The Army has
discharged a decorated medic who was deployed to Iraq
despite acknowledging he was gay.
30, said he revealed his sexual orientation to his
military supervisor in August 2006 but was redeployed
to Iraq anyway. He has since spoken out publicly
several times about being a gay service member.
discharged this month for "homosexual admission." His
commander's discharge recommendation included a transcript
of an interview he gave to television show 60
Minutes in December 2007, in which Manzella said he is
He did the same
in a number of other interviews and even at a Washington,
D.C., news conference. The military's "don't ask, don't
tell" policy prohibits active-duty service members from
openly acknowledging they are gay or lesbian.
The discharge was
effective June 10, a spokesman for the Servicemembers
Legal Defense Network said in a news release. Manzella was
traveling and not immediately available for comment.
The Army press
office declined comment by phone Friday but requested an
e-mail query, which was submitted and awaiting response.
told a military supervisor about his sexual orientation in
August 2006 while he was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and
working in division headquarters. Three weeks after
Manzella made the revelation, his battalion commander
told him an investigation had been closed without
finding "proof of homosexuality."
A month later
Manzella was redeployed to Iraq. Manzella and his
supporters have said his case demonstrates how the military
has been arbitrarily enforcing its "don't ask, don't
tell" policy during the war.
in the Army in 2002. In Iraq he provided medical care
to other soldiers and accompanied his unit on patrols. He
was awarded the Combat Medical Badge.
assignment was to Fort Hood with the 1st Cavalry