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Report of the Transgender Military Service Commission

March 14, 2014 Comments off

Report of the Transgender Military Service Commission (PDF)
Source: Palm Center (San Francisco State University)
From press release:

A commission co-chaired by a former US Surgeon General released a report today concluding that the Pentagon’s ban on transgender military service is not based on sound medical reasoning, according to the Associated Press. In one of the first and most detailed assessments of the basis and impact of the current policy, the Transgender Military Service Commission examined all medical and psychological aspects of transgender military service, and found inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the Pentagon’s rationale for the exclusionary policy, which remains in affect despite the scrapping of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

According to the commission’s report, “there is no compelling medical reason for the ban,” which the commissioners also found to be an “expensive, damaging and unfair barrier to health care access for the approximately 15,450 transgender personnel” who currently serve in uniform. “Medical regulations requiring the discharge of transgender personnel are inconsistent with how the military regulates all other medical and psychological conditions,” the report found, “and transgender-related conditions appear to be the only gender-related conditions that require discharge irrespective of fitness for duty.”

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One Year Out: An Assessment of DADT Repeal’s Impact on Military Readiness

September 17, 2012 Comments off

One Year Out: An Assessment of DADT Repeal’s Impact on Military Readiness (PDF)
Source: Palm Center

Prior to the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) on September 20, 2011, many observers predicted that allowing lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) troops to serve openly would harm the military. This study is the first scholarly effort to assess the accuracy of such predictions about the impact of DADT repeal on military readiness. Our conclusions are based on a consideration of all of the evidence