Military Leaders Instructed to Share Plans to Accept Transgender Troops: Pentagon

Pentagon

The defense department’s second in command earlier this month penned a memo instructing military leaders to report back on their plans to accept new transgender troops by July 1, USA Today reports.

The memo by Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work obtained by USA Today calls for the heads of the respective military branches to weigh their readiness to begin accepting new, transgender military personnel come July 1. The assessments, USA Today reports, are due May 31.

“The personnel policies of this Department are designed to enhance the warfighting readiness and lethality of the force that protects our country,” the May 8 memo reads. “We do not intend to reconsider prior decisions unless they cause readiness problems that could lessen our ability to fight, survive and win on the battlefield.”

Transgender military personnel is a hot issue right now, especially after two transgender military academy cadets will be allowed to graduate but won’t be commissioned into the military as officers due to lack of protocol on how to handle new transgender troops.
Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning, the transgender enlistee who leaked a wealth of U.S. state secrets to WikiLeaks, was also released from prison Wednesday after her sentence was commuted by former President Obama. Manning is still an active-duty soldier.

PREVIOUSLY: Transgender Cadets Can Graduate From Military Academies But Not Serve

Last June, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that the Pentagon will lift its ban on transgender troops serving openly in the military. USA Today previously reported that nearly 6,600 of the 1.3 million troops in the active duty military force are transgender, according to RAND Corp., a nonprofit military research company. RAND Corp. provided insight to the Department of Defense regarding the costs and numbers associated with openly-transgender troops.

Treatment for transgender troops, which could range from counseling to hormone replacement therapy to gender confirmation surgery, could cost between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually, according to RAND.

The post Military Leaders Instructed to Share Plans to Accept Transgender Troops: Pentagon appeared first on Towleroad.

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