The Pentagon has released a manual detailing standards and procedures for service members who wish to have a sex-change transition, including time off, medical treatments and living a “preferred gender” lifestyle while on their respective installations.
According to Military.com, the Department of Defense has listed that a service member seeking gender-reassignment procedures must first be given a secure medical diagnosis, then inform the chain of command of aforementioned diagnosis, “indicating that gender transition is medically necessary.”
The commanding officer of said service member then has to approve government-funded medical treatment and supervision regarding when the service member will be able to return to duty.
The 18-page manual also outlines that personnel are prohibited from living in their “preferred gender” while on base until transitions are complete- meaning that until reassignment has been successfully completed, a service member must stick to the gender they were when they first joined.
The directive comes after last month’s announcement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, which allowed transgender individuals to serve openly in the armed forces.
“This is the right thing to do for our people and for the force,” Carter said in June. “We’re talking about talented Americans who are serving with distinction or who want the opportunity to serve.
The policy change goes into effect on October 1st, though it states that that “Effective 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.”
According to the Rand Corp, there are around 1,300 to 1,600 transgender troops currently in service out of the FY2016 projected total force strength of 1,301,300 personnel, putting the estimated number of transgender personnel at anywhere from 0.1 to 0.12 percent of the total force.
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