US DoD issues interim guidance on transgender policy
The US Department of Defense (DoD) has released interim guidance to implement a policy for transgender people serving in the military.
The guidance has been issued under the direction of US President Donald J. Trump’s memorandum.
It will provide information about accessions, medical care and treatment, and in-service transition for transgender service members.
The interim guidance will be in effect until 21 February 2018.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis stated: “Consistent with military effectiveness and lethality, budgetary constraints and applicable law, the implementation plan will establish the policy, standards and procedures for transgender individuals serving in the military.
“To comply with the presidential memorandum, ensure the continued combat readiness of the force and [to] maximise flexibility in the development of the implementation plan, the … interim guidance … will remain in effect until I promulgate DoD’s final policy in this matter.”
During the interim period, the policy that prohibits the accession of transgender individuals into the military services will remain in effect.
The current service members who receive a gender dysphoria diagnosis from a military medical provider will continue to receive treatment for the diagnosed medical condition.
However, no new sex reassignment surgical procedures for military personnel will be permitted after 22 March 2018 ‘except to protect the health of an individual who has already begun a course of treatment to reassign his or her gender’, the DoD stated.