The Pentagon has announced new policies to abolish the Trump administration’s ban on transgender troops serving in the US military following a 60-day review initiated after President Joe Biden signed an executive order repealing the ban shortly after he took office in January.
On Wednesday, the department announced it has updated two internal polices to make it easier for transgender individuals to join up and access medical treatment while serving. The policies, which go into effect April 30, also protect transgender individuals from discrimination within the services.
The revised policies prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and “restore the department’s original 2016 policies regarding transgender service,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. They also “provide a path of service for medical treatment, gender transition and recognition in one’s self-identified gender,” Kirby added.
“This is reinstating a position that the previous commanders and, as well as the secretaries, have supported. And what I’m doing is enabling all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform,” Biden said, speaking from the Oval Office just before signing the executive order in January.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the updated policies on the International Transgender Day of Visibility, a day dedicated to honor and empower the lives of transgender and nonbinary people.
“The United States armed forces are in the business of defending our fellow citizens from our enemies foreign and domestic, I believe we accomplish that mission more effectively when we represent all our fellow citizens,” Austin said in a statement. “I also believe we should avail of ourselves of the best possible talent in our population regardless of gender identity. We would be rending ourselves less fit to the task if we excluded from our ran