Servicemembers Legal Defense Network: Seven Retired Military Officers 'Come Out' in Response to General Peter Pace
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 9, 2007
CONTACT:Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
Seven Retired Military Officers 'Come Out' in Response to General Peter Pace
Largest Number of Senior Officers To Ever Come Out Publicly As Lesbian or
WASHINGTON -- A group of seven high-
ranking military veterans publicly acknowledged their sexual orientation in
the April 24th issue of The Advocate. The seven are the largest number of
senior officers to "come out" publicly as lesbian or gay at one time. They
"came out" in response to General Peter Pace's remarks in a March 12th
Chicago Tribune interview where General Pace, the Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, declared that lesbian, gay and bisexual service members
are "immoral" and stated his support for the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law
banning lesbian, gay and bisexual military personnel. The seven officers
demanded that General Pace apologize and called on Congress to repeal the
The seven officers are COL Stewart Bornhoft, USA (Ret.); CAPT Joan E.
Darrah, USN (Ret.); CAPT Robert D. Dockendorff, USNR (Ret.); Chaplain (COL)
Paul W. Dodd, USA (Ret.); CAPT Sandra Geiselman, USNR (Ret.); COL E. A.
Leonard, USA (Ret.); and CAPT Robert Michael Rankin, USN (Ret.).
"Servicemembers Legal Defense Network salutes the service, courage and
patriotism of each of these seven officers," said C. Dixon Osburn, the
group's executive director. "They are proof that lesbian, gay and bisexual
service members not only serve their country, but serve their country well,
regardless of sexual orientation. It is time to thank all our men and women
in uniform for their service to our nation. It is time to lift the ban."
Each of the highly-decorated officers has served at least 20 years;
several have served 30 years or more. They have earned numerous awards,
honors and commendations during their careers. Four served in the Vietnam
War. They have served as company commanders, helicopter pilots, medical
officers, commanding officers, psychologists, chaplains, combat engineers,
platoon leaders, infantry officers, supply corps officers and intelligence
For complete biographies of the officers and for more information on
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell," please visit http://www.sldn.org.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is a national, non-profit legal
services, watchdog and policy organization dedicated to ending
discrimination against and harassment of military personnel affected by
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and related forms of intolerance. For more
information, visit http://www.sldn.org.