September 21, 2020

After Pentagon Issues New Rules on Transgender Military Ban, Updated Memo Identifies Quick Path to Ending It

Revised Palm Center Blueprint Shows Inclusive Policy Can Still Be Restored in Under 30 Days

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The Palm Center has released a revised version of a July memo explaining that the military’s transgender ban can easily be reversed in under thirty days. The memo was authored by retired Rear Admiral Alan Steinman, M.D., the former Surgeon General equivalent of the U.S. Coast Guard, and was needed because the Pentagon issued a new Instruction governing transgender service.

The revised Palm memo explains that the Defense Department has reorganized regulations that govern transgender military policy, so the Palm Center updated its July blueprint to reference current regulations, and revised the one-page Appendix outlining the steps needed to end the ban.

“The new Pentagon regulations don’t change the fact that the transgender ban can be reversed with a few simple steps that restore a policy of full inclusion,” said Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center. “The military has a model of inclusive policy already in use for the transgender troops who serve today under grandfathered protection, so ending the ban will be just as quick and straightforward as when we first released this blueprint.”

The Palm memo, according to coverage in The New York Times, “says the Pentagon would not need to spend months studying how to allow transgender people to serve” because the Trump administration had to leave inclusive policy partially in place to govern service by troops who were grandfathered in under the 2016 inclusive policy.