Pentagon Announces Pro-Transgender Policies

The Pentagon has announced new policies that undo Trump-era rules that effectively banned transgender people from joining the military, NPR reported.

The policies note that military will now provide service members a process by which they may transition gender while serving; a service member may not be involuntarily discharged or denied reenlistment solely on the basis of gender identity; procedures will be developed for changing a servicemember’s gender marker; and The Defense Health Agency will develop clinical practice guidelines to support the medical treatment of servicemembers diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

The policies go into effect April 30.

“These policies are based on the conclusion that open service by transgender persons who are subject to the same high standards and procedures as other Service members with regard to medical fitness for duty, physical fitness, uniform and grooming standards, deployability, and retention is consistent with military service and readiness,” Department of Defense instructions state.

“Military personnel reach maximum effectiveness when they have access to all medically necessary care and we are excited that this policy extends that access to transgender service members. Additionally, opening recruitment to transgender individuals ensures an extremely talented and motivated pool of people that this country needs have the opportunity to serve in uniform,” Air Force Lt. Col. Bree Fram, vice president of transgender military advocacy organization SPART*A, said in a statement.