At least two transgender cadets in the US will be stuck in limbo after they graduate—as the Pentagon is yet to introduce procedures to accept them, LGBTQ Nation reports.
In 2016, the ban on transgender troops was lifted by then-Defence Secretary Ash Carter who said at the time that: “Americans who want to serve and can meet our standards should be afforded the opportunity to compete to do so.”
“Our mission 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,” said Carter.
However, nearly a year has gone by since the announcement and the Pentagon is yet to update its medical policy.
“Currently, there is an Air Force Academy cadet who has identified as a transgender individual,” said Lt. Col. Allen Herritage, an academy spokesperson.
“The cadet can graduate. But, per the current transgender policy, this cadet cannot commission into the Air Force.
“However, we are strongly recommending this individual for Air Force civil service as an option for continued service after the academy.”
An Army spokesperson also confirmed a military cadet who identified as transgender would not be able to commission “per the current Department of Defence medical accessions policy.”
The new policy is expected to be developed later this year but continues to leave transgender cadets in limbo.