Don't Ask, Don't Tell
In February 2011, Chip Hall and his peers began navigating the charter process for a gay/straight alliance called Spectrum Council. After the repeal of DADT, the club was approved in December 2011, providing a permanent support group for the LGBT community – albeit with revisions. Command refused to accept the transgender inclusion in the charter. “T” transformed quietly to a “Q” for cadets questioning their sexuality or gender.
“It’s upsetting that it had to be that way,” Hall says, “because I knew of transgender service members who still couldn’t be themselves.” But Hall envisions the fight to liberate transgender service members as the next battle.
Don't Ask, Don't Tell Dinner
Coast Guard Master Chief Petty Officer Lisa Starliper speaks to cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Sept. 24, 2012, during a special dinner commemorating the one year anniversary of the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Since the repeal of DADT, the academy has stood up the Spectrum Council, one of six diversity councils under the USCGA Office of Inclusion and Diversity. This cadet-led group promotes the acceptance of LGBQ cadets and education of the corps regarding sexual orientation issues. It was the first group of its kind at a federal service academy. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cory J. Mendenhall The Spectrum Council.
- "Ensign Chip Hall, who served as co-president of Spectrum during his final year at the Academy (2011-12), authored the original memo to Academy officials seeking its creation.
- “The Superintendent approved a DADT working group and asked that the Spectrum Council be put off until after DADT ended. We worked to advise the Academy on what issues the cadets saw, then resubmitted the memo to create the Council the day after repeal, on Sept. 21, 2011; the Superintendent approved it on Dec. 1,” he recalled.
- "Academy Superintendent Rear Adm. Sandra Stosz said Spectrum “will allow the Coast Guard Academy and its cadets to broaden their experience and expose them to situations that will help develop them as leaders of character. As ensigns and future service leaders, these cadets will face a rapidly changing world that demands a more inclusive perspective.”
- "Cadet 1st Class John Mack, Spectrum co-president for the current (2012-13) academic year, said their efforts during the Council’s first full year on campus is as much directed at the entire Academy and active Coast Guard as it is to gay and lesbian cadets."