|Def. Sec. Ash Carter announcing the Pentagon's lift of it's ban on transgender troops|
Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced last week the Pentagon had officially lifted its ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. armed forces, effective immediately.
The new policy will mean that transgender service members may no longer be involuntarily discharged or denied reenlistment based on their gender identity. In addition those currently on duty who have been keeping their gender identity hidden may now serve openly.
At a press conference held at the Pentagon Carter stated...
“This is the right thing to do for our people and for the force. We’re talking about talented Americans who are serving with distinction or who want the opportunity to serve. We can’t allow barriers unrelated to a person’s qualifications to prevent us from recruiting and retaining those who can best accomplish the mission.”
The new policy also imposes standards for medical care, and outlines responsibilities for commanders to develop guidance, training and specific policies going forward.
|Transgender U.S. service members pose with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter|
It is estimated that there are between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender people currently on active duty, and between 1,500 and 4,000 in the reserves.
The historic policy change is seen by many as the last step of President Barack Obama’s 2011 repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
Good riddance and "Thanks Obama"!