Thursday, April 11, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications (304) 696-7153

Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ subject of speech at Marshall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Col. Gary A. Packard Jr., the Permanent Professor and Head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership (DFBL) at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., will speak at Marshall University on the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Packard’s presentation, sponsored by Marshall’s College of Liberal Arts, will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, in room BE5 of the Memorial Student Center on Marshall’s Huntington campus. The lecture is free to the public.

Packard served at the Pentagon as the Air Force writer on the Secretary of Defense’s Comprehensive Review Working Group in 2010 studying the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” 

Beginning in 1993, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was the official policy governing homosexuality among military personnel. The policy prohibited discrimination and harassment of homosexual and bisexual personnel while also prohibiting people who “demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts” from serving in the armed forces of the United States, because their presence “would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.” The policy was repealed on Sept. 20, 2011.
Packard will review the research that led to the repeal of the policy.

Prior to joining the faculty at the Air Force Academy, Packard was the commander of the 32nd Flying Training Squadron at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma. 

Packard leads a diverse faculty of psychologists, sociologists and industrial/organizational and human factors engineers responsible for teaching more than 30 undergraduate courses to well over 2,000 cadets annually.  In addition, DFBL faculty members administrate and serve as adjunct faculty for the graduate education of up to 20 U.S Air Force officers annually, seeking a master’s degree in Counseling and Leadership with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Department faculty members are also highly involved in cadet leadership and character development through the Officer Development System.  In addition to consulting in various venues, DFBL personnel conduct several academy-wide leadership programs such as the Cadet Commander’s Leadership Enrichment Seminar (CLES) and the Leadership Reaction Course (LRC) during Basic Cadet Training.

Research in the department is as diverse as the faculty with projects such as character and leadership research; UAV and human-computer interaction studies; sociology projects with oral histories and qualitative analysis; psychobiology studies in sleep patterns and learning; organizational effectiveness and assessment, and various other psychology studies.

The department operates a $1 million lab that includes a human factors engineering lab, a human-computer interface lab, a learning lab, a sensation and perception lab, and a psychobiology lab. Packard also serves as the Air Force Academy’s Chair for Respect for Human Dignity and as the Head Officer Representative and Eligibility Chair for the varsity men’s soccer team.

Packard was born and raised in Chelsea, Mich., and received his commission in 1982 from the United States Air Force Academy.  He has served in various flying and academic assignments and has more than 3,900 flying hours in T-37, T-38, T-1, TG-7A and KC-10 aircraft. Packard is the proud father of four children.

For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
Marshall University | 213 Old Main | Huntington, WV 25755-1090
Fax: (304) 696-3197