Rob is a young African-American man coming to terms with his sexuality amid the backdrop of the hyper-masculine, homophobic U.S. Army. After surviving the notoriously brutal Infantry basic training and then finding himself as a young gay man while remaining closeted to all but a few of his colleagues at his first duty station, he finds himself in dangerous territory after the United States declares war on Iraq and his unit is one of the first called in after the initial invasion.

Written with a unique and powerful voice, the intersection of race, sexuality, and public policy ensures that CLOSETS, COMBAT, AND COMING OUT is alternately funny, sad, sexy, and harrowing. Rob's experience offers a ground-level view of life on the front lines of race and sexuality in the United States military in an unforgettable gay coming-of-age story--with a military twist.

Notable Reviews

“…a riveting first-hand account of a shameful time in our recent history when courageous men like Smith were forced to serve their country in silence.”

—Keith Boykin, New York Times Bestselling Author

“Smith does not hold back...Here is a lesson learned, where you can truly choose to become all that you can be, and especially be true to yourself.”


“…a highly relatable account of a young man overcoming considerable odds and coming out whole on the other side.”

—Gay City News

“…full of feeling and a fundamental sense of principle.”

—Army Times