Originally published on Advocate.com October 19 2010 3:30 PM ET
Lt. Dan Choi, who was honorably discharged by the U.S. Army in July under "don't ask, don't tell," is in New York seeking to apply for entry into the U.S. Marine Corps — the same day a Pentagon spokeswoman said that military recruiters have been informed they must accept gay applicants.
Choi tweeted on Tuesday that he is "Headed to Times Square Recruiting Station" and told The Advocate he expects to meet gay rights advocate David Mixner at the recruiting office as well as Justin Elzie, who was honorably discharged under DADT in 1997.
"As we say in the military, this is a target of opportunity, " Choi said. "It’s an opportunity for me to serve in whatever capacity that I can. And I'm going to go try to do that."
It's unclear how military recruiters would handle Choi's application, however: The Marine Corps does not accept lateral transfers of officers from other branches, a military source said.
Update: Choi later tweeted he was told that he was too old to join the Marines, and instead filled out an application for the Army.
Sources said other service members discharged under DADT may seek to reenlist or seek reinstatement this week as well. One such service member who also sought reinstatement on Tuesday was Log Cabin Republicans' San Diego chapter president, Will Rodriguez Kennedy.
Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said the Defense Department has suspended enforcement of DADT. Military recruiters have been advised to inform potential recruits that the moratorium against DADT could be lifted.
As The Advocate reported last week, the Defense Department had previously notified all five branches of the military via a Thursday e-mail that they must comply with with the injunction ordered by a federal judge on enforcement of “don’t ask, don’t tell."
U.S. district judge Virginia A. Phillips, who ruled DADT unconstitutional in September, is expected today to deny the Justice Department's request for a stay of the injunction she issued against the 1993 law. In a Monday court hearing Phillips said the government had not proved why military readiness would suffer should the policy be blocked pending an appeal in the case, Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America.
Justice Department attorneys, meanwhile, have said they would seek an emergency stay of Phillips's injunction with the U.S. court of appeals for the ninth circuit.