the years 1994 and 2010, more than 13,000 individuals were discharged from U.S.
military service under the now-repealed law commonly known as Don’t Ask, Don’t
Tell (DADT). Service members discharged under DADT were left in a state
of limbo; in most cases, their discharge paperwork indicated an
Honorable, General, or Other than Honorable discharge status, and those
veterans were prohibited from re-enlisting and were ineligible for veterans
benefits. Following the repeal of DADT in December, 2010, the ban on
military service for gay and lesbian troops was officially ended.
However, the repeal does not automatically change the discharge status
or re-enlistment codes for those dismissed from service under DADT. Individuals
discharged under DADT must apply to their former branch of service to have
their discharge status upgraded and their re-enlistment codes changed.
Following the official change of discharge characterization, those
veterans would then be eligible for appropriate VA benefits, including GI Bill
education assistance for those who would have otherwise been eligible.