Karen Tait, 29, was sent back from Afghanistan only half way through her tour due to allegations of a relationship with another female officer. She is now suing the Ministry of Defence for discrimination.
Captain Tait was in court yesterday and has made claims that her female commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Deborah Poneskis, had discriminated against her due to her sexuality, at one point mocking her short hair in a photo.
Tait – a Sandhurst graduate – requested a transfer for Sergeant Caroline Graham during her tour in the Helmand province. Sergeant Graham was previously working from Kandahar, but the transfer request from Captain Tait meant that she moved to Camp Bastion (Helmand province). The two shared a tent provided for women soldiers.
Shortly after that, Captain Tait was formally stripped of her warrant card and deployed home. She was also allegedly prevented from attending the funeral of a fallen comrade and stated that her Afghan tour medal was posted to her instead of being officially presented.
In part of her claim for discrimination against Lieutenant Colonel Poneskis, Tait has described how the officer, “did not like me because I am gay and live an openly gay life” and, “She seemed to dislike me and to be against me from…when she took over command.”
Captain Tait is still in the army, but has been recommended for discharge.