Zoe Dunning April 21, 2015 Zoe Dunning (born as Maria Zoe Dunning) was the only openly gay person allowed to remain on active duty in the U.S. military prior to the end of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. She graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1985, and was commissioned an Ensign in the Navy Supply Corps. After attending Navy Supply Corps School in Athens, Georgia, she was assigned to the USS Lexington homeported in Pensacola, FL. At the end of her obligated active duty service, she transferred into the United States Navy Reserve and attended Stanford Graduate School of Business.At a January 1993 rally in support of Keith Meinhold, who had outed himself to the Navy in 1992 to fight the pre-Don’t Ask Don’t Tell ban on gays in the military, Dunning announced, “I am both a naval officer and a lesbian, and I refuse to live a lie anymore.”On June 10, 1993, a three-member Navy administrative board recommended that she be honorably discharged despite arguments that the action violated a Federal judge’s ruling the previous winter.Dunning appealed and argued that she made a statement of status and not conduct. In December 1994, another three-member Navy administrative board unanimously agreed with Dunning’s argument that her public statement that she was a lesbian did not violate Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. She was also promoted between those hearings. Afterwards the military released regulations that made any future use of that defense impossible.In a letter dated May 24, 1995, the Chief of Naval Personnel wrote Dunning, “Your administrative separation case proceedings are closed, and you will be retained in the Naval Service,” ending a two-year battle.Dunning retired from the Navy Reserve in 2007. By the time of her retirement she had risen to the rank of commander and had been awarded the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal. From an anonymous submission to The Female Soldier tumblr.