The Pentagon on Friday announced that transgender individuals can now serve openly in U.S. armed forces.
U.S. defence chief Ash Carter said this at a press conference in Washington.
“Effective immediately, transgender Americans may serve openly, and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military just for being transgender.
“Americans who want to serve and can meet our standards should be afforded the opportunity to compete to do so,’’ Carter said, adding that the policy will be phased in during a one-year period.
According to 2014 study by RAND Corporation, about 2,500 people out of roughly 1.3 million U.S. active-duty service members and about 1,500 out of 825,000 reserve service members are transgender.
He said that the end of the ban on transgender service was the latest step by the Pentagon to be more inclusive.
However, the U.S. military has also ended the ban on gays serving openly and opened all combat jobs to women.