Just four days before America’s Independence Day, the Pentagon has officially announced that transgender people will now be allowed to serve openly in the U.S. military. Defense Secretary Ash Carter brought the historical decision. At a news conference, Carter said the policy change will take a year to come into full effect. During this time, guidance will be given to current transgender service members and their commanders, with subsequent training for the entire military as a whole.
“Americans who want to serve and can meet our standards should be afforded the opportunity to compete to do so,” Carter said at the conference. “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.”
Although a majority of military leaders have shared their concerns regarding the pace of the process, believing more time is needed to work out all of the details, Carter said he has met with the military leaders, revised the timeline of the plan and claims that now the military as a whole is in agreement with the timeline.
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