Officer X “Comes Out” Thursday

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An Air Force crew chief salutes a C-17 cargo plane / Air Force photo by Greg C. Biondo

He’s that young U.S. military pilot who has been blogging here on Battleland anonymously since May. Officer X – or Ox, as he’s known around here — has kept his identity hidden because under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” saying he was gay could have ended his military career. That formal ban had been in place for 17 years…ever since Officer X was 8. But the threat was lifted earlier this week, and he will be coming out here on Battleland shortly.

He’ll tell even more of his own story this week in the pages of TIME’s print edition – the one with the three kids and Why Mom Liked You Best on the cover. Check it out to learn more about Officer X, and why there should be little turbulence ahead as he and thousands like him emerge from the closet. I’ve come to like and appreciate his profound sense of honor, and his keen sense of humor. If he flies as well as he writes, the military is in safe hands. Thanks for letting us follow you over the past several months, Officer X. Many of us shared your bumpy flight, and witnessed your thoughts about the ban, and its demise. It has been a pleasure having you aboard. Feel free to hang around.