A Look Back: Lt. Col. Fehrenbach Won’t Be Discharged Under DADT, Keeps Pension

As we edge closer to Tuesday’s implementation of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal, Queerty is taking a look back at the some of the stories that have brought us to this point.




Well isn’t this just a happy bit of news: Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, the gay Air Force veteran who’s been fighting a discharge under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, will get to retire Oct. 1 with his full rank and benefits.

Fehrenbach, 41, who’s served for 20 years in missions that include Iraq and Afghanistan, says the news is a “great sense of relief,” after battling his discharge for the last three years after being forced to come out to commanders to fight what turned out to be baseless same-sex rape charges. His last day of active duty will be Sept. 30, the Pentagon informed him, apropos (to his knowledge) of nothing. The news should put an end to his lawsuit that challenged DADT as unconstitutional.

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  • Rick Gold

    LTC Fehrenbach is a TRUE patriot and a role model for young LBGT Americans.

    He is also HAWT.

  • SouthSideShorty

    Good for Vic. What’s refreshing is that he’s a DADT opponent who’s actually in the military, and not just another political hack on the sidelines telling the military how to run their business.

  • jak

    Congratulations! Have a great life.

  • Jonathan

    Lt. Fehrenbach makes me proud to be an American and reminds of why we me must fight the good fight for true citizenship.

  • [email protected]

    BRAVO! Victor deserves it, but the downside is that this proves Obama, like Nixon before him, has a kind of “Enemies List” with different strokes for different folks, including enforcement of DADT.

    TO DAN CHOI: “Get out & pay up!” TO FEHRENBACH: Stay awhile, then a $1 Million+ golden parachute.

    Let’s recap:

    LT. DAN CHOI outed himself to the world on Rachel Maddow’s show in March 2009, saying he wished to continue to serve.

    LT. COL. VICTOR FEHRENBACH outed himself to the world on Rachel Maddow’s show in May 2009, saying he wished to continue to serve.

    LT. DAN CHOI was arrested three times in front of the White House protesting Obama’s inaction on repeal.


    LT. DAN CHOI WAS KICKED OUT of the Army National Guard and received a letter in December DEMANDING HE REPAY THE $2502.09 “UNEARNED PORTION” OF HIS ENLISTMENT BONUS, with a 1% monthly interest fee & $15 per month administrative charge for each month he does not pay. In January, an Army spokesman ADMITTED to the Huffington Post that “EACH CASE IS LOOKED AT INDIVIDUALLY—WHETHER TO RECOUP OR FORGIVE DEBTS.”

    LT. COL. VICTOR FEHRENBACH received a “repeal” bill signing pen in December, and, ALTHOUGH DADT IS STILL IN EFFECT, was notified in January that he WILL BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE TO SERVE until September 30, 2011, and officially retired effective the next day WITH FULL “20-YEAR” BENEFITS INCLUDING A $46,000 A YEAR PENSION, “EASILY WORTH MORE THAN $1 MILLION OVER HIS LIFETIME” according to the Air Force Times.

    We’re thrilled for Fehrenbach, but, Mr. President, how is the different treatment fair or “change we can believe in?”


  • Drake

    I’m glad that his delayed discharge brings a Happy Ending.

  • the crustybastard

    @[email protected]: Excellent points, and well-put.

    There is, of course, the possibility that Fehrenbach got his pension in exchange for dropping his lawsuit, a case the government was almost certainly going to lose.

  • Dave

    Dan Choi is a crazy media whore and attention whore who hasn’t done jack shit to get DADT repealed by throwing his tantrums, and he’s a Conservative.

  • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

    Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach is a patriot.
    Former Lt. Dan Choi is a fame-whore.

  • JAW

    @[email protected]:

    get it right… Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach was forced out by a liar… who started rumors… he did not choose to come out… he went on Maddow AFTER the shit hit the fan

    dan choi… wanted out of the service… he wanted to be a celebrity… he came out by choice… now he makes his living being gay… he now gets paid because he did this… he flies all over the world to make money… he is a jerk that gives us all a bad name.

  • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

    It wasn’t a rumor, Lt. Col Fehrenbach was officially-accused of rape. And was compelled to out himself to his military superiors to defend himself. He shouldn’t have been charged under the rules in-place for DADT in the first-place. He didn’t volunteer that he was gay, he had no option.

    Former Lt. Choi outed himself purely for selfish reasons, and is now a professional homosexual-for-profit.

  • fredo777

    One of the good guys, + sexy to boot.

  • Eric in Chicago

    Have to agree with the comments here. Victor is a hero – Dan is an embarrassment.

  • Reason

    Fehrenbach is a republican who voted for John Boehner, but was a class act regarding the entire process. Dan Choi is a megalomaniac that proved to be clueless in regards to the entire process. Choi was focused on being an agitator purely to stoke his ego, he was well aware that his loud and proud veneer was enough to glamor many in this community to over look his destructive actions to our cause. Fehrenbach deserves to be in the history books as someone who effectively got our message out there and changed minds, Choi deserves to be exposed as the fraud that he is. Choi should reimburse the hard working taxpayers the money were owed and be grateful that he is not serving time in the slammer for his thuggery.

  • Brutus

    I am thrilled to see that people are finally willing to call Choi on his bullshit.

  • Pete

    Victor Fehrenbach has a great future ahead of him as a cuddly piece of man in ads. I hope he goes for it. As for Choi, he is sincere, he did a lot to bring the end of DADT, and few of us know the pressures of living under the stress that he did. I hope it all works out for him as well. They are both heroes of the gay cause.

  • Wesley Horace

    fehrenbach is a hero and deserves his pension.
    choi was all out for attention and his fifteen mins are up.

  • Not Impressed

    Comment #5 badly misrepresents Dan Choi. Here are the facts:

    1. Choi wasn’t in the regular Army when he came out on Rachel Maddow’s program. He had already left the Army, and was attending weekend drills with the New York National Guard.

    2. Choi’s service record in the regular Army is questionable. He left West Point in 2003, and five years later was still a first lieutenant. During the current wars, the promotion track to captain was shortened to 3-1/2 years, and more than 95% of second lieutenants make it. But Choi, a service academy graduate, was not promoted to captain in five years.

    3. Choi was not kicked out of anything. He left the Army with a partial disability pension, and left the New York National Guard after not attending his required drills.

    4. Choi was arrested at the White House because he wanted to be arrested. He deliberately violated civilian law there, and violated military law by protesting while in uniform.

    Dan Choi has always been about Dan Choi. His antics did nothing to advance DADT repeal. No one owes him anything. He needs to calm down and find himself a job.

Comments are closed.