Then Secretary of Defense Ash
Carter announced on 28 June 2016 that transgender service members will be
allowed to serve openly and authentically.
The DoD is implementing this in stages and the most current information
can be found on their website here.
The DoD has published several
policy documents regarding the service, medical care of and accession of
transgender service members. We have
provided a summary below, but always consult the policy documents for the most
Commander's Handbook for Transgender Policy
Guidance for Treatment of Gender
Dysphoria for Active and Reserve Component Service Members
Transgender Service Member
Policy Implementation Fact Sheet
DTM 16-005: Military Service of
Transgender Service Members
DoDI 1300.28: In-Service
Transition for Transgender Service Members
If you have any questions or
concerns please don’t hesitate to contact our legal department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
standards for accession into the Military Services help to ensure that those entering
service are free of medical conditions or physical defects that may require
excessive time lost from duty. Not later than July 1, 2017, the USD(P&R)
will update DoD Instruction 6130.03 to reflect the following policies and
A history of gender dysphoria is
disqualifying, unless, as
certified by a licensed medical provider, the applicant has been stable without
clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other
important areas of functioning for 18 months.
(2) A history of medical
treatment associated with gender transition is disqualifying, unless, as certified by a licensed
(a) the applicant has completed
all medical treatment associated with the applicant’s gender transition; and
(b) the applicant has been stable
in the preferred gender for 18 months; and
(c) If the applicant is presently
receiving cross-sex hormone therapy post gender transition, the individual has
been stable on such hormones for 18 months.
(3) A history of sex reassignment
or genital reconstruction surgery is disqualifying, unless, as certified by a licensed medical provider:
(a) a period of 18 months has
elapsed since the date of the most recent of any such surgery; and
(b) no functional limitations or
complications persist, nor is any additional surgery required.
of the Military Departments and the Commandant, United States Coast Guard, may
waive or reduce the 18-month periods, in whole or in part, in individual cases for
standards for accession described in this memorandum will be reviewed no later than
24 months from the effective date of this memorandum and may be maintained or
changed, as appropriate, to reflect applicable medical standards and clinical
practice guidelines, ensure consistency with military readiness, and promote
effectiveness in the recruiting and retention policies and procedures of the
Currently Serving Members
immediately, no otherwise qualified Service member may be involuntarily separated,
discharged or denied reenlistment or continuation of service, solely on the
basis of their gender identity.
Service members will be subject to the same standards as any other Service
member of the same gender; they may be separated, discharged, or denied
reenlistment or continuation of service under existing processes and basis, but
not due solely to their gender identity or an expressed intent to transition
Service member whose ability to serve is adversely affected by a medical
condition or medical treatment related to their gender identity should be
treated, for purposes of separation and retention, in a manner consistent with
a Service member whose ability to serve is similarly affected for reasons
unrelated to gender identity or gender transition.
We have a Transgender chapter and
you may contact the chapter leader by e-mail at email@example.com.
DoD and the Military
Departments will institute policies to provide Service members a process by which,
while serving, they may transition gender. These policies are premised on the
conclusion that open service by transgender persons who are subject to the same
standards and procedures as other members with regard to their medical fitness
for duty, physical fitness, uniform and grooming standards, deployability, and
retention, is consistent with military service and readiness.
Departments and Services recognize a Service member’s gender by the member’s
gender marker in the DEERS. Coincident with that gender marker, the Services
apply, and the member is responsible to meet, all standards for uniforms and
grooming; body composition assessment (BCA); physical readiness testing (PRT);
Military Personnel Drug Abuse Testing Program (MPDATP) participation; and other
military standards applied with consideration of the member’s gender. As to
facilities subject to regulation by the military, the Service member will use
those berthing, bathroom, and shower facilities associated with the member’s
gender marker in DEERS.
Service members with a
diagnosis from a military medical provider indicating that gender transition is
medically necessary, will be provided medical care and treatment for the diagnosed
medical condition. Recommendations of a military medical provider will address
the severity of the Service member’s medical condition and the urgency of any
proposed medical treatment. Medical advice to commanders will be provided in a
manner consistent with processes used for other medical conditions that may
limit the Service member’s performance of official duties.
Any medical care and
treatment provided to an individual Service member in the process of gender
transition will be provided in the same manner as other medical care and
treatment. Nothing in this issuance will be construed to authorize a commander
to deny medically necessary treatment to a Service member.
determination that a transgender Service member is non-deployable at any time
will be consistent with established Military Department and Service standards,
as applied to other Service members whose deployability is similarly affected
in comparable circumstances unrelated to gender transition.
Commanders will assess expected
impacts on mission and readiness after consideration of the advice of military
medical providers and will address such impacts in accordance with this
issuance. In applying the tools described in this issuance, a commander will
not accommodate biases against transgender individuals. If a Service member is
unable to meet standards or requires an exception to policy (ETP) during a
period of gender transition, all applicable tools, including the tools
described in this issuance, will be available to commanders to minimize impacts
to the mission and unit readiness.
When the military medical
provider determines that a Service member’s gender transition is complete, and
at a time approved by the commander in consultation with the transgender
Service member, the member’s gender marker will be changed in DEERS and the
Service member will be recognized in the preferred gender.
The DD-214 form issued to each
service member upon discharge carries no gender marker, though it does list
legal name. Some transgender veterans have successfully amended this name
listing with a DD-215 form, which lists changes to the DD-214. By regulation,
the VA is not permitted to perform or pay for sex reassignment surgery.
However, the Department of Veterans Affairs released a directive on 10 June
2011 articulating a policy of fair and equal treatment for transgender
veterans. It also confirms coverage for medically necessary healthcare for transgender
veterans, such as sex-specific care like mammograms and pap smears, and
transition-related care like hormones and mental health services. This
regulation, however, is scheduled to expire on November 30, 2012, and it is
unclear what policy the VA will adopt after that date.
FTM International serves the Female-to-Male community by providing support
meetings for FTMs and their families in cities around the world.
National Center for Transgender
The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice
organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender
people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to
Transgendered American Veterans Association (TAVA)
TAVA was formed to address the growing concerns of fair and equal treatment of
transgender veterans and active duty service members.
Transgender Law Center (TLC)
The Transgender Law Center is a California-based civil rights organization
advocating for transgender communities. TLC utilizes direct legal services,
public policy advocacy, and educational opportunities to advance the rights and
safety of diverse transgender communities.
Transgender Law & Policy Institute (TLPI)
The TLPI brings experts and advocates together to work on law and policy
initiatives designed to advance transgender equality.
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