A draft memo circulated last week expects the ban on transgender troops to be lifted in May 2016.

“The memo, circulated last week among top personnel and medical officials, lays out the road map for ending the policy and highlights some of the potential issues,” according to USA Today. “The memo details a list of issues surrounding the open service of transgender troops, including medical treatment, housing, uniforms and physical fitness standards.”

Last month, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the establishment of a working group to study the “policy and readiness implications” of allowing transgender service members to serve openly. The review is expected to take six months.

There are approximately 15,500 actively serving transgender members of the U.S. military, making the Department of Defense (DOD) the largest employer of transgender people in America. These courageous service members are forced to serve in silence by DOD medical regulations prohibiting their service. These regulations are outdated and out of step with current medical practice. Unlike the statutory ban that interfered with lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members from serving (known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”) the ban on transgender military service is regulatory and only requires action by the DOD to update.


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