The Army is moving to discharge a decorated combat pilot who intervened to stop two lesbian officers from showing excessive affection on the dance floor at an official ball at Fort Drum, N.Y.
|LTC Christopher Downey|
Thomas More Law Center Files Federal Lawsuit
The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, late yesterday (Nov. 12th) filed a federal lawsuit in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against the Secretary of the Army on behalf of highly decorated active duty Army Officer Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Christopher Downey.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the TMLC commenting on the lawsuit, stated: “General George Patton who once wrote about the requirement of ‘loyalty from the bottom to the top,’ stated ‘loyalty from the top down is even more necessary.’ LTC Downey gave his all to the Army and to the country he loves, yet the Army he so loyally served threw him under the bus merely to avoid negative press from the homosexual community. America is set to lose one of its exceptional combat leaders due to an unjust application of the Army’s policy regarding repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell [“DADT”]. Our lawsuit is an attempt to correct this injustice to Chris Downey and our nation.”
The lawsuit stems from LTC Downey’s effort to prevent two female officers under his command, a Captain and a Lieutenant, who were in uniform at a formal military ball and were on the dance floor engaged in prolonged French kissing, taking off each other’s uniform jackets, and other intimate conduct, from violating Army regulations regarding public display of affection. Once he became aware of the situation, LTC Downey took immediate action to stop the inappropriate behavior. He also attempted to prevent other soldiers from photographing and videotaping the officers’ inappropriate conduct, which he believed would embarrass the officers and affect the good order and discipline of his unit. In the process of lowering the camera of an enlisted soldier, the camera accidentally made contact with the soldier’s nose.
As a result of the incident, LTC Downey was ordered to face an Article 15 hearing for assault consummated by battery and violation of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. The commanding officer, General Mark Milley, found LTC Downey guilty of the charges. As a result, LTC Downey was issued reprimands for both violations, relieved of command, issued a negative Officer Evaluation Report (OER), and removed from the attendance list of the National War College.