In a landmark announcement US military lifts ban on transgender personnel

Washington: The Pentagon said on Thursday that it will let transgender personnel serve openly, a major milestone for America's vast military, and said it would pay for related medical treatment.

Lifting the ban on transgender service members "is the right thing to do for our people and for the force," Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in a statement.

"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 prevent us from recruiting and retaining those who can best accomplish the mission."

A file photo of Ashton Carter. Reuters

A file photo of Ashton Carter. Reuters

Up until five years ago, the US military still banned gay troops from openly discussing their sexuality under a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

The new transgender policy will be phased in during a one-year period, but effective immediately, the military can no longer discharge or deny reenlistment to troops based solely on their gender identity.

Transgender service members currently on duty can now serve openly.

By 1 July next year, the services will begin allowing transgender personnel to sign up, assuming they have met the necessary physical and mental standards to do so, the Pentagon said.

The US military has about 1.3 million service members. According to a RAND study, about 2,500 of these active-duty service members are transgender, as well as about 1,500 out of approximately 825,000 reserve troops.

The military will start paying for medical treatment related to being transgender no later than 1 October, Carter said.

Carter last year ordered all military roles — including combat positions — to be opened to women.


Updated Date: Jul 01, 2016 11:42 AM

Also Watch

Social Media Star: Abhishek Bachchan, Varun Grover reveal how they handle selfies, trolls and broccoli
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 It's a Wrap: Soorma star Diljit Dosanjh and Hockey legend Sandeep Singh in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 Watch: Dalit man in Uttar Pradesh defies decades of prejudice by taking out baraat in Thakur-dominated Nizampur village
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 India's water crisis: After govt apathy, Odisha farmer carves out 3-km canal from hills to tackle scarcity in village
  • Sunday, July 15, 2018 Maurizio Sarri, named as new Chelsea manager, is owner Roman Abramovich's latest gamble in quest for 'perfect football'

Also See