You were a member of the first co-ed class at West Point, then you served in the Army for five and a half years, but it’s safe to say that you’ve spent more time on a different battle: fighting for civil rights within the military. Do you think there are any similarities between what drew you to the military as a young person and what drew you to this crusade? One hundred percent. The reason I fought the “don’t ask, don’t tell” battle and the battle for women and transgender people in combat was the same reason I was at West Point: I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I fought to expand those opportunities because it was the right thing to do, but also because it would make my Army stronger. When you open the doors to include everyone who is qualified to do a job, you’re making your organization stronger.

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