The Pentagon must train 23,000 personnel on the subject of transgender individuals before January 1, the date when transgender recruits will be allowed to enlist in the military.
Lernes Hebert, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for military personnel policy, stated in a court filing that the training will be provided to recruiters at military entrancing processing stations, who will have to understand some of the medical requirements for the recruits, The Washington Examiner reports.
Given all the training necessary, the Pentagon has asked for an emergency delay on the order to accept transgender recruits starting in January. Federal judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly denied the delay request Monday, but the Department of Justice has appealed the decision. Former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who was the most vocal service head under former President Barack Obama’s administration for diversity, said in a statement to the court he believes the Pentagon is ready to accept transgender recruits.
“Based on my personal knowledge, the services had already completed almost all of the necessary preparation for lifting the accession ban when I left office almost a year ago,” Mabus said.
The danger of a Jan. 1 start date is that the Pentagon may not be able to conduct sufficient screening, according to Hebert.
Although transgender people can apply to enlist in January, not all are automatically eligible. As part of rules instituted by former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, applicants who have a history of gender dysphoria have to be “stable without clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning for 18 months.”
Additionally, those applicants have to have completed all their medical treatment prior to signing up and remained in stable in their new gender for 18 months.
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