Pentagon's new transgender policy takes effect amid ongoing legal fight

From left transgender military members Navy Lt. Cmdr. Blake Dremann Army Capt. Alivia Stehlik Army Capt. Jennifer Peace Army Staff Sgt. Patricia King and Navy Petty Officer Third Class Akira Wyatt attend a House Armed Services Subcommittee on Militar

From left transgender military members Navy Lt. Cmdr. Blake Dremann Army Capt. Alivia Stehlik Army Capt. Jennifer Peace Army Staff Sgt. Patricia King and Navy Petty Officer Third Class Akira Wyatt attend a House Armed Services Subcommittee on Militar

The Pentagon says its use of the word deficiencies refers to failing to meet military standards and does not refer to identifying with another gender.

The ban will prevent all troops who have surgically changed their sex, require hormone treatment, or have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria from enlisting in the USA military.

Pollock signed a statement with two former US surgeons general and two other former military surgeons general, saying they are "troubled by the Defense Department's characterization of the need to undergo gender transition as a "deficiency, ' and by the addition of gender dysphoria to official lists of 'congenital or developmental defects" that include bed-wetting and 'disturbances of perception, thinking, emotional control, or behavior'".

"The Trump-Pence transgender troop ban is unsafe for both transgender people and our national security", McBride said in a statement.

"The Trump-Pence transgender troop ban is unsafe for both transgender people and our national security, which is why a bipartisan chorus of members of Congress, leading military experts and overwhelming majorities of Americans oppose this despicable policy". But the final legal injunction was lifted in March, though new legal challenges are expected.

In a message to sailors in advance of the new policy, the Navy said people were permitted to "live socially" in their preferred gender while not on duty, as long as they conform to the standards associated with their biological sex while in uniform.

Transgender troops say the regulation mirrors the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prohibited gay men and women from serving openly in the armed forces before Congress repealed it in 2010. "Appropriate civilian attire, as outlined in the uniform regulations, will not be determined based on gender".

"As many as 15,000 transgender service members stand to lose their jobs", Army Staff Sergeant Patricia King, who is transgender, told ABC News this week.

"There is no policy that prohibits the ability of a Service Member to express themselves off-duty in their preferred gender", the guidance says. It said it also objects to the Defense Department classifying the need to transition to another gender among "administratively disqualifying conditions" that include those the Pentagon has labeled as a "congenital or developmental defects".

The Supreme Court ruled that the military could enforce its policy on transgender service members after President Trump called for a blanket ban back in 2017 via tweet, claiming the USA military "cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail".

The new regulation strips transgender troops of rights they only recently secured under the Obama administration to serve openly and receive care if they choose to transition to another gender. "The only thing deficient is any medical science behind this decision".

The Pentagon asserts that about 9,000 service members self-identify as transgender.

Trump's administration has insisted that there is "too great a risk to military effectiveness and lethality" to allow transgender people to serve - reversing a policy enacted under his predecessor Barack Obama.

Military chiefs testified before Congress past year that they found no problems with transgender troops on morale or unit cohesion.

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