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Full Rank, Pension for Fehrenbach

Full Rank, Pension for Fehrenbach


Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, who fought his discharge from the Air Force under the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, will be allowed to retire in October with his full rank and pension.

Indiana's South Bend Tribune reported on the news about the Notre Dame graduate and decorated 20-year veteran of combat flight.

"It was a great sense of relief. I didn't expect it," the 41-year-old Fehrenbach told the newspaper.

According to the Tribune, "With no further explanation, the military in January sent Fehrenbach new orders: Effective Sept. 30, he will be retired from active duty at his current rank and with his pension. He'll serve out the remaining months of his military duty at his current desk job at the base in Idaho."

An investigation of Fehrenbach began following a sexual assault claim from a male civilian in 2008, although the pilot has never publicly said that he is gay. The assault allegation was dismissed, but the "don't ask, don't tell" proceedings continued.

Last year he filed in Idaho federal court for a temporary order to block his discharge, and he reached an agreement that the Air Force would not discharge him without notifying the court first. The case is not closed, but only an action by the military could advance it.

Fehrenbach is thinking of writing a book about his fight against the policy, according to the Tribune.

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