Not your father’s army and that’s a big, big problem: Apache helicopter pilots become the first active-duty same-sex couple to marry at West Point

Daily Mail

  • Daniel Hall, 30, and Vincent Franchino, 26, were married at the New York school’s Cadet Chapel on January 13
  • The captains, who are stationed together in Fort Bliss in Texas, were married in front of 150 family members and friends
  • They met in 2009 and their relationship has endured homophobia and overseas deployments, among other challenges 
  • Their exchange of vows is believed to be the first active-duty, same-sex marriage at the United States Military Academy

Two army captains exchanged vows at West Point in what is believed to be the first active-duty, same-sex marriage at the esteemed United States Military Academy.

Daniel Hall, 30, and Vincent Franchino, 26, are both Apache helicopter pilots and were married at the New York school’s Cadet Chapel on Saturday, January 13, the New York Times reports.

The captains, who are now stationed together at Fort Bliss in Texas, were married in front of 150 family members and friends, 34 of whom were military officers.

The couple sported their blue army uniforms and received a saber-arch salute as they left the chapel. Their reception was held at Skylands Manor in New Jersey.

Franchino and Hall met in August 2009, back when the former was a freshman (or ‘plebe’ in the school’s parlance) and the latter was a senior (or ‘firstie’).

As part of a school tradition in which the plebes seek to hold up departing seniors, Franchino hid under Hall’s bed and popped out to scare him.

‘Dan was so startled, he jumped over his desk,’ Franchino told the New York Times.

Later in 2010, they chose each other for a mentorship program – Franchino as mentee and Hall as mentor. It was at this point that their feelings for each other developed.

But because of the Bill Clinton-effected 1993 policy of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ which barred homosexual servicemen and servicewomen from being ‘out’ in the military, they could not show their feelings.

‘We were serving under a policy that was telling all of us — perfectly capable soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines — to lie about ourselves,’ Hall told the New York Times.

But when ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ was repealed under Barack Obama in 2011, they came out in public with their relationship.

They weathered multiple challenges – being called f****ts while on dates, being deployed to different locations overseas – to get to the point where they could walk down the aisle together.

At one point, when Hall was deployed along with his Boeing AH-64 Apache to South Korea, they called their relationship off temporarily.

But they got back together and may now hope to live happily ever after.

The couple, which will now go by the last name Franchino-Hall, enjoyed their first dance as married men to ‘La Vie En Rose’ by Edith Piaf.

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16 comments on “Not your father’s army and that’s a big, big problem: Apache helicopter pilots become the first active-duty same-sex couple to marry at West Point
    • AS A VIET VET I COULD TELL YOU STORIES BUT I WON’T,,,NAMES AND PLACES BUT I WON’T AND AFTER SERVICE THE FORMER MILTARY I SERVED WITH THAT WERE ACDC SWICTH HITTERS, BUT I WON’T,,,,,PEOPLE THINK i AM,,,WERE THEY EVER SCHOCKED AND PUZZLED….GAYS HAVE BEEN IN THE MILITARY SINCE CANE AND ABEL….OUR US MILITARY ALWAYS BELIEVED IN ,,,,GOOD ORDER AND DISCIPLINE AND ESPRIT D’ CORP,,,BO KILLED ALL THAT. ALONG WITH BUSH AND CLINTON.,,,,,NOW ENLISTMENT AGE IS PUSHED WAY WAY UP,,,,HOW MANY STRIAGHTS WANT TO BE IN A BARRACKS WITH GUYS NUZZLING EACH OTHER IN PLAIN OPEN VIEW,,,,NOT MANY AND THE FACTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES…..YOU CAN ENLIST IN THE USAF AT 38 AND THE ARMY NAVY IN YOUR MID 30’S……UNCLE SAM IS REALLY HARD UP………IN THE VIET ERA WE KNEW WHO WAS WHAT BUT THE WHOLE THING WAS SUB ROSA AND PROPER AND WE ALL GOT ALONG……interestingly all the gay former military and non military i worked for and with that had wives and kids and were JAYBIRDS ON THE SIDE ALWAYS FELT SUPERIOR TO STRAIGHTS AND PURE ONE WAY GAYS…..THESE SWITCH HITTERS FELT SUPERIOR SOMEHOW……. i sitll can’t figure that out and you know how old i am.

