Meet Brigadier General Tammy Smith. She was just promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in a private ceremony that took place today at the Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, but what makes the ceremony so special is that she received her stars from her wife, Tracey Hepner.
General Smith is now the first openly gay flag officer in any of the branches of the military. She serves in the Army.
Sue Fulton, a 1980 graduate of West Point and a member of the OutServe Board of Directors, stated with regards to this promotion that “For years, gay and lesbian generals and admirals were forced to hide their families in order to protect their careers. 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.”
Army Veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis added his praise regarding Smith’s leadership and stated “It is indeed a new era in America’s military when our most accomplished leaders are able to recognize who they are and serve the country they love at the same time. Brigadier General Smith made history today – not only as an exemplary service member who renders outstanding service to our nation with integrity and honor – but as a proud lesbian acknowledging the tremendous sacrifice her family makes in order for her to serve and advance. This day was long overdue, but I have no doubt more senior enlisted and officers will follow BG Smith in stepping forward smartly with their spouses and loved one.”
Brigadier General Smith is assigned as deputy chief in the Army Reserve Office of the Chief in Washington DC.