Andrew Koch is facing discharge from the U.S. Reserve Officers Training Corps for performing in gay adult films under the name Nick Hunter.
On July 27th, he was placed on involuntary leave while a Navy Personnel Review Board investigated “an alleged serious moral offense that brings discredit upon the naval service.”
Hunter then responded with a letter where he stated he, “never meant to disrespect the Navy, never appeared in uniform, and never associated his private work in pornography with the Navy in any way.”
However, Hunter’s letter did not dissuade the Navy one bit. Last week they ruled that his porn career was inconsistent with what the Navy deems morally acceptable and he must now pay back all tuition and educational expenses from his NROTC scholarship. Hunter is currently in his third year of a four year scholarship and the amount he’ll have to pay back is roughly $26,000.
Hunter’s story is especially tragic because the only reason he started performing in gay scenes was to survive after the NROTC placed him on leave for medical reasons.
“I just needed to support myself. It was never my intention to bring any discredit to the service,” Hunter told South Florida Gay News. “I never correlated my private conduct with my public service. I saw a disconnect between the two.”
There is some hope for Hunter because he’s hired lawyer and SFGN publisher Norm Kent to appeal the Navy’s decision and allow him to finish the NROTC program. Kent has previously represented gay servicemen discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that is now defunct.
Hunter’s misfortune has me wondering what happened to the U.S. Navy’s well-documented pro-gay stance starting in 1978 with the funding of the Village People’s “In the Navy”:
So many mixed messages from the Navy. Are they pro-gay but anti-porn? Are they anti-gay and anti-porn? Are they pro-gay and pro-porn but anti-gay porn? Either way, I hope Nick Hunter/Andrew Koch doesn’t have to pay back that $26,000. That’s a real slap in the face.