September 20, 2011
In this Sept. 17, 2011, photo U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Josh Seefried poses for a photo in Philadelphia. For several years, he operated under an alias J.D. Smith while organizing an underground network for gay military personnel, pushing the Pentagon to communicate with gay service members about the law that prevented them from serving openly. He was even a guest of the White House at the December ceremony where President Obama signed the bill paving the way for the ban’s repeal. With "don't ask, don't tell" about to end, the pseudonym J.D. Smith will no longer exist.
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On Tuesday, when the 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy goes away, so does J.D. Smith, the name a 25-year-old Air Force officer assumed to shield his identity as he engaged in high-wire activism that could have crashed down on his career. Even if no one asks, Air Force First Lt. Joshua David Seefried is telling.