WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today SPARTA, the nation’s leading transgender military service organization, joins the thousands of transgender service members across the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security in celebrating the release of new guidance that provides a path to open service.
“This policy provides much-needed clarity to our service members,” said Melody Stachour, who currently serves as a Navy Chief Petty Officer. “Allowing them to complete their transitions in a timely fashion and quickly resume their day to day mission within our armed services.”
This guidance is a welcome reprieve for the thousands of individuals whose lives and careers have been disrupted during the tumultuous transition from the 2016 open service policy to the 2017 implementation of the transgender ban. Now, they are excited for this opportunity that allows for open service once again. Additionally a new accessions policy allows for the recruitment of new transgender service members.
“We applaud this step to ensure the Department of Defense provides inclusive policy to attract and retain the best and brightest our nation has to offer,” said Vice President of SPARTA Bree Fram, a U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. “Military personnel reach maximum effectiveness when they have access to all medically necessary care and we are excited that this policy extends that access to transgender service members. Additionally, opening recruitment to transgender individuals ensures an extremely talented and motivated pool of people that this country needs have the opportunity to serve in uniform.”
The policy is a close mirror of the previous 2016 guidance, which first enabled open service by transgender individuals in the United States Military. The new guidance includes expanded information on transition while on duty, updated roles and responsibilities for DoD personnel, and other administrative and functional updates.
“We’re extremely happy to see a return to open service,” said SPARTA Communications Director LeAnne Withrow, who is also a Staff Sergeant in the Army National Guard. “This new, more inclusive policy will enhance the force and strengthen America’s military by ensuring that qualified, capable service members are both able to serve and to receive the medical care they are entitled to.”
Individual service components are expected to release service-specific guidance in the near future. For more information, including the latest news on policy changes affecting transgender service members, follow us at www.spartapride.org.
New In Service Policy: https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/130028p.pdf?ver=KCzHVWyPPggepQqQQ6SvvQ%3d%3d
New Accession Policy: https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/613003v1p.PDF?ver=7cPFjXiGqfqNSF2HHw-X6w%3d%3d