Behind the Scenes

The Palm Center’s research and communications paved the way for change by discrediting arguments that sustained military bans and illustrating the irrationality and costs of policies based on fear rather than facts. Adjacent to our public efforts, Palm worked behind the scenes to provide clear information and interpretation to military and political leaders responsible for considering and implementing new policy. Palm staff provided expertise in the form of confidential policy memos and letters explaining the meaning, impact, and context of changes that were being considered. We played a particularly robust role in educating officials tasked with lifting the transgender ban, for which we provided members of the military’s repeal working group, as well as staff in the White House and Congress, with over 20 policy memos designed to ensure that officials adopted best practices in the formulation and implementation of administrative and medical aspects of repeal. Most of our recommendations were incorporated into the inclusive policy that the Pentagon released in June 2016.

Below are several never-before-published memos and documents that Palm distributed behind the scenes to inform military and political leaders tasked with studying or advising about changes in policy. This material is not available anywhere else on our website.

Implementing Inclusive Policy for Non-Binary Service Members is Straightforward and would Promote Military Readiness, November 24, 2021

DoD’s Accession Disqualifications Related to Sexual and Reproductive Anatomy Are Unrelated to Fitness and Inconsistent with Other Standards, July 12, 2021

Insisting on One Model of Gender transition would Contradict Medical Consensus, June 2016

Letter to General Mark Milley, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, May 24, 2016

Letter to Senior Pentagon Official, May 8, 2016

Military Policy on Transgender Personnel is Illegal Because it Discriminates on the Basis of Sex, May 2016

Letter From Dr. Wylie C. Hembree, October 25, 2015

The Use of Unless Factors in Novel Circumstances in Medical Accession Regulations, October 25, 2015

Passports, Not State Documents, are Optimal Evidence for DEERS, October 19, 2015

Trans-Restrictive Accession Policy Would be “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” All Over Again, September/October 2015

Responding to Concerns About Comorbidities, August 2015

Unintended Consequences in Crafting New Policy for Transgender Military Personnel, July 2015

Congressional Research Service Guidance on Medical Treatment for Transgender Service Members, July 2015

Does Congress Prohibit the Veterans Health Administration from Providing Gender-Transition Surgery to Transgender Veterans?, December 2014