DOD Transgender Policy to Treat Service Members with "Dignity and Respect"

As the Pentagon’s updated rules on transgender service members took effect late last week, one official stressed the new policy will treat everyone with dignity.

Anthony Kurta, performing the duties of the deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, told Pentagon reporters April 12 DOD “will continue to treat all individuals with dignity and respect, and every service member is able to express their gender identity.”

Current service members or new recruits with gender dysphoria are grandfathered. But those wanting to join the military, “a diagnosis of gender dysphoria is presumptively disqualifying under the new policy, just as it is under the 2016 policy, absent a waiver,” Kurta said.

The rule has exceptions, however. Applicants must show stability in their biological sex for 36 months and “be able to meet all applicable standards of those associated with their biological sex,” Kurta said.

Although the Pentagon doesn’t track how many service members are transgender, it said it knows 1,400 have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

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