Mountain Home's Lt. Col. Fehrenbach on MSNBC tonight, 'doing great' after repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell'

Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach of Mountain Home Air Force Base told the Statesman Monday, "I'm doing great," after Saturday's Senate vote to repeal "don't ask, don't tell."

Fehrenbach was in the Senate chamber as the votes were counted. "It was overwhelming," he said. "I was very emotional."

Fehrenbach will appear on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show at 7 p.m. Monday with three other gay servicemembers and a live audience. Fehrenbach first appeared with Maddow in 2008 and became one of the most prominent faces in the fight for repeal.

On Tuesday, he'll be at the ceremony at the U.S. Capitol where the repeal bill will officially be sent to President Obama. He also hopes to be at the subsequent signing ceremony at the White House.

Asked to reflect on his effort to repeal the policy, Fehrenbach said, "For me, I always knew I was going to be OK, whether I was discharged or not, or whether I made it through retirement. I've been serving openly for a year-and-a-half. Soon, that shadow that I've been under, that limbo status, that'll be gone. That's a huge relief for me personally."

Fehrenbach said he's also gratified that a shadow will be lifted for an estimated 65,000 gay servicemen and women.

"They'll get to serve without being in fear anymore, with their dignity, integrity and honor intact. That's the part for me that means so much more."

Officially, the 19-year-veteran's future is still up in the air while the Pentagon moves to implement the changes.

Trace Giles, chief of public affairs at Mountain Home AFB, said the president, secretary of Defense and chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff must certify that allowing openly gay personnel to serve does not compromise unit cohesion, readiness, effectiveness, recruiting and retention. If that happens, another 60 days must pass before the military stops enforcing "don't ask, don't tell."

"In the meantime, 'don't ask, don't tell,' is still law," said Giles. Openly gay people who wish to join the military should wait until the process is completed before applying for enlistment, Giles said.

Giles said any pending discharges under "don't ask, don't tell," must be approved by the service secretaries. Fehrenbach's case was already subject to a decision by the Air Force secretary. Fehrenbach also sued in federal court in Idaho to block his removal.

Fehrenbach lives in Boise and is the assistant director operations of the 366th Operations Support Squadron. A weapons systems officer who flew in Iraq and Afghanistan, he has been grounded since 2008 after he was outed by a civilian. A Boise police investigation cleared him of an allegation of rape, but the Air Force moved to remove him because he acknowledged having consensual sex with his accuser.

Saturday's vote brought another wave of publicity for Fehrenbach, who appeared on CNN and Fox. Other weekend coverage included
KTVB-TV and KBOI-TV in Boise and a number of online sites: the Washington Blade, San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, AMERICAblog, and ScienceBlogs.

You can follow Idaho Statesman Politics on Twitter.

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Past time

I'm a Purple Heart Vet and think Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach is a true patriot. Past time to allow gays to serve openly and with honor.

I'm also a vet.

Sorry and grats (you know what I mean) about the PH but I disagree. Didn't want guys like this around then and I feel no different now. Civilian...fine.

Guys like this?

You mean guys who want to serve their country?


I would say guys like the type who likely will have a hidden relationship within the operational unit.

There is a reason fraternization is "not allowed".

A Male/female relationship is much easier to prevent, identify and deal with. Let's make it easy- hetero fraternization doesn't happen in a combat unit.

Two gay people (male or female) within a unit is inherently "set-up" to occur and it's easy to cover-up.

Ever wonder why Jane and Jill share a barracks room together? It's happened before and it will continue to happen in secrecy (the fraternizing part).


What happens in prison will now happen at Marine headquarters--Pun intended.

Your Uncle Sam WANTS You!

Have you ever served in the military?

Your comments indicate much ignorance about what actually happens between men and women in uniform.

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart


Poet, you might want to check in on the stats of the #of women discharged (or other action) due to maternity while deployed to the sandbox (& elsewhere). That's just the stats on those becoming pregnant- nothing of the 'normal' casual encounters.

I'm sure there's lots of love poems written about "it". Cuz "it" happens.

For clarification, Poet, I'm saying men and women in uniform get together despite it being "discouraged". And allowing gays to openly serve will diminish a commands ability to "discourage" fraternization among those specific troops.

Are you trying to say they are all saints and obey their directives?

You might want to read this blog before you reply:

You were seeming to imply that relationships between

men and women are easier to control than between two men/women. I know from experience that isn't true. For the information of everyone who hasn't served, fraternization only occurs between enlisted/officer, or higher/lower ranks in same command chain. Fraternization is not Pvt Jane dating Pvt Joe unless one is in a position of authority over the other. Other than true fraternization situations, it is nobody's business who is doing who. Openly gay military members will not change that.

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart


Once again, Poet, you and your liberal mind are wrong.
1) Gay couples will be cohabitating and that makes a standard impossible to enforce- making it more difficult to "control" fraternization.
2) Fraternization does not require a line of command link.

This article (which also appeared in Stars & Stripes) illu*strates my point:,15240,167950,00.html

And L u s t is not an allowed word here.
gee thanks for protecting our sensitive minds Statesman.

Wonderful news

Finally, our service men and women will be able to serve with honesty and integrity. Congratulations to all those who have advocated for their rights.

Air Poofters

I hope he gets reinstated. I can't believe anyone got kicked out of the Air Force for being gay. Air Force officers are all gay. That is why the Army made them form their own branch in 1947. They just don't teach history anymore.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell was

Don't Ask, Don't Tell was and still IS the correct policy for gays in the military. This was a liberal "win" for the Dems after having had their lunch handed to them issue after issue.

