Work begins to ban the ban

The people reviewing the Pentagon's ban on transgender military personnel began meeting on Wednesday.

The working group includes civilians and military personnel representing the Army, AirForce, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff according to Pentagon spokesman Matthew Allen. They will be led by Acting Undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness Brad Carson. The group is expected to submit recommendations and findings by January to Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work.

The committee of about 25 senior personnel officials from each service met Wednesday to discuss issues affecting the estimated 12,800 transgender troops who serve in silence because their condition disqualifies them under Pentagon medical regulations. Last month, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that the ban would be reviewed with the assumption that transgender troops would be able to serve openly in six months.

Issues regarding processing new service members who are transgender were a focus of the initial meeting, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details of the meeting were not authorized to be released publicly. Thus far, there has been no major opposition voiced to rescinding the ban.

Housing and uniforms are still on the docket, as well as the potential cost of medical treatment.

Not everyone is happy.

Considering the abysmal condition of our military and a decline in readiness, why is this a top priority for the Obama administration? Before changing any policy, the impact on military readiness has to be the first consideration. The Pentagon must answer whether this proposed policy makes our military more capable of performing its mission. The answer is a very clear and resounding no.

--retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, executive vice president of the Family Research Council

Justice delayed is justice denied.

--probably William Ewart Gladstone




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