According to reports, the Pentagon is very close to lifting a ban on transgender people serving in the military. U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter is in the midst of creating a task force that will examine how allowing transgender people to serve their country will affect every aspect of the service. The task force will take about six months to completely analyze what changes are needed.
Thankfully, it doesn’t sound like Ash would ever decide to keep the ban in place: He’s already denounced the policy as “outdated” and “caus[es] uncertainty that distracts commanders from their core missions.” Sounds to me like he’s already made up his mind to do so (yay!); he just needs a roadmap to implement the necessary changes.
From the Department of Defense’s press release, Ash seems like a guy who gets it:
At a time when our troops have learned from experience that the most important qualification for service members should be whether they’re able and willing to do their job, our officers and enlisted personnel are faced with certain rules that tell them the opposite. Moreover, we have transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines – real, patriotic Americans – who I know are being hurt by an outdated, confusing, inconsistent approach that’s contrary to our value of service and individual merit.
I’m looking forward to seeing how accommodating the military is willing towards transmen and transwomen interested in serving their country to be in the near future.