Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

Pentagon lifts ban on open trans service

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Thursday announced that the ban on open trans military service has been lifted. The decision comes amid the release of recommendations from a working group formed last year to study the issue.

(Defense Secretary Ashton Carter)

(Defense Secretary Ashton Carter)

The announcement includes recommendations, plans, and a timeline to when transgender service members will fully be able to serve openly and authentically.

Trans military groups hailed the June 30 announcement.

“OutServe-SLDN applauds and welcomes Secretary Carter’s announcement today,” Matt Thorn, executive director, said in a news release.

OutServe-SLDN said that every day, an estimated 15,500 trans service members are forced to live quietly and “serve in righteous indignation, anticipating the end of the discriminatory ban on open trans service to be lifted in the armed forces.”

Congress repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which prohibited open service by LGB people, in 2010. The ban was officially lifted in the fall of 2011.

The lifting of the ban on open trans service did not require congressional action. Carter has been studying the issue for months.

OutServe-SLDN also announced that it would expand its legal resources for transgender veterans who wish to update their DD214s with name changes and other record updating, in addition to its legal services aiding those who have been separated and wish to re-enter the military.

For more information, visit

— Cynthia Laird, June 30, 2016 @ 11:13 am PST
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