BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s the second day without “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Andrea Fujii explains Maryland recruiters are preparing for more applicants.
With the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” servicemen and women who were in the closet can now come out.
“There are going to be some who put the picture of their partner on their desk,” said former Marine Frank McNeil.
Gay civilians who were thinking about joining the military can now openly apply.
“Having a larger pool of individuals from which to recruit from is definitely a positive thing for the military,” said Maryland Army National Guard Lt. Col. David Roberts.
And the more than 14,000 nationwide who were honorably discharged for being gay may now come back.
The National Guard expects some of those discharged to reapply but they will not get special treatment.
That’s what UMBC student Jeremy Johnson, who was discharged in 2007 for being gay, worries about.
“If I was trying to go back in active duty right now, versus reserve, the Navy wouldn’t take me in the job I was doing before,” Johnson said.
The head recruiter for the Maryland Army National Guard says the repeal now means everyone is the same.
“These individuals will be considered as any other would be for military service,” Roberts said.
McNeil says he left the military in part because he’s gay and is happy he could now go back.
“Now they can serve with honor. They don’t have to worry about losing their jobs,” McNeil said.
Currently, the Maryland National Guard adds about 900 new recruits each year. They now expect that number to go up.
The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was enacted in 1993 and repealed Tuesday.