Transgender Military Service

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: Why The US Military's Transgender Ban Unraveled So Quickly

June 28, 2016
Aaron Belkin

In this study, Aaron Belkin asks why, given that it took nearly two decades to repeal DADT, the campaign to lift the military's transgender ban achieved many of its goals in just a few years.  read more »

Presidential Leadership and Military Discrimination

January 22, 2015
Aaron Belkin & Diane Mazur

Beginning with President Harry Truman's 1948 executive order2 declaring "the policy of the President" to be "equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin," commanders-in-chief have taken direct, personal action to ensure equality of treatment for service members. Presidential leadership has been a critical factor in preserving, in Truman's words, the "highest standards of democracy" in the military, "with equality of treatment and opportunity for all those who serve in our country's defense."  read more »

Gender Identity in the Canadian Forces: A Review of Possible Impacts on Operational Effectiveness

June 2, 2014
Alan Okros and Denise Scott
Armed Forces & Society

One of the most prominent debates over minority participation in the military has been whether or not inclusive policies would undermine operational effectiveness. While the adoption of inclusive policy has tended to indicate that minority participation does not compromise effectiveness, the question has not yet been tested in the context of transgender military service. In this paper, we conduct the first-ever assessment of whether policies that allow transgender troops to serve openly have undermined effectiveness, and we ask this question in the context of the Canadian Forces (CF), which lifted its transgender ban in 1992 and then adopted more explicitly inclusive policy in 2010 and 2012. Although transgender military service in Canada poses a particularly hard test for the proposition that minority inclusion does not undermine organizational performance, our finding is that despite ongoing prejudice and incomplete policy formulation and implementation, allowing transgender personnel to serve openly has not harmed the CF's effectiveness. Click here for the article.  read more »

Arbitrary and Capricious

October 1, 2014
Diane H. Mazur
Palm Center

An October 2014 report underscored the discriminatory nature of policies concerning transgender personnel. Palm Center Legal Co-Director and retired law professor Diane Mazur identified six inconsistencies distinguishing how military medical policies govern transgender and non-transgender members. Mazur found that: "two different standards can apply to comparable medical care, or even the same medical care, depending on whether the service member is transgender or not." While most military health regulations assess medical risk based on individual evaluation and ability to perform duty, the rules for gender identity wrongly "presume all transgender personnel are unfit and render their duty performance irrelevant." Mazur concludes that unlike medical policies for non-transgender personnel, "military rules governing gender identity are decades out of date." Click here for the full report.  read more »

Report of Planning Commission on Transgender Military Service

August 26, 2014
Gale S. Pollock, Major General USA (Ret.), former acting US Army Surgeon General, Co-Chair Shannon Minter, JD, Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Co-Chair

Three retired US military General Officers, including the former chief medical officer of the US Army, issued a joint statement today concluding that the military's ban on transgender service could be eliminated in a straightforward manner that is consistent with military readiness and core values. Click here to read more. Click here for the full report.  read more »

Report of The Transgender Military Service Commission

March 13, 2014
Dr. Joycelyn Elders, MD, former US Surgeon General, Co-Chair RADM Alan M. Steinman, MD, USPHS/USCG (Ret.), Co-Chair

A commission co-chaired by a former US Surgeon General released a report today concluding that the Pentagon's ban on transgender military service is not based on sound medical reasoning, according to the Associated Press. In one of the first and most detailed assessments of the basis and impact of the current policy, the Transgender Military Service Commission examined all medical and psychological aspects of transgender military service, and found inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the Pentagon's rationale for the exclusionary policy, which remains in affect despite the scrapping of "don't ask, don't tell." Click here to read more. Click here for the full report.  read more »

Does “don’t ask, don’t tell” impact transgender service members?

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Yes, it does.

That was one of the findings from a unique and timely survey conducted by the Transgender American Veteran’s Association [TAVA] and analyzed in August by Palm Center researchers.  read more »

Transgender People in the U.S. Military

Summary and Analysis of the 2008 Transgender American Veterans Association Survey
August 20, 2008
Karl Bryant, PhD and Kristen Schilt, PhD
Palm Center White Paper

Overview
This paper reports findings from a survey of transgender service members and veterans designed and administered by the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA). TAVA was founded in 2003 with the goal of ensuring that transgender military veterans receive fair, equitable, and dignified treatment from Veterans Association (VA) Hospitals. The resulting survey data produced compelling findings indicating that transgender service members and veterans, like many transgender people in the U.S., face various forms of discrimination based on their transgender status. Transgender people in particular faced discrimination while serving in the military, as well as when they accessed or tried to access services through VA Hospitals.

Please click here for a pdf of the study.

This paper reports findings from a survey of transgender service
members and veterans designed and administered by the Transgender
American Veterans Association (TAVA).  read more »

Gender Identity and the Military - Transgender, Transsexual, and Intersex Identified Individuals in the U.S. Armed Forces

May 1, 2007
Tarynn M. Witten
Palm Center Whitepaper

Dr. Witten, PhD, MSW, FGSA is the Executive Director and Senior Fellow at the TranScience Research Institute in Richmond, Virginia.

This study reviews earlier research concluding that transsexuals can be a risk to military effectiveness, in part because their transformations entail higher-than-average anxiety and depression. Click here for a pdf version.

Dr. Witten, PhD, MSW, FGSA is the Executive Director and Senior Fellow at the TranScience Research Institute in Richmond, Virginia.  read more »

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