Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced Thursday the repeal of the ban on transgenders serving openly, and now the Naval Academy is signaling readiness to accept the Pentagon’s direction.
Cmdr. John Schofield, a spokesman for the Naval Academy, told The Capital that although the Naval Academy is ready and willing to accept direction from the Pentagon on new transgender policies, there’s no telling exactly how those policies will look, as it’s still too early to know.
For example, there are no single dorm rooms in the academy’s Bancroft Hall, and so officials are waiting for the Navy to sort the issue out.
Still, new policies aren’t exactly urgent because no midshipmen have yet declared themselves transgender.
Carter’s announcement included a 12-month plan to implement new transgender policies and stated that in 90 days, commanders will receive a guidebook on how to lead these individuals. Doctors will also receive a guidebook on how to treat them properly, which includes gender reassignment surgery if it’s deemed “medically necessary.”
The services will be ready to accept new transgender recruits by summer 2017. In the meantime, transgenders are waiting for various policy changes to go into effect.
Naval Academy graduate Alexandra Marberry openly declared himself transgender after he graduated in 2015.
“We’ve won,” Marberry said. “The war is over. Now it’s the peace treaties we’re working on.”
Marberry is on desk duty because officials won’t let him in flight school, as he’s suffering from gender identity disorder. That ban will likely soon fall apart. Marberry will also inevitably be allowed to wear a female uniform.
Still, not everyone is excited about the repeal of the ban. Almost immediately after Carter made his announcement, House Committee on Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry blasted the decision as tantamount to “prioritizing politics over policy.”
Senate Committee on Armed Services Chairman John McCain said the repeal of the ban represents contempt for Congress, as members were not notified of the action beforehand. McCain said it’s customary to let the the chairman know in advance of major policy shifts in a policy briefing, but the Obama administration “doesn’t do that.”
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