Major Conflict: One Gay Man's Life in the Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell Military (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Crown Publishing Group, Dec 18, 2007 - Social Science - 288 pages
3 Reviews
A book that will move hearts and open minds, Jeffrey McGowan’s memoir is the first personal account of a gay man’s silent struggle in the don’t-ask-don’t-tell military, from a cadet who rose to the rank of major, left as a decorated Persian Gulf hero, and whose same-sex marriage was the first on the East Coast.

Love of country and personal love combine in this groundbreaking memoir of one gay man’s life in the military—and beyond. In Major Conflict, Queens-born Jeffrey McGowan tells how he enlisted in the army in the late 1980s and served with distinction for ten years. But McGowan had a secret: he was gay. In the don’t-ask-don’t-tell world of the Clinton-era army, being gay meant automatic expulsion. So, at the expense of his personal life and dignity, he hid his sexual identity and continued to serve the army well.
Major Conflict is a moving account of his years in the military, the homophobia he encountered there, and his life afterward. McGowan presents a vivid portrait of his experience as a soldier in the Persian Gulf, where he commanded U.S. troops in Operation Desert Storm, eventually rising to the rank of major. Ultimately, however, he realized that the army held no future for gay men—even closeted ones. Desiring more of a personal life and tired of hiding his true identity, McGowan resigned from the Army he loved in 1998. In February 2004, he married his partner of six years in New Paltz, New York, making front-page news in the New York Times.

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Review: Major Conflict: One Gay Man's Life in the Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell Military

User Review  - Purple Osprey - Goodreads

Not as scandalous as the title suggests ;)) It's not a literary masterpiece. I mean it's an OK book, but it gets boring in places and it feels like a lot more could have been done with the material. Read full review

Review: Major Conflict: One Gay Man's Life in the Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell Military

User Review  - Minh Han - Goodreads

The subject matter was interesting and important. The writing itself was not fantastic, but that only detracted a moderate amount from an important project that likely helped end Dont Ask Don't Tell. I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could. Read full review

Selected pages


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17
Section 18
Section 19
Section 20

Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 21
Section 22
Section 23
Section 24

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References to this book

About the author (2007)

JEFFREY McGOWAN joined the army in the late 1980s and served for ten years. Since leaving the service, McGowan has developed a successful sales career in the pharmaceutical industry. In February 2004, he and his partner, Billiam van Roestenberg, were the first same-sex couple to be married on the East Coast. They live in New Paltz, New York.

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