Pentagon Banned From Mandating Pronouns In Compromise Defense Bill

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Micaela Burrow Investigative Reporter, Defense
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Congress’ compromise defense bill bans the Pentagon from requiring — or disallowing — troops or employees from using personal pronouns in official documents.

The Senate’s version of the bill would have fully prohibited the Pentagon from mandating members of the armed forces or Department of Defense (DOD) civilian staff from listing their preferred gender pronouns in any official communications, according to the bill report revealed late Wednesday. But, the final National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) setting the DOD budget for fiscal year 2024 updated the amendment to clarify that the secretary of defense can’t prohibit the action either despite the GOP championing efforts to strip gender ideology from the military.

“The Secretary of Defense may not require or prohibit a member of the armed forces or a civilian employee of the Department of Defense to identify the gender or personal pronouns of such member or employee in any official correspondence of the Department,” the bill report states. (RELATED: Gen. Milley’s Award To Use He/Him Pronouns Despite DOD Policy Requiring Gender-Neutral Language)

The NDAA, which is likely to become law, also ditched proposals in the House’s version that would have prohibited the Pentagon from funding treatments for transgender troops or abortion travel.

The House version of the bill passed in July also overturned the Pentagon’s abortion travel coverage policy and blocked the military insurance from covering sex reassignment surgeries and gender-transition hormone treatments, according to a copy of the bill. Republicans in the Democrat-controlled Senate did not include similar provisions in their version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2024, setting conditions for Republicans on the conference committee to cave as the two chambers hammered out the final bill.

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