What are the Department of Defense (DOD) Policies on Transgender Service? [July 15, 2015] [open pdf - 115KB]
"On July 13, 2015, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced that DOD will review its policies on transgender service. As part of this announcement he issued two directives:  DOD will create a working group composed of military and civilian personnel to study the policy and readiness implications of allowing transgender persons to serve openly.  The decision authority for administrative discharges for those diagnosed with gender dysphoria or who identify themselves as transgender will be the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Secretary Carter also emphasized that the working group will 'start with the presumption that transgender persons can serve openly without adverse impact on military effectiveness and readiness, unless and except where objective, practical impediments are identified.' The word 'transgender' does not appear in the United States Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, or in any DOD issuances. However, the term 'transgender' is typically applied to individuals who do not identify or conform to their physical gender at birth and may include, but is not limited to, those who self-identify as transgender, transsexual, gender-queer, gender nonconforming, or cross-gender. For the purpose of diagnosis, the American Psychiatric Association classifies this condition as 'gender dysphoria.' DOD currently treats the physical and psychological aspects of transgender conditions as disqualifying conditions for new personnel accessions and for the discharge of existing servicemembers."
CRS Insight, IN10264
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html