Here's How the Pentagon Will Allow Trans People to Serve—Despite Trump's Best Efforts


The Pentagon has released its official memo detailing the specifics of how it will accommodate trans people who wish to serve in the U.S. military.


Declaring that “every applicant will be treated with dignity and respect,” the memo—dated Dec. 8, but released to the public today—outlines how the military will accept, house, and train trans recruits. It comes amidst a fierce battle legal by the Trump administration to bar all trans soldiers from the armed services.

As the memo explains, trans people will be allowed to use their preferred gender identity so long as they have corroborating documentation, such as an updated birth certificate, passport, or federal identification. Accordingly, personnel “will be addressed by their preferred gender name and pronoun.”


A trans soldier’s room assignment, physical requirements, and medical testing and treatment plans will then be based on their preferred gender—even if they have not undergone any gender reassignment surgery or taken any gender altering medication.

The memo says that trans people in the process of transitioning from male to female, but who have not yet undergone any physical changes, will still be required to wear male undergarments, while those in the process of transitioning from female to male will be required to take a pregnancy test to ensure that they are not pregnant while they transition. Additionally, any soldier who has undergone gender reassignment surgery or similar medical procedures will need provide certification from a medical examiner showing they have been physically and mentally stable for the preceding 18 months.

The newly released plans come nearly five months after President Trump tweeted his intent to both ban trans people from joining the military, as well as purge active-duty trans people from serving. In that time, the administration’s proposed policy—dubbed a “favor” to America by Trump—has faced bipartisan opposition, and has been dealt a number of significant legal defeats.

Court orders mandating the Pentagon begin processing trans troops are set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

Senior writer. When in doubt he'll have the soup.

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