensuring that the needs of the services are accounted for.
Others discharged under DADT want to return to their specific jobs in their former unit. In other words, they want to pick back up right where they left off when they were discharged. It is highly unlikely that rejoining service members will be reinstated exactly to their former position through the standard reentry process described above. For those rejoining members, a federal lawsuit may be the only way to get back to the exact place they were in before their DADT discharge. The primary limitation to filing a lawsuit is the six-year statute of limitations, which prevents anyone who was discharged more than six years ago from filing a lawsuit related to their discharge. In December 2010, SLDN and Morrison and Forrester filed Almy et al v. United States Dep't of Defense on behalf of three former service members who are seeking reinstatement. The case is currently in active litigation.
For further information about rejoining the military or to speak with a recruiter about a specific service branch – including the National Guard and Reserves – click on one or more of the links below:
Air Force: http://afreserve.com/?:How%20To%20Join
Coast Guard: http://www.gocoastguard.com/find-your-career/reserve-opportunities
Have a question? Contact SLDN by clicking here.