Tammy Smith becomes US’s first openly gay army general

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Less than a year after the repeal of the United State’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy that banned openly gay and lesbian people in the US armed forces, Tammy Smith has become the first openly gay US army general.

She was promoted to the rank of general at Arlington National Ceremony. Her wife placed a star insignia on her shoulder, officially marking her appointment as a US Army brigadier general.

The ceremony took place last Friday and was attended by more than 70 people. When Smith’s wife Tracy Hepner was introduced by the presiding officer, the audience burst into applause.

The couple married last year in Washington DC after nine years of dating. Smith has served in Afghanistan and Costa Rica.

The repeal of DADT, which was introduced under the Clinton administration and prevented openly gay and lesbian members from serving in the military, has come to be seen as a major triumph for the Obama administration.

Mr Obama’s re-election campaign has used it heavily in video manifestos aimed at America’s LGBT voters.