Secretary of Defense Ash Carter made the decision nearly a year after indicating his intention to change the outdated law, and we're happy to see he kept his word!
Ash explained his controversial decision during a press conference at the Pentagon on Thursday, saying:
"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."
Way to go, Ash!
However, there are still some stipulations…
1. Current trans active duty who wish to change their gender may officially start to do so on October 1, 2016 — granting them their desired identity in the system as well as medical care.
2. New transgender individuals may start enlisting on July 1, 2017.
3. Trans people must be their desired gender for 18 months in order to enlist.