A senior U.S. Army general who publicly asked for criticism of the president's effort to repeal the ban on openly gay service members will not be reprimanded, according to the secretary of the Army.
Secretary John McHugh told reporters Wednesday that Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon will not be forced to step down nor will he be given a letter of reprimand for his comments in a newspaper earlier this month requesting troops to write their members of Congress to tell them not to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law.
President Barack Obama supports the repeal and Defense Secretary Robert Gates is in the midst of a top-to-bottom review of repealing the ban. Members of the U.S. military openly criticizing the president could be punished for insubordination under military regulations.
"Now is the time to write your elected officials and chain of command and express your views. If those of us who are in favor of retaining the current policy do not speak up, there is no chance to retain the current policy," Mixon wrote.
Members of the Pentagon's top leadership, including Secretary Robert Gates, were not happy about the comments. Gates told reporters at a Pentagon briefing last week, "I think that for an active-duty officer to comment on an issue like this is inappropriate."
The comments by Mixon, commander of U.S. Army forces in the Pacific, were published in Stars and Stripes newspaper on March 8. Army officials said McHugh considers the Mixon issue closed.