Former Air Force Sgt. David Hall, who was discharged under “don’t ask, don’t tell," will serve as a citizen co-chair of President Barack Obama's inauguration. There are eight such co-chairs for the celebration taking place Jan. 19-22 in Washington, D.C.
Hall currently is the director of development at OutServe-SLDN, which campaigned for the repeal of DADT and has worked for equal treatment of LGBT servicemembers and their families.
Hall said in a news release, "This is certainly the honor of a lifetime, and I am grateful to President Obama for his leadership in repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ so that no qualified American who wants to serve this country in uniform will ever again be denied that right simply because they are gay or lesbian."
Hall will join the other citizen co-chairs in the National Day of Service on Jan. 19. He also will attend the swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 21 and ride on an inaugural parade float highlighting the inaugural theme of “Our People: Our Future.”
That night, he will attend the official inaugural balls.
“There is a great deal more to do on the road to full LGBT equality in our military, but it’s important for us to take a moment this weekend to honor the leadership of this president and recognize just how far we have come. There could be no better personification of that than former Air Force Sgt. David Hall,” said OutServe-SLDN executive director Allyson Robinson, also a veteran.
Hall joined the Air Force on March 6, 1996, following in the footsteps of his father and stepfather, who each served over 20 years in the Air Force. After basic training, he graduated from tech school with the second-highest score in his class and was assigned to the 27th Fighter Squadron at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va.
At Langley, Hall was one of the top airmen in his flight. He worked as a weapons loader, winning several loading competitions and the Airman of the Quarter award.
While based at Langley, Hall did a three-month assignment in Saudi Arabia, and was handpicked to go to Kuwait to help fix aircraft. He also was assigned to Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, Alaska, assigned to the 90th Fighter Squadron and Weapons Standardization Section. While at Elmendorf AFB, he was a distinguished graduate from Airman Leadership School.
After receiving a strong recommendation from his active duty commander, Hall was honorably discharged as an enlisted member from the Air Force in August 2001 following his acceptance to the Air Force ROTC in May 2001. At that time, Hall had served five years and attained the rank of staff sergeant (E-5) with an Aircraft Armament Systems specialty.
During his active duty service, Hall received numerous awards including, the Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award, Air Force Training Ribbon, NCO Professional Military Education Ribbon, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, and Air Force Good Conduct Medal.
In March 2002, Hall received a coveted slot to train to be a pilot — an honor given to about 500 cadets nationwide each year.
Following his discharge under DADT, Hall became a plaintiff in SLDN's constitutional challenge to the government's ban on open service.