Around the Nation

Marines React To Buddy 'Coming Out' On The Radio

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Earlier this week, Marine Major Darrel Choat revealed on Morning Edition that he is gay. Choat made the statement on the day that "don't ask, don't tell" was formally repealed. That law had banned gays from serving openly in the military. Steve Inskeep checks back in with Choat to hear how those he serves with reacted to the news.


And we have a quick update this morning on the end of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The rule ended this past Tuesday.

And on Tuesday morning, on this program, our colleague Rachel Martin introduced us to an active duty Marine who, for the first time, spoke publicly about being gay. Major Darrel Choat wondered how other Marines might react.

DARREL CHOAT: I expect some of them to, you know, shake my hand and say, hey, don't care. And I also expect others to, you know, not deal with me and not want to deal with me, to be uncomfortable around me. I know they will.

INSKEEP: That was the reaction he expected. Now that a few days have passed, we called Major Choat to find out how what really happened.

CHOAT: Well, one buddy leaned over and said, hey, were you on NPR this morning? And I said yes. Then, well, what was that about? And I said, well, "don't ask, don't tell" ended today. And he looks at me and he goes, yeah - so? And says, well, it was about "don't ask, don't tell" ending today. And he goes, Oh. Then he finally got it.

INSKEEP: Other people did too, including one sergeant who emailed him with some criticism, not, he says, about being gay but about going public with it. Many people in the military want to go on with their business and stay quiet.

Mostly though, the major got handshakes of support and e-mails from all over the Marine Corps, including some friends from basic training he hadn't heard from in years.

CHOAT: Several of those Marines reached out to me and said, didn't know, didn't care, doesn't change anything.

INSKEEP: That's Marine Major Darrel Choat on his first week as an openly gay member of the United States Marine Corps.

You're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from