The Pentagon has published new guidance for all military processing commands on how examiners are to treat and evaluate transgender recruits if current court rulings hold and allow enlistment on Jan. 1.
The seven-page guidance gives detailed instructions on how recruits should be treated along the way, including providing private examination areas where possible and even outlining guidance on underwear.
It also includes a major change in the initial recruiter interview, directing recruiters not to screen out potential enlistees based on any initial information they provide on a medical pre-screening reports. Other directions address how a recruit’s identify should be verified when the recruit identifies as a sex other than their biological sex.
The guidance directs applicants to wear men’s underwear if male genitalia has not been removed, even if the applicant identifies as female. It also still requires a pregnancy test and female undergarments for applicants who identify as male, but retain female anatomy.
Any applicant who has undergone sex reassignment surgery will need to show 18 months of stability prior to entering the military. A new applicant who identifies as transgender but has not undertaken any legal or medical steps to identify as their identified gender will be assigned a date of return to come back after they have had 18 months in their preferred gender, according to the memo.
Tara Copp is the Pentagon Bureau Chief for Military Times and author of the award-winning military nonfiction "The Warbird: Three Heroes. Two Wars. One Story."