Mark Munson is a retired Navy Captain currently serving as the leadership, diversity and inclusion officer for the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area. He served when Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT), the discriminatory policy that prohibited open service for LGBTQ servicemembers in the U.S. military, was in effect, and he harbors regret for not speaking up in support of his LGBTQ colleagues during the DADT era. Munson now works to promote diversity and inclusion within the Coast Guard and the Virginia Beach community and supports nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people.
“I allowed my fear to prevent me from sharing my deep respect and gratitude for my LGBT shipmates, my admiration of their bravery and my sincere belief that they too had the right to serve and live and love openly,” he wrote. “I do not know whether my voice would have made any difference, but I carry that regret with me every day.”