DOD Memo Says Transgender Soldiers on Hormone Therapy Can Skip Deployments

dod memo says transgender soldiers on hormone therapy can skip deployments
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Transgender soldiers receiving hormone therapy may avoid deployment for as many as 300 days, according to a February 2023 Department of Defense memo outlining treatment at the Womack Army Medical Center (WAMC) at Fort Liberty.

The memo, first obtained and published by The Dossier, states that most service members “will require up to 300 days to be stabilized on cross-sex hormone therapy, and they will remain in a non-deployable status during that time.”

However, that timeline depends on when the service member is “clinically stabilized.”

The memo also states what other treatments and surgeries transgender troops may receive at WAMC at taxpayers’ expense.

The memo said after 12 months of hormone therapy, transgender service members can request “surgical care,” such as “upper” and “bottom” surgery.

It said transgender service members could also request surgery without first receiving hormone therapy.

The memo said “Upper” surgery can be performed at WAMC and is a covered benefit, but that surgeries that could not be performed at WAMC, to include “bottom” surgery and “voice feminization” surgery, were not covered. (All transitioning service members will be offered voice and communication therapy, the memo said).

The memo said that facial/body contouring could be performed at WAMC, but was not covered since it is considered cosmetic. Laser hair removal was not considered cosmetic, but medically necessary in the case of “bottom” surgery.

The memo said that it could take between 9-18 months to complete a gender transition, and during that time, a service member can request an exception to policy so that they could use “self-identified gender standards for uniform, grooming, fitness testing, as well as self-identified gender billeting, bathroom, and shower facilities.

The memo states that transgender service members seeking medical treatment must OK the timeline of their treatment with their unit commanders. However, a sample medical treatment plan attached to the memo said commanders “may not deny medically necessary care,” but the “timeline for specific treatments may be adjusted to minimize readiness impact.”

The memo is signed by Army Col. David Ross Zinnante, commander of the Womack Army Medical Center.

The memo provides updated guidance to WAMC staff on treating transgender troops after the Biden Administration issued its policy in April 2021 allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military.

The Biden administration’s policy reversed the Trump administration’s policy, which allowed transgender troops to serve only in their biological sex and prohibited those diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a condition where the service member was experiencing psychological distress over remaining in their biological sex.

Breitbart News contacted the Defense Health Agency for comment, but did not receive a response by deadline.

The Army last month highlighted a transgender soldier named Maj. Rachel Jones, who described her “coming out journey” as akin to “taking off a very heavy rucksack.”

“While the ruck is on you can’t move like you should, your body aches and you just want to stop. When you take the ruck off, everything feels lighter and easier and there’s a massive sense of relief,” Jones said, according to an Army article.

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Authored by Kristina Wong via Breitbart July 19th 2023