Dignity and respect: We are all soldiers
USAG DAEGU, South Korea -- On June 8, United States Army Garrison Daegu conducted training for the implementation of the Army policy on military service of transgender Soldiers at Camp Henry Theater. The purpose of the training was to educate garrison employees about Department of Defense and Army policy allowing open service of transgender Soldiers, and an overview of roles, responsibilities and associated processes.
"Starting today, otherwise qualified Service Members can no longer be involuntarily separated, discharged, or denied reenlistment or continuation of service just for being transgender."
This is a statement from U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on June 30, 2016. Since his announcement, transgender Americans can serve openly, and no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military just for being transgender. The Defense department decided that the military will conduct training over the next 9 months. The training at Camp Henry was carried out according to this decision.
The training consists of three parts. First, it provided general understanding about the newly applied Transgender Service Policy. The policy ensures all soldiers are treated with dignity and respect at all times. Once Soldier's gender transition is complete and their gender marker in Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System is changed, the Solider is expected to adhere to all military standards associated with the their gender marker in DEERS. This includes usage of billeting, bathroom and shower facilities.
The second part of the training was an emphasis on the prohibition of harassment and discrimination of transgender Soldiers. Equal opportunity policies apply to working, living, and recreational environment (on and off-post, during duty and non-duty hours). Therefore, all members of the Army must maintain good order and discipline regardless of rank. Lastly, training introduced several vignettes about what might happen concerning this agenda.
"Army is a large organization, it takes time to put out new policies," said Lt. Col. Cecile Warren, 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command EO program manager and the instructor of the training. "These trainings are needed to make sure the guidance is understood, easy to digest, and to ensure everyone has it in core when it is implemented."
The military Services will begin accessing transgender applicants who meet all standards starting from July 1. For more information, refer to the policy.