EL CAJON – Following on the heals of Omar Lopez’s attempt to re-enlist in the Navy last week when federal Judge Virginia Phillips declared “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to be unconstitutional, San Diegan William Rodriguez-Kennedy attempted to do the same.
Rodriguez-Kennedy, a former Marine Corps corporal who was discharged under DADT, visited the Marine Corps Recruiting Office in El Cajon today and asked to re-enlist. He was accompanied by DOD FED GLOBE Executive Director Lisa Kove.
Upon requesting to get his job back, Rodriguez-Kennedy said he was told that they were no open spots at this time.
According to Kove, who was present in the room with Rodriguez-Kennedy, the recruiter told them that they wouldn’t know how many re-enlistments of individuals with previous service they will be able take until at least December or January.
“They said that once they know the number, it will likely be around 200,” Kove said. “That is an unbelievably low number – my lie-dar was going off the roof.”
Earlier today, Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith told reporters that military recruiters have been given guidance to process applications for applicants who admit they are openly gay or lesbian. Smith said recruiters were told to inform openly gay and lesbian recruits that a reversal of Judge Phillips' decision could lead to reinstatement of the discriminatory DADT policy.
Dan Choi tweeted to his supporters today that he was going to try to enlist with the Marines. Later, he tweeted that he was told he was too old for the Marines, so he said he filled out an application to enlist in the Army.
In El Cajon, Rodriguez-Kennedy said he was pleased that the recruiters treated him professionally and respectfully, but he is disappointed nonetheless.
“I want to be able to serve my country again,” said Rodriguez-Kennedy, who is also the vice president for veterans affairs with DOD FED GLOBE, president of the local Log Cabin Republicans, and a member of the San Diego LGBT Pride board of directors.
Kove said she too was surprised by the professionalism of the recruiter, but believes it was just an act.
“I was very suspicious – there is a strong possibility that we were being ‘BS’d,” Kove said. “The whole thing is just a delay tactic – they are telling us to wait until December or January, but they are hoping we will get screwed over in court in the meantime.”