transgender

Lt. Cmdr. Valerie Greenaway conducts a Navy training session in December 2016, when an Obama-era policy allowed transgender service members to serve openly. Now, President Trump has ordered a ban on transgender recruits.
Erwin Jacob V Miciano / U.S. Navy

President Trump's directive prohibits transgender people from joining the military and bans the military from paying for gender reassignment surgery. But it doesn't address what will happen to transgender people currently serving.

In the past decade the military has become increasingly open to service members of different genders and sexual identities.

Transgender veterans hoping the veterans administration would cover their sex reassignment surgery were dealt a setback after the administration dropped the plan.


Army Infantry soldier Patrica King began transitioning from male to female more than a year ago.
Kara McDermott / American Homefront

New rules detail how military leaders must treat transgender service members. It's the latest step in the Pentagon's effort to integrate transgender people into the armed forces.

Pentagon ends ban on transgender troops

Jun 30, 2016

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter Thursday announced an end to the ban on openly transgender people serving in the military. 

The policy takes effect immediately.

Carter said the new policy recognizes that there are already transgender troops.

"The Defense Department and the military need to avail ourselves of all talent possible in order to remain what we are now: the finest fighting force the world has ever known," he said.

President Obama signs the 2010 law repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'
Chuck Kennedy / White House

More than four years after the military’s discriminatory policies against gay and lesbian service members ended, veterans advocates say the Pentagon has not done enough to help the roughly 80,000 troops kicked out of the services for being gay since World War II.

Drew Perine/The News Tribune

Editor's note: On Thursday, June 30, the Pentagon announced that is has lifted its ban on transgender people serving openly in the military. That's big news for Capt. Jennifer Peace whom we profiled in this story from January.

Capt. Jennifer Peace is a tall, thin woman in a crisp uniform, with minimal makeup and shiny brown hair. But when soldiers call her ma’am, she has orders to correct them.

They must call her sir.

There are signs that transgender people could serve openly in the United States military within the next year.
U.S. Army / Flickr Creative Commons

WUNC's Frank Stasio talks with KUOW military reporter Patricia Murphy about the ongoing Pentagon effort to accommodate transgender service members.


Capt. Jennifer Peace walks into the room, a tall, thin woman in crisp uniform, with minimal makeup and trim brown hair.

But when soldiers call her ma’am, she has orders to correct them. They must call her sir.