Deputy Chief Of Army Reserves Now First Openly Gay General In U.S. Military

After her wife pinned her star on her uniform at a ceremony on Friday, Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith became the first openly gay service member to reach the rank of general.
Smith, 49, has been with the Army for 26 year, completing a tour of Afghanistan in October now ass the Deputy Chief of Army Reserves in Washington, DC. According to The New York Times, her wife, Tracey Hepner, co-founded the Military Partners and Families Coalition, which supports LGBT military personnel and their families.

Smith and Hepner wed in March 2011 in the nation’s capital, where marriage equality is legal.

“For years, gay and lesbian generals and admirals were forced to hide their families in order to protect their careers,” said OutServe‘s Sue Fulton, herself a 1980 West Point graduate who left the Army because of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. “It is a great day for our military and for our nation when this courageous leader is finally able to recognize her wife for her support and sacrifice in the same way that all military families should be recognized for their service to our country.”Photo: Todd Burton/Outserve