Already a highly respected aviator, she rose against the extraordinary challenges placed before her to remain on the front line in the war on terror, serving a further sixteen years and flying battlefield helicopters in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Gates Witt v. An integrated model of individual differences in soldier performance under stress". Commanders instead issued blue discharges — a form of administrative military discharge — to homosexual personnel. Hardwick Department of Defense Directive The DOD policy has since withstood most court challenges, although the United States Supreme Court has refused to weigh in on the constitutionality of the policy, preferring to allow lower courts and the United States Congress to settle the matter.
However, when personnel needs increased due to combat, the military developed a habit of relaxing its screening criteria.
At the time, most military leaders and young enlisted who were forced to live in the barracks with a roommate took a conservative view about allowing gays to serve openly in the military. G38 U54 Defense force management: Those without an honorable discharge are often excluded from veterans benefits like health care and tuition assistance, and the lack of an honorable discharge can create a hurdle to employment in the civilian sector as well.