Target: Ashton B. Carter, U.S. Defense Secretary
Goal: Applaud the U.S. military for finally accepting transgender service members.
After decades of shutting transgendered people out of the military the Pentagon has lifted its ban, putting in place a number of new policies aimed at supporting trans members of the armed forces and openly accepting trans recruits. Sign the petition and thank officials for this long-overdue step forward.
Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter announced that trans service members will no longer be kicked out of the military based on their gender identity. Additionally, the military will welcome trans recruits provided that they have been certified by their doctor to be “stable in their new gender.” Recruits will then have to undergo an 18-month wait period before being able to enlist, and they must also be evaluated by a military doctor.
While the restrictions on new recruits are still not ideal, they are an immense step forward for an institution that has for years “considered transgender people to be sexual deviants who had to be discharged from service.” The Washington Post reports that even after last year’s decision to move decisions regarding the military status of trans service members up to only high-ranking officials, many members of the military “have been living in limbo.”
Carter said in a statement that the military’s goal “is to defend this country, and we don’t want barriers unrelated to a person’s qualification to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman or Marine who can best accomplish the mission.” The new policies put in place by the Defense Department acknowledge the contributions trans people have made–and continue to make–to the U.S. military. Sign the petition and applaud this significant step forward.
Dear Secretary Carter,
I am writing to congratulate you on the recent decision to openly welcome trans men and women into the U.S. military. This move has been long awaited, and I applaud the Pentagon for recognizing and valuing the contributions that trans service members have made and continue to make to the military.
The new policy allows many trans service people to breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they can no longer be discharged from the military simply for being who they are, and it opens up new opportunities for young trans men and women who dream of joining the Army, becoming Marines, flying in the Air Force, or setting sail with the Navy. In time, I hope that the policy will become even more inclusive as it becomes more well-established; for instance, it might lessen the wait time for new recruits.
I am incredibly pleased to see that the military has changed its policies to reflect what is right and just, and to offer opportunities to all those who cherish the hope of defending the U.S.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: torbakhopper