DoD Is Ready to Accept Transgender Applicants
Cook, Martin L.
Eitelberg, Mark J.
Lucas, George R.
Mayer, Mark V.
Schultz, Tammy S.
Ventresca, Marc J.
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On December 6, the Department of Justice submitted a written Declaration claiming that Pentagon compliance with a Court’s order to allow transgender candidates to apply for enlistment as of January 1 would “impose extraordinary burdens” on a military that “would not be adequately and properly prepared to begin processing transgender applicants.” The Declaration, however, rewrites the history of transgender military policy and distorts the evidence, disregarding that the Court’s order did not create new military policy, but only directed the military to return to its own policy on transgender enlistment as defined by the current Secretary of Defense. Three former Service Secretaries and one former Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness have confirmed that the military had already completed many of the necessary preparations for the lifting of the enlistment ban by the time of the Presidential transition in January, 2017. The Declaration’s assertion that implementing the Court’s order will impose “extraordinary burdens” because the military “would not be adequately and properly prepared” is incorrect. The Declaration’s assertion that transgender applicants for military service are uniquely complicated and difficult to evaluate is incorrect. The Declaration’s assertions that recruiters will not understand government identification documents that reflect changes in gender, and are not prepared to obtain supporting medical documents, are incorrect. The Declaration’s assertion that the Court’s order will result in transgender applicants not receiving “the appropriate medical and administrative accession screening” is incorrect. The Declaration’s assertion that “key personnel” have “rotated” into different duties, therefore setting back the pace of implementation and requiring more time, is not a reason for delay.
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