President Biden’s “Enabling All Qualified Americans to Serve Their Country in Uniform” Executive Order will not only allow for transgender people to serve but also allow them to undergo transition surgery on the federal dime.
This was a reversal after former President Trump made a decision that didn’t permit transgenders from joining.
The order states, “These steps shall include establishing a process by which transgender service members may transition gender while serving, along with any further steps that the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Homeland Security deem appropriate to advance the policy described in section 1 of this order.”
Section 1 being, “All Americans who are qualified to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States (“Armed Forces”) should be able to serve. The All-Volunteer Force thrives when it is composed of diverse Americans who can meet the rigorous standards for military service, and an inclusive military strengthens our national security.”
Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin released a statement on the same day that backed up Biden’s executive order.
In it, he said the new policy will “also ensure all medically-necessary transition related care authorized by law is available to all Service members and will re-examine all cases of transgender Service members that may be in some form of adverse administrative proceedings.”
According to a study conducted by the federal government in 2017 titled, “Transgender Health Care in the U.S. Military and Veterans Health Administration Facilities,” there are an estimated 15,000 service members and 134,000 veterans who consider themselves transgender.
Transition surgeries can range from $100,000-$200,000, illustrated by the Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery.
An investigation from USA Today showed in 2019 spent $8 million on 1,500 service members on hormonal treatment and minor surgeries alone.