THE White House has backed an ongoing review into the medical regulations that prevent the US Armed Forces from recruiting and keeping trans* soldiers.
When asked about the ban and Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel’s comments regarding it over recent weeks, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said during a press briefing last week that the Obama Administration was fully supportive of Hegel’s LGBTI inclusion plans.
During a recent ABC News interview, Hagel (pictured above) had said he thought “it continually should be reviewed” when asked about the ban on trans* people in military service.
“Again, I go back to the bottom line — every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do it,” Hagel said.
“This is an area that we’ve not defined enough.”
Hagel’s recent remarks, as well as the White House’s commitment to support Hagel’s efforts, illustrated a shift in tone by the Department of Defense and the White House on trans* military service, since the 2010 repeal of the infamous “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for lesbian, gay and bisexual service-members.
Last week, Hagel reportedly expanded upon his remarks, according to the Washington DC publication Metro-Weekly.
“I’ve not asked for a specific task force. I’ve not asked for a specific study. I would want to hear more from individuals who are close to this issue, know this issue, who I would value their judgment and their direction on,” Hagel said.
In the past decade, various US allies have repealed their own prohibitions on trans* service within their defence forces, with countries such as Australia, the UK and Canada having trans* senior officers within their ranks.
According to the former head of SLDN-Outserve and former Army Captain Allyson Robinson, the medical regulations in question need to be dealt with as a matter of national security.
“For the 15,000 transgender service members putting their lives on the line for us right now, it can’t happen too soon,” she said.