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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mixon won't be reprimanded

Advertiser Wire Services

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Army Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon won't face sanctions for publicly urging troops and families to speak out against repeal of the military's ban on openly gay service.

BRUCE ASATO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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The Hawaii-based commander of the Army in the Pacific will not be sanctioned for publicly urging troops to lobby against repeal of a ban on openly gay military service.

Army Secretary John McHugh said today that Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon has been told that what he did was inappropriate for an active-duty officer but that he won't receive a letter of reprimand or be forced to step down.

McHugh said Mixon now "recognizes the difficulties in appearing to become an advocate in trying to shape the opinion of the force rather than ascertain" its view on the issue.

"We consider the matter closed as of today," McHugh told reporters in Washington.

Mixon, who is based at Fort Shafter, wrote a letter to the editor of Stars and Stripes saying he didn't believe most military personnel would support repeal of the so-called "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays. In the letter Mixon urged troops and families to make their feelings known to their commanders and elected officials.

President Barack Obama wants the military to do away with the ban on openly gay service, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates is conducting a review on the matter.

Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, publicly criticized Mixon for his letter.

Mullen was especially pointed, saying officers who didn't agree with policy should "vote with their feet."

The Associated Press and Bloomberg News contributed to this report