People First, Strength in Diversity

On 17 June 2021, the Secretary of the Army signed Army Directive (AD) 2021-22 (Army Service by Transgender Persons and Persons with Gender Dysphoria). This new policy supports Department of Defense Instruction 1300.28, In-Service Transition for Transgender Service Members, and reaffirms the Army’s commitment to People First, Strength in Diversity, and treating all Soldiers with dignity and respect while ensuring good order and discipline. Let’s take a closer look at what the policy entails.

So, What Does This Policy Do?

This policy changes the Army’s standards for retention, separation, in-service transition, and medical care for transgender personnel, as well as the accession of individuals with gender dysphoria. It will affect transgender Soldiers in several areas of their army experience like medical care, billeting, bathroom, and shower facilities, gender re-assigning in DEERS, and retention. Likewise, the new policy provides Commanders guidance on how to ensure transgender Soldiers are treated with dignity and respect, and adhering to the new standards.

How To Address Medical and Designation In DEERS

Soldiers diagnosed with gender dysphoria will receive all medically necessary treatment for gender transition. When the Soldier is stable in a self-identified gender, as determined or confirmed by a military medical provider, the Soldier may obtain a gender marker change in DEERS and serve in their self-identified gender.

It is vitally important to know that after the gender marker in DEERS is changed to show the Soldier’s self-identified gender, the Soldier should be expected to adhere to Army standards applicable to the self-identified gender. However, the change to the gender marker in DEERS does not preclude additional medical care.

Guidance On Public Facilities

Regarding public Army facilities, Soldiers will use the billeting, bathroom, and shower facilities associated with their gender marker in DEERS. However, Commanders can apply reasonable accommodations to respect the modesty or privacy interests of Soldiers. Additionally, Soldiers may not be separated, discharged, or denied reenlistment or continuation of service solely on the basis of gender identity.

Army-Wide Transgender Training

Lastly, the Army is developing education and training on transgender policy for Soldiers and DA civilians. According to the policy, All Soldiers and Civilians will undergo transgender policy training NLT 25 June 2022.

Conclusion

This article covered a lot on the new Army’s transgender policy, but Commanders, Soldiers, supervisors, and civilians are HIGHLY ENCOURAGED to read the entire policy to ensure adherence to new standards.

#ArmyTransgenderPolicy #AD2021-22

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