All Navy Sailors Must Undergo Transgender Education By July 2017

Jonah Bennett | Contributor

An all-Navy message sent Tuesday informs all sailors that they will soon be required to undergo transgender behavioral education before July 2017.

Training, starting Nov. 1, is an attempt to educate servicemembers about the new transgender policy, which allows transgender individuals to service in the military, according to Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke. The training also tries to modify the behavior of servicemembers, who likely will show some level of resistance to working alongside transgenders.

“This training will emphasize policies and expectations of personal behavior,” the message states, Military.com reports.

It’s unclear what exactly the training sessions will entail. The Navy will soon send out a message to servicemembers with more details, states Jessica Anderson, spokeswoman for Naval Personnel Command. In the meantime, leadership is developing a commander’s tool kit to steer the process.

“Service members are expected to maintain standards of conduct and treat each other with dignity and respect,” Anderson said. “Training for sailors will be conducted by command triads via mobile training teams or DVD with a facilitation guide if the unit is in a remote area and unable to receive face-to-face training. There will also be webinars for COs to ask questions prior to delivering training to their commands.”

The Navy will begin accepting transgender recruits July 1, 2017.

The plan for integration is to mandate that transgenders use the bathroom facilities of their chosen gender.

If there is any harassment towards these individuals, Anderson said leadership will be sure to crack down.

“We do not tolerate harassment of any kind,” Anderson said. “Treating all service members with dignity and respect is something we take extremely seriously, and when there are any indications that those values are not being followed, we will conduct appropriate investigations and take action as necessary.”

In June, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter repealed the ban on transgenders serving in the military.

“This is the right thing to do for our people and for the force,” Carter said at a Pentagon press conference. “We’re talking about talented Americans who are serving with distinction or who want the opportunity to serve. We can’t allow barriers unrelated to a person’s qualifications prevent us from recruiting and retaining those who can best accomplish the mission.”

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