Dennis wrote an excellent article asking the critical question, “Where are our Admirals and Generals in time of need?” Well, I found one, and he is indeed a very high-ranking one, since I received his message by way of a source who is a good friend I have eliminated his name and title, but rest assured, it is accurate. So, folks here is where our Admirals and Generals are, and I apologize, but I simply could not stop myself from making some comments (in red):
Fellow Flags Officers,
After a year-long review, (by who? It was Rand Corp.) Secretary of Defense Carter announced yesterday that the Department of Defense is rescinding the ban on transgender individuals serving in the U.S. military.
That means that effective immediately, transgender individuals may serve openly, and will no longer be discharged or separated from the military solely for being transgender. However, that does not mean that Sailors can begin transitioning tomorrow. In other words, transgender Sailors should remain in the uniform and assigned to berthing facilities that correspond to their birth gender, as recognized by the Navy in DEERS, for now. (wonder how that’s working?) This policy change will be implemented in stages over the next 12 months – starting most immediately with addressing the needs of current service members (which ones?) and their commanders.
For those transgender service members already serving in uniform today, OSD will delegate authority to Navy and the other services the authority to approve transition plans no later than Oct. 1 (90 days after this announcement). Service members will then be able to begin the process to officially change their gender in our personnel management systems. It will be a deliberate and methodical process that considers the individuals’ desires and medical needs, but also ensures the involvement of our commanders so that operational impacts and timing are taken into consideration, when medical considerations allow. (Yeah right, operational requirements will always take priority .. NOT!) That process is in the final stages of development, being refined by a Navy-wide working group. We are on track to release that in advance of the 1 October OSD timeline.
Additionally, in order to serve the Fleet, we are developing training so that this change proceeds smoothly across the Navy – just like the repeal of DADT did. Our plan is for training to be conducted by command triads via mobile training teams or DVDs with a facilitation guide if the unit is in a remote area and unable to receive face-to-face training. There will be webinars for COs to ask questions prior to delivering training to their commands. There will also be a DoD guide and a Commander’s Tool Kit (I’d love to see one of these.) designed to help provide resources, guidance and answer questions. We expect those products to be available by Oct 1, and we will conduct training in a deliberate manner over the next year, except those units with currently serving transgender members will be front-loaded to ensure we do not delay their respective transition plans. (OMG, we can’t allow that to happen).
I have attached both the OSD and Navy talking points, (in plain language, this term means propaganda) which include a bit more detail on the implementation timeline over the next year. We also issued a release (Nine Things You Need to Know – http://navylive.dodlive.mil/?p=37142) yesterday so Sailors understand what this announcement means to them. Additionally, a call center will stand up 5 July, so if Sailors have questions, they can talk to someone. That number will be: 1-855-628-311 (1-855-NAVY-311). Sailors will need to follow a series of prompts – or they can email: Navy311@navy.mil.
We do not anticipate this to involve large numbers of folks. (Really? That’s funny, and something I would not bet on). As of today, we have six formal written requests from Sailors asking to shift uniforms and berthing assignments that arrived prior to yesterday’s policy announcement. We are aware of approximately 20 other cases that will likely result in requests to transition. Various studies have projected anywhere from 400-4000 transgender service members on active duty today in all of DoD, but we just do not know at this point. There will be more information available in the coming months as we develop our (notice whose plan?) implementation plan.
Standing by for any questions.