U.S. Air Force follows revised DoD transgender policies

In March 2021, the Defense Department recognized transgender and gender non-conforming people and their continued struggle for equality, security and dignity.

LGBTIQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning individuals.

The revised policies in these instructions essentially restore the DoD’s original 2016 policies regarding transgender service. Specifically, they prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or an individual’s identification as transgender. They also provide a means to access into the military in one’s self-identified gender, provided all appropriate military standards are met.

“Diverse backgrounds, beliefs and experiences make us a stronger workforce. We want to make sure our culture is inclusive, enabling all Airmen and Guardians to serve their country and contribute to our mission,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs John Fedrigo.

The Department of the Air Force guidance provides details on how the Department will comply with the DoD Instructions, such as the exception to policy processes. It describes how commanders consult and work with military healthcare providers to support transgender members while balancing the needs of their mission. It also provides a path for those in service for medical treatment, gender transition and recognition in one’s self-identified gender. The policy also seeks to protect the privacy of all service members and to treat them with dignity and respect at all times.

In January, President Joe Biden issued two executive orders that impacted DoD transgender individuals: Executive Order 1398, “Preventing And Combating Discrimination On The Basis Of Gender Identity Or Sexual Orientation,” and EO 14004, “Enabling All Qualified Americans To Serve Their Country In Uniform.”

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