Posted on May 8, 2019
Joe Ousalice, 68, served for nearly 18 years but was discharged in 1993 when there was a ban on LGBT people serving in the armed forces. His lawyers want other military personnel who were dismissed over their sexuality to have lost medals returned.
The MoD said it would be “inappropriate” to comment as legal proceedings are ongoing.
A spokesperson added: “We are currently looking at how personnel discharged from service because of their sexuality, or now abolished sexual offences, can have their medals returned.”
Mr Ousalice’s lawyer Emma Norton says the MoD has made similar statements in the past.
Mr Ousalice is a former radio operator who now lives in Southampton. He served in the Falklands War in which he lost two comrades, did six tours of duty in Northern Ireland and was also posted to conflict zones in the Middle East. “I loved life in the navy, because of the comradeship,” he said. “It was my life.” His work was praised by his seniors and he was awarded a Long Service and Good Conduct medal in 1991.
But he knew when he joined up that he had to hide the fact that he was bisexual. “It was a double life I was living. I was watching every day what I was saying, what I was doing.” He says that when ashore he never visited gay pubs and on board ship he didn’t associate with sailors who he knew were gay. “I knew if I did I would have the SIB (Special Investigation Branch) on my back doing covert operations, shadowing me with cameras, taking photographs of what I was getting up to.”