Transgender Troops Can Now Serve Openly

On Thursday, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that the ban on open service of transgender troops will be lifted, five years after a similar ban on the open service of gay men and women was formally ended by President Obama.

The end of the ban is effective immediately, Carter said. “Implementation will begin today,” he said, promising a “step by step approach.” “It’s the right thing to do,” said Carter. “And it’s another step in making sure we continue to recruit and retain qualified people.” He cited the military’s changes in policies regarding the service of women and gay troops as proof that the transition could be made smoothly, saying “we do have experience in this kind of thing.” Changes in on-the-ground policies, training and other aspects of implementing the change will take place over the next year.


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