Speaking at a question-and-answer session Thursday with cadets at the Air Force Academy, Defense Secretary Ash Carter maintained that when it comes to transgender people serving in the military, “the question of principle” has been resolved, leaving only practical issues to be worked out.
— Military Times (@MilitaryTimes) May 12, 2016
Writing for the Air Force Times, Stephen Losey reports that Carter told the cadets that the Defense Department will approach implementation in a “careful, thoughtful manner,” and added that he’s “confident we’re going to get to the right place.”
@MilitaryTimes Yep, more social engineering!
— Luana H. (@LuanaMacLac) May 12, 2016
Last July, Carter announced that the military’s prohibition on transgender troops was outdated and was “causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions,” which he says will continue to revolve around Russia, the Asia-Pacific region, North Korea, Iran, and ISIS.
Though Carter didn’t go into detail about the practical issues that must be addressed to ease the transition, Losey writes that the Pentagon may have to “sort out other, military-specific questions, such as when transgender troops begin adhering to a new dress code and grooming standards, how their fitness standards would change, and whether the military health care system would provide them with hormone replacement therapy or gender reassignment surgery.”
In February 2015, an Army commandant at Ft. Leavenworth approved hormone therapy for Chelsea Manning to transition to a woman. Manning is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks.