The Army is now holding mandatory transgender sensitivity training for officers, non-commissioned officers and civilians.
As part of the Pentagon’s attempt to create an accepting environment for transgenders, the Army held a session Tuesday teaching officers and others how to implement existing military policy, particularly how to “assist soldiers who have a medical diagnosis indicating that gender transition is medically necessary through the gender transition process,” USA Today reports.
The 50-minute training session is titled Transgender Training. All troops will have to undergo the training.
“The training module specifically outlines key roles and responsibilities of commanders, transgender soldiers, military medical providers and administrative management organizations,” Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson told USA Today. “This training is mandatory for all uniformed members, as well as Department of the Army civilians.”
In 2016, then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter repealed the ban on transgenders serving openly in the military. The services were subsequently given a year to implement various policies and prepare for the July 1, 2017, deadline of accepting new transgenders into the military.
But the Army and Marine Corps are trying to push this deadline back by as much as two years, although the Navy is ready to accept the July 1 date. The Marine Corps wants a delay of a year. The request for delay comes in response to a May 31 memo from Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work, who wanted an update on how the services were preparing to implement policies by the July 1 date. Work stated that the only element that could prompt a reconsideration of Obama-era policies was if there was a strong impact on readiness that “could lessen our ability to fight, survive and win on the battlefield.”
Top officials from Army are worried about the ability of transgender troops to deploy effectively in war zones while simultaneously receiving gender transition treatment.
LGBT groups are afraid that the request for delay signals an indefinite suspension of policies bringing transgender recruits into the military.
Conservative leaders have asked Secretary of Defense James Mattis to rescind directives allowing transgenders to serve, as “costly and distracting social engineering” that is standing in the way of combat effectiveness and readiness.
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