Transgender Military Ban Could End in May 2016

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August 26, 2015; The Advocate

The Pentagon is moving to allow transgender people to serve openly in the military by May 27th, 2016. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said that the “outdated” regulation harms the armed forces.

Pentagon officials will spend the next several months finalizing the legal and administrative changes needed to remove one of the last barriers to all Americans being able to serve in the military. If actualized, the plan would end one of the last discriminatory rules about enlistment in the American military and would be tacit recognition that transgender people already serve in uniform. Further, a beta program would provide leave of absences for transgender troops being treated for hormones or surgery.

According to some estimates, the number of transgender individuals serving in the military is over 15,000. Similar to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that applied to gay, lesbians, and bisexuals until it was repealed in 2011, the current rule has done little to keep transgender individuals from serving in the military.

Since Defense Secretary Carter’s appointment to the Pentagon this year, he has signaled his unhappiness over current policy, along with several other senior defense officials. In a statement made earlier this month, Mr. Carter said that he was creating a group that would end the ban on transgender individuals serving openly, as well as help train troops to ensure a smooth transition.— Kathleen Ebbitt

  • RsGoat

    First I would be careful of sending the transgender troops to Islamic countries but second and more importantly since the announcement mentioned the trans-formative surgeries might be available to military members I have to question the wisdom of making elective surgeries to military at no cost to them an option.
    Military members have unlimited medical coverage to keep them ready for duty but elective surgeries will remove them from from availability for extended periods of time including deployments to hostile areas when they may be needed! That dose not include the extra money it will force our government to pay out for these operations.
    This dose not even get into the possibility of a large influx of individuals entering service to obtain free surgeries in their desire to transform sexes. No, we don’t want the military to do the surgeries, accept the people if the want but draw the line on the actual surgeries! That would be a financial disaster maybe and manning nightmare while people recuperate from these operations and can’t perform the duties of their military field! Only a politician could find this idea reasonable.