The Navy is considering changing its policy on how it deals with transgender sailors to match that of the Air Force and Army.
When a service member is discovered to be a transgender, all it takes is the authority of a commanding officer to recommend a discharge, but an anonymous Navy official stated that the authority will soon rest with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
The Washington Examiner reported that the Navy’s modified policy will probably include elevating a potential dismissal of a sailor to at least the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Manpower and Reserve Affairs, according to a Navy official who requested anonymity.
The Defense Department’s current policy prevents all transgender service members from openly serving, but in recent months both the Army and the Air Force have announced policy modifications that require each individual case be provided a high-level review. On Thursday, the Navy indicated it is following suit.
“The Navy is looking to elevate the administrative separation authority for transgender personnel to ensure that this important issue receives the right level of review,” Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Ed Early said.
Early said while the policy would affect Navy personnel, he did not know if it would extend to the Marine Corps, which is part of the Navy Department. The Washington Examiner reached out to the Marine Corps late Thursday for comment but none was immediately available.
At present, sailors who are discovered to be transgender are administratively separated from the military.
For an enlisted person, that process requires only a commanding officer’s recommendation; for officers, their cases are elevated to at least the Navy’s assistant secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
Since President Obama repealed the 17-year-old “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” policy in 2011, gay and lesbian service members have been allowed to serve openly. The change announced Tuesday officially elevates sexual preference to the same protected status as race, gender, religion, nationality and age for men and women in uniform.
H/T Daily Caller
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