Guard Prepares Members for Transgender Policy

Washington Report

(June 27, 2017) National Guard members have been taking part in training sessions on changes to the Defense Department transgender policy, ensuring Guard members understand the new policy changes and are in full compliance with those changes.

Beginning Saturday, a person’s gender status, including being transgender, will no longer be a disqualifying factor from enlisting in the military. That serves as an extension of a 2016 policy shift that meant currently serving transgender service members could not be discharged as a result of their transgender status.

The training sessions are being done to ensure Guard members are fully aware of the changes.

“All of this is an effort to ensure the seamless transition and the full implementation of [the] DoD policy,” said Zenia Boswell of the Army National Guard’s Personnel Policy Division.

The road to the policy change began as early as 2015, said Boswell, adding that the personnel policy division provided input to DoD policy makers on how those policy changes would affect the Guard, including issues of medical care for transgender Guard members.

“If a [Guard member] is on active duty orders, TRICARE Prime will provide gender transition medical care to service members based on medical guidance from a military provider,” she said. “If traditional [Guard members] have TRICARE Reserve Select, they would have to use that in concert with whatever civilian insurance they have, or they would have to use the civilian insurance by itself.”