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Defense Department and Transgender Troops

Veteran News
Veteran News
October 6, 2016
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The brand-new handbook issued by the Defense Department will give transgender service members and commanders guidance on how to conduct gender transition in the active-duty military, Guard and Reserve.The 71-page policy was released on Sept. 30. It details the medical process for those service members wishing to transition over from one gender to another.Another section talks about how commanders can work with transgender troops in their units. This section includes a guide on “gender pronouns” and physical fitness standards."The handbook is designed to assist our transgender Service members in their gender transition, help commanders with their duties and responsibilities, and help all Service members understand new policies enabling the open service of transgender Service members," it says. "The handbook includes advice, questions and answers, and scenarios."


Handbook Offers Solutions to Common Transgender Issues

The ban on openly transgender troops was lifted in June. From now on, the military will pay for “medically necessary” transgender treatments. These can include hormone therapy and counseling for “gender dysphoria” issues.Sex change operations, however, will not be covered.In order to undergo treatment, the service member will be required to confirm diagnosis with a military medical provider.After that, the request is then sent to the unit commander in order to sign off on the timing, based on deployment schedules and other conflicting events.When the troop finally goes through transition therapy, he or she can then be held to the same physical fitness and uniform standards of his or her new gender.It also specifies accommodation for transgender troops that includes installing measures to protect personal privacy.“Individuals undergoing cross-sex hormone therapy may experience changes to their body shape and physical strength, which may have a notable effect on their ability to maintain standards. If that is the case, consult with the individual and the MMP as you would for any other Service member with a medical condition affecting their ability to meet physical fitness standards," the handbook states.The handbook takes effect immediately.

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