Army general becomes first openly gay flag officer

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Army Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith on Friday became the first openly gay flag officer in the U.S. military, according to OutServe, an advocacy group for gay service members.

Gen. Smith was promoted to her current rank during a ceremony Friday in Arlington, Va. She is assigned as deputy chief in the Army Reserve Office of the Chief in Washington, D.C.

Flag officers are commissioned military officers who are entitled to fly a flag marking their command.

Brigadier General Smith made history today — not only as an exemplary service member who renders outstanding service to our nation with integrity and honor — but as a proud lesbian acknowledging the tremendous sacrifice her family makes in order for her to serve and advance,” Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said in a press release.

The Pentagon’s longtime ban on openly gay service members ended in September.

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