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Naval Service of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) Personnel

A Historical Policy Overview


The Department of Defense has made a lasting commitment to living the values we defend—to treating everyone equally—because we need to be a meritocracy. We have to focus relentlessly on our mission, which means the thing that matters most about a person is what they can contribute to national defense.    —Ashton Carter, 9 June 2015 (Secretary of Defense, 17 February 2015 – 19 January 2017) 

Chronology of Selected Policy Developments


Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equal Opportunity in the Armed Services: Background and Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Service report by Kristy N. Kamarck, 13 October 2016.

Additional Resources

DoD LGBTQ+ Timeline: This timeline notes significant events and policies in chronological order that had a significant impact on Department of Defense (DoD) policies, instructions, or orders as they relate to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) community. (844 KB pdf download)

Elizabeth Reynard, Virginia Gildersleeve, and the Birth of the WAVES By Wendy Arevalo, NHHC Communications and Outreach Division. 

"The Social History of the U.S. Navy, 1945–Present: A Historiographical Essay." By Edward J. Marolda, Ph.D. (in the NHHC series Needs and Opportunities in the Modern History of the U.S. Navy).

Library of Congress, LGBTQ Pride Month

The End of Don't Ask, Don't Tell: The Impact in Studies and Personal Essays by Service Members and Veterans. By J. Ford Huffman and Tammy S. Schultz. Published by Marine Corps University Press (MCUP). PDF available for download from the MCUP book catalog.

Serving in Silence: The Experiences of Three LGBTQ+ Sailors by Tricia Menke, Curator of Education, National Museum of the American Sailor, June 2021

Published: Tue Jun 11 12:50:36 EDT 2024