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A three-star general's opposition to repealing the military's ban on openly gay and lesbian troops may put his career in jeopardy.
Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, in an open letter to Stars and Stripes newspaper on March 8, wrote that it was highly unlikely that a majority of service members are in favor of repealing "don't ask, don't tell."
"I suspect many service members, their families, veterans and citizens are wondering what to do to stop this ill-advised repeal of a policy that has achieved a balance between a citizen's desire to serve and acceptable conduct," he wrote on March 8.
Mixon is the commander of the U.S. Army Pacific.
Defense secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Adm. Michael Mullen said Thursday that Mixon's letter was "inappropriate" because of his influence on other military personnel, according to MSNBC.com.
Mullen said the Army has issued specific guidelines on speaking about "don't ask, don't tell" while the Defense Department is reviewing repeal of the policy. Mixon's case is "being addressed," he said.
An Army official told MSNBC that the directive to high-ranking military personnel was not pertaining to public statements on the ban and that the Army is likely not to fire Mixon. However, he may be forced to resign.
His three-star status (which he attained in February 2008) may also be under consideration for demotion to two stars by Congress.
The Army is expected to release a statement distancing itself from Mixon's letter.