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The Pentagon plans to end its transgender ban on its service personal by May 27 2016, meaning that transgender troops could soon be able to openly serve in the US military.

The memo was obtained by USA Today dated 19 August 2015 revealed that a pilot program that would allow transgender troops to take a sabbatical while transitioning is also under consideration. It also must be decided whether transgender troops are eligible for deployment to war zones.

United States Defence Secretary Ash Carter, ordered a six-month review of the ban, under the “presumption that transgender persons can serve openly without adverse impact on military effectiveness and readiness, unless and except where objective, practical impediments are identified.”


Troops diagnosed with gender dysphoria are unable to be discharged during this period without approval from one of Carter’s chief deputies.

There are estimated to be about 15,500 transgender troops actively serving in the United States military, which makes the department of defense (DOD) the single largest employer of transgender people in the USA.

Ashton Carter
Ashton Carter

Senior digital media associate at Human Rights Campaign Hayley Miller wrote in a blog post, “These courageous service members are forced to serve in silence by DOD medical regulations prohibiting their service,”

“These regulations are outdated and out of step with current medical practice. Unlike the statutory ban that interfered with lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members from serving (known as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) the ban on transgender military service is regulatory and only requires action by the DOD to update.”

Last Updated on Aug 28, 2015

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