Should Individuals Who Identify as Transgender Be Permitted to Serve in the Military?

On June 30, 2016, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that effective the next day, July 1, "transgender Service members may serve openly, and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military solely for being transgender individuals." While this policy applies to existing Service members, Secretary Carter also announced that by July 1, 2017, "the services will begin allowing transgender individuals to join the armed forces, assuming they meet accession standards." They will also be eligible for admission to service academies, ROTC, "or any other accession program."1 The announcement was the (delayed) culmination of a process begun a year earlier, in July 2015, when Carter issued a statement announcing formation of "a working group to study over the next six months the policy and readiness implications of welcoming transgender persons to serve openly."2

Read more