LGBT Personnel in the Armed Forces: Advancing a Position of Inclusivity and Embracing Diversity

Hemispheric Forum Flyer Date & Time:
June 22, 2016
Time: 13:30 – 16:30
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Abraham Lincoln Hall
National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair
Washington, DC 20319
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Five years after the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” only four countries in the Western Hemisphere—Brazil, Canada, Chile, and Cuba—joined the United States in establishing military institutions that treat all soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and veterans with the dignity and respect that they deserve. At this Perry Center Hemispheric Forum, an international panel of officials responsible for the adoption and implementation of inclusion policies, including policymakers and senior military leaders from the LGBT community, will discuss questions including:

  • What are the obstacles that hinder inclusion policymaking, and how can reformers and leaders overcome them?
  • Which lessons have been learned and how can political, military, and civil service leaders use them to further promote inclusion?
  • What must the armed forces implement, or continue to foster, in order to support a culture of diversity and inclusion?
  • What are the effects on morale and readiness by openly incorporating LGBT service members in the armed forces?
  • How have peers, superiors and subordinates of LGBT personnel reacted to the new policies?


Major General Patricia Rose, USAF
General Rose is the Mobilization Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. She is the military’s highest ranking openly gay officer. Promoted to Major General in 2013. General Janet Wolfenbarger, the first female four-star general in the U.S. Air Force officiated.

Dr. Alan Okros, OMM, CD
Professor at the Canadian Forces College, Dr. Okros has 45 years of experience in Defense. He has over 30 years of experience working on issues of LBGT inclusion in the Canadian Armed Forces conducting research, developing policy and writing doctrine. He led the team that produced the publications Duty with Honor: The Profession of Arms in Canada and Leadership in the Canadian Forces. As cornerstone doctrinal manuals, these publications have served to provide the foundation for an inclusive Canadian Armed Forces.

Brigadier General Randy Taylor, USA
Director of Architecture, Operations, Networks and Space at the U.S. Army Office of the Army Chief Information Officer/G-6. He hosted the Pentagon Gay Pride event recognizing DoD LGBT community in June 2015. General Taylor has been in a relationship with his husband for 19 years, well before the repeal of the DADT policy.

Ms. Kristin Beck
Kristin Beck (formerly Christopher Beck) is a retired Senior Chief Petty Officer and the first openly transgender former U.S. Navy SEAL. In her twenty-year military service, she conducted seven combat deployments and a was a member of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, a special counter-terrorism unit popularly called SEAL Team Six. In June 2013, she published a memoir titled Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL’s Journey to Coming out Transgender, named one of the “best military books of 2013″ by Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps Times.

Mr. Mauricio Orrego Saavedra
Chief of Staff, Office of the Under Secretary of the Armed Forces, Ministry of Defense of Chile.


Ms. Amanda R. Simpson
Ms. Simpson is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy, responsible for developing the strategy for the utilization of energy for military operational forces worldwide.

Unable to attend in person but wish to view it live or after the fact? The Hemispheric Forum will be broadcast live and recorded for people who didn’t have the chance to physically attend or view the live broadcast. Please follow the link below to view the Hemispheric Forum.

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