Pentagon Plans to Repeal Its Ban on Transgender Troops
A defense official told the newspaper that top personnel will be meeting soon to finalize details of a plan to end the ban, and that Defense Secretary Ash Carter will make an announcement next Friday.
According to the report, the plan will provide guidance to each branch of the armed services on how to implement new policies for the recruiting, housing and uniforms for transgender troops, to be implemented over the course of a year.
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“The Defense Department’s current regulations regarding transgender service members are outdated and are causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions,” Carter said in a statement at the time, per the Associated Press. “At a time when our troops have learned from experience that the most important qualification for service members should be whether they’re able and willing to do their job, our officers and enlisted personnel are faced with certain rules that tell them the opposite.”
A 2014 study found that there are 15,500 people who identify as transgender currently serving in the military, though most do so in secret. Currently, openly transgender people are excluded from serving due to military medical policies.