Former Air Force Major Mike Almy has settled a lawsuit against the Defense Department in which he challenged his discharge in 2006 under the now-repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law. Major Almy was represented by OutServe-SLDN and Morrison & Foerster.
Major Almy stated “I appreciate all of those who worked on my behalf to find a resolution and close this painful chapter in my life with a positive ending. America has moved on from this discriminatory law, and it’s my hope that one day soon we will realize the vision of full equality in our military.”
OutServe-SLDN notes that:
Almy joined Air Force ROTC in 1988 and was awarded a scholarship. He earned his jump wings in 1991 and graduated from ROTC as a distinguished graduate in the top 10% of all graduates nationwide. In 1993, he went on active duty, just as DADT was becoming a law. Stationed in Oklahoma, he was named officer of the year for his unit of nearly 1,000 service members. Later, he was one of six officers selected from the entire Air force to attend Professional Military Education at Quantico, Virginia.
During his career, he deployed to the Middle East four times. In his last deployment,he led a team of nearly 200 men and women to operate and maintain the systems used to control the air space over Iraq. During a directed search of private emails, messages to his then-boyfriend were were discovered and forwarded to his commander. He was relieved of his duties, his security clearance was suspended, and part of his pay was terminated. Shortly before, he had been named one of the top officers in his career field. During the discharge process he was recommended for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, ahead of his peers. Following a discharge investigation that lasted sixteen months, he was given a police escort off the base and severance pay he received was half of what it would have been had he been separated for any other reason.
OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson stated “The settlement we announce today is an excellent conclusion to this case. Mike will receive service credit and a cash payment, and will finally be able to move beyond his discharge under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell nearly eight years to the day after he was fired. Moving forward, I know Mike is looking forward to continuing his career in the private sector for a prominent defense contractor, where he continues to contribute to the security of this country. All three of the plaintiffs in this case represent some of the best this country has to offer, and we are pleased that they all have come to resolutions consistent with their goals.”
M. Andrew Woodmansee of Morrison & Foerster said “I am very pleased with this result, as it will provide some closure to a painful period in Mike’s life that resulted from his discharge under an unconstitutional policy. This nation should honor all brave men and women who serve the United States, especially those like Mike who put themselves in harm’s way to do so. Mike showed great courage in stepping into the sometimes difficult public spotlight in order to help realize the dream of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. After his discharge he stood up and fought for justice and equal rights. In other words, he lived up to the oath he took when he first joined the Air Force.”
Almy’s case was the final of three cases involving DADT discharges that OS-SLDN brought to be settled out of court.