      • P.S. THERE IS A DANGEROUS ISSUE FOR MILITARY STRAIGHTS THAT IS COERCION….IT’S MY LIFELONG OBSERVATION THAT GAY MEN HAVE A HARD TIME WITH SELF CONTROL,,,THEY ARE HARD WIRED PREDATORS AND THEY GET ELECTRIC WHEN THEY MEET UP WITH ONE OF THEIR OWN THAT THEY DON’T KNOW,,,,,JUST LOOK AT THEIR EYES AND RELAXED FACIAL EXPRESSION,,,HETERO MEN ARE ALWAYS ON GUARD AND VIGILANT AND ARE REPULSED BY THE FLAMING JAY BIRDS,,,,in the military you are subject to your superiors that can be very subtle but obvious if they don’t like you,,,,,MALE GAYS IN THE MIITARY ARE GOING TO HAVE A CHILLING EFFECT ON STRAIGHTS JOINING UP…..THAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW WITH ENLISTMENT CRISES,,,,,,,,,BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

  1. The military is a culture and a very specific type of culture for a reason. Our military culture was built to be a cohesive war-fighting machine, not a social experiment. Additionally, the institution of marriage was created to build a family unit. The argument for gay marriage changes the traditional family structure into something it was never intended to be or should be. The psychological impact and role modeling for female and male children by having a father and a mother in a cohesive family unit works extremely well. Gay marriage serves no such purpose. Gay marriage is social experimentation. Also on the social experimentation list is the West Point graduation of the avowed communist,
    2nd Lt. Spenser Rapone. This shameful “Officer” violated his oath of office through his actions and as a demonstrated fan of the rapist and murderer, Che Guevara. Lt Rapone stands counter to every fiber in the fabric of the U.S. military. Yet, this despicable individual is still serving on active duty! I want to know what is going on with our military’s senior leadership and why these types of situations are allowed to take place. If an entity wanted to overthrow this country, would they attack its foundational moral base, its military institutions, and promote gang violence such as demonstrated by Antifa and groups calling for the murder of police officers? You know the answer!

  2. It’s not our fathers’ army, and it should be. It starts in the schools with self esteem teaching, because kids can’t be yelled into line. Teachers need power to discipline, and at the very least the armed forces need the power to discipline.

  3. Certain democracies are open to homosexuality. Many other countries in the world do not accept such sexuality. In fact, not only do some countries not accept it, their religious beliefs forbid such unions. This would give greater cause to these countries, if ever at war with the USA, to eliminate these military officers if ever captured. One has to look beyond the tip of one’s gun (nose) and see the bigger picture.

  4. The article appears to tout this cultural carnage as a celebratory event. Once upon a time military culture stood above society as a shining beacon to be emulated. That strict code of behavior was necessary to ensure unit cohesion, an essential element of warfighting. The recent devolution of society has now been absorbed into the military, and will contribute not only to debasing military culture, but also its warfighting capability.
    This will come back to haunt us should we ever be opposed by a competent and morally solid cohesive power. Oh, yes. We’ll do fine against an inferior, low-tech force. But in the coming years, a WWII effort against an equal force will prove to be “a bridge too far.”

    • Tun tavern guy,,,,,,,the next war will be of robots and drones and button pushers,,,,,the old ww2 and korea when we fought highly trained armies is over,,,,,it will be a door to door grinder shooting gallery in some mid east sandpit rock pile or over very quickly via icbms. rise and shine another day to serve the corp…….what would SGT Moore think,,,,jack webb who inspired me to join would ne very unhappy.

  5. THIS ARTICLE IS OF LIMEY ORIGIN THE UK……THE BRITS ARE ABOUT AS DEBASED, DEBAUCHED, DEVIANT, DISOLUTE, DEPRAVED, DEGENERATE AND DECADENT DEVIL WORHSHIPPING AS IT GETS,,,,,THE BRITS HAVE NO BOTTOM WHEN IT COMES TO SEXUALITY,,,,,,,,,,HOWEVER THEY DO WORSHIP THEIR MILITARY HERITAGE AND THIS DISPLAY WOULD NOT HAPPEN AT SANDHURST, EH WOT.

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