Five years after US President Barack Obama lifted ban on the open service of gay men and women, the US defense chief announced similar lifting and now for the transgender troops who wants to be in open service in military.
According to US defense secretary Ash Carter, the implementation of the ban lifting will be executed immediately and the order was part of the department’s promised step by step approach.
“It’s the right thing to do, and it’s another step in making sure we continue to recruit and retain qualified people,” Carter said in a press briefing.
He also cited the policy change for the service of women and gay troops as a proof that the transition can be smoothly executed.
Meanwhile, the implemetation of changes in on-the-ground policies, training and other aspects will be done over the next year.
The ban lifting was made year ago after Carter promised to review the said ban in a press conference in Pentagon, Washington DC.
According to a RAND Corporation Study published last year, about 2,500 of 1.3 million active duty members are transgenders, while UCLA’s Williams Institute estimated the number to be 15,500 in addition to 134,300 veterans.
Over the next ninety days, the defense department will issue a training handbook for commanders and transgenders service members that would serve as a guide in providing medical care to transgender troops.
For the past years, the LGBT right advocacy groups had grown impatient for news about the ban, as the news comes out the groups quickly laud the move of the Obama administration for the transgender.
In a statement, Mara Keisling, executive director of National Center of Transgender Equality, welcomes the change, “Allowing anyone who is willing and able to serve to do so without lying who they are is a sound policy that reflects American values.”
Keisling also said the move of defense department is a right decision for the US military and she believed it would bring much needed certainty for thousands of currently serving soldiers who have put their lives on the line for the country.