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

GarryPackardCol. 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  on the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Packard’s presentation, sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, in room BE-5 of the Memorial Student Center.  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 The policy was repealed on Sept. 20, 2011.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.   He 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 father of four children.