Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: Afghan War, 2001-
  • Branch of Service: Army
  • Unit of Service: 99th Regional Readiness Command, Army Reserve; Active Guard Reserve
  • Location of Service: Afghanistan; Panama City, Panama
  • Highest Rank: Brigadier General

View full service history

"No one had ever told me that I was good enough not only to be in the military, but to be gay in the military." (Video interview, 1:29:30)

Brigadier General Tammy Smith felt the tension between her personal and professional lives early on in her military career: she realized she was gay during her freshman year of college, while attending the University of Oregon on an ROTC scholarship. During the early years of her service, while she held leadership positions during deployments to Panama and Costa Rica and as one of the first female commanders at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, she learned to live within the Army’s policies, maintaining a very private life outside of work. Her frustration at having to keep her two lives separate took its toll after multiple decades of service, and she decided to retire, only to reverse this decision upon hearing Admiral Michael Mullen, then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testify in support of ending the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy. She served in Afghanistan from 2010-2011, and in 2012 was appointed as Brigadier General, a promotion which made her the military’s first openly gay flag officer.

About this Item

Title

  • Tammy Smith Collection

Names

  • Richard Williams
  • Williams, Richard
  • Smith, Tammy
  • Quick, David

Headings

  • -  Smith, Tammy
  • -  Afghan War, 2001- -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army.

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Female

Status

  • Veteran

Service History

  • Afghan War, 2001-

    • Branch of Service: Army
    • Unit of Service: 99th Regional Readiness Command, Army Reserve; Active Guard Reserve
    • Location of Service: Afghanistan; Panama City, Panama
    • Highest Rank: Brigadier General
    • Prisoner of War: No
    • Entrance into Service: Commissioned
    • Military Status: Veteran

Materials

  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Reference copy (collected 02/01/2013)
  • Video: MiniDV [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 02/01/2013)
  • Video: MiniDV [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 02/01/2013)
  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Reference copy (collected 02/01/2013)
  • Video: MiniDV [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 02/01/2013)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/87501

Cite as

  • Tammy Smith Collection (AFC/2001/001/87501), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Richard Williams, Richard Williams, Tammy Smith, and David Quick. Tammy Smith Collection. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.87501/.

APA citation style:

Richard Williams, Williams, R., Smith, T. & Quick, D. Tammy Smith Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.87501/.

MLA citation style:

Richard Williams, et al. Tammy Smith Collection. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.87501/>.