The US Congress has SO many more issues that it could and SHOULD be dealing with other than ensuring that gays can "come out" with the uniform on. Political window dressing at its finest.

Don't Forget...

Don't forget - this was passed AGAINST the will of many of the top brass actually serving in the military. We certainly cannot let their opinions get in the way of a "quality win" for the suits can we?!!?

Against the will?

With the exception of Gen. Amos (Marines), the top brass from the other branches of the military are in support. Their only question was the timing. All were in support of congress handling the issue as opposed to the courts.

So was desegregation.

So what's your point?
Some military officers hold personal prejudices that have nothing to do with real military matters?

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

It also passed with the support of many top brass and

those serving.

Well, some of those serving, anyway

Polls show that 60% of those serving actively in a war zone are against repealing DADT.


Well, lets quote your stats properly. The pentagon's findings said that 48% of Army Combat troops and 58% of Marine combat personnel are worried that the repeal of DADT will affect their jobs. In addition the findings also said 69% of all service members said they had served along side someone who is gay. 92% of those said that it had no negative impact on their ability to work together and get their job done.

A little more properly...

"An exception to the pattern was the response of Service members deployed to a combat zone now or in the past to the circvmstance of being “in a field environment or out to sea.” Among all Service members in this group, 44.3% (and 59.4% of Marines—see Q71a in Appendix E) said performance would be “very negatively/negatively” affected in this situation. Of note, among all survey items related to the review’s major subject areas, this item had the highest percentage of Service members reporting negative perceptions about the impact of a repeal."

"According to the report entitled "A Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of Don't Ask, Don’t Tell," nearly 60 percent of combat Marine soldiers said it would affect them negatively to very negatively if they had to work with an openly gay solder in their immediate unit.

The majority of combat Army soldiers also said they would be very negatively to negatively affected if they had to work an openly gay soldier in their unit.

Additionally, 48 percent of Army soldiers in combat units and 58 percent of Marines in combat units said that allowing openly gay members would hurt unit cohesion."

Do you have

anything from an unbiased source? Or do you like to obtain your information from these disinformation sites to support your bigoted conclusions?

Do you have

anything which proves this information inaccurate? Or do you just try to "kill the messenger" if you disagree with the message? I am not bigoted and I have no issue with repeal of DADT. I'm just reporting facts...

Polls in 1946 showed the

Polls in 1946 showed the same thing about desegregation of the military... That's why we don't let the general public (and their bigoted and uninformed opinions) decide important issues. If we did, we'd still have slavery and women couldn't vote.

Then I guess those guys have some decisions to make...

Follow orders and serve to the best of your ability or let your own personal opinions get in the way of your duty.
It is possible to give your opinion that the impact will be negative, but once the decision is made, buck up and do you job regardless of who is serving beside you.
I have faith that the vast majority of those serving will deal with this and move on. There will always be those who don't like gays, or black, or women, or jews, or hispanics, or mormons, or Yankee fans, or Democrats or conservatives....but they all have the ability to deal with your differences and focus on the task at hand. If they can't get the job done because of personal beliefs, whatever they may be, they shouldn't be there.

friendly fire

fast forward to 2015

"And in other news the incidents of friendly fire have increased..."

All things work out in the end.

Murder preferable over being honest? Wow.

Not sure if I would consider murder as an way to have it all work out in the end.


Don't be so harsh. Be courteous.
There are lots of ways to get someone out of a squad or unit without 'killing' them.

Gayness is not the only reason peers do such things.
There's no reason to be naive on this-- as Fehrenbach says "they don't have to live in fear" now. Fear of what is a good question.

Sorry, I guess I didn't follow your friendly fire comment

and how things all work out in the end. It appeared you were insinuating that friendly fire incidents would increase as a result of this change and that you considered that as all working out in the end.
What exactly did you mean by the friendly fire comment?

big guns

This could be a good spot to insert a reference to the USS Iowa and her Turret #2 incident.

As CAPT Moosally said, "Only God knows what really happened in that turret".


No one knows for sure, but it sure is suspicous.

Wow, you really are a homophobe.

That investigation was fairly well discredited, and the gay relationship angle was seen as trying to divert attention away a true accident or other negligence on the part of the Navy.

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

Pimp, what are you? Closeted gay or off the wagon?

<<<-----8th grade


Happy Jesus Thing and a Chinese New Year


In most cases I see the gay question will not affect moral or any other factor of readiness. in most cases....

I'm pretty sure the greatest affect will still be on the 'gay' person.

Perhaps only white heterosexual males should serve

in the US military, relieving all other elements of the population - even those who share equally in the benefits of US citizenship - from any responsibility for sharing the load in national defense.

Is this really what we ought to support? Or, is it more appropriate that all elements of our society (those who take the Pledge of Allegiance seriously, professing "liberty and justice for all") should help with the nation's military burden?

I would hope so. I served in the US military, alongside gay and lesbian soldiers. Their service was honorable, and sometimes distinguished.

do tell

I think it's funny when people say "I served alongside gay ___".
Of course you did- just by statistics it would be a fact- and so did everyone else (statistcally).

Did you just suspect it?
Or did they tell YOU they were gay?

How about your ethical obligation to report violations of the UCMJ?

You would be in AFGHANISTAN. Don't fantasize crap,

Some people go to serve and DIE for their country.

I don't understand sometimes but that's what a military is about.




Happy Jesus Thing and a Chinese New Year

from the jungle down under

We had a few homo soldiers show up deep down in the jungles of the Nam grass. I don't think all of them rode the plane out in a body bag. Strange.

Rip As an Islam, I can say


As an Islam, I can say that we have a cure for perversion.

Social dystrophy?


Happy Jesus Thing and a Chinese New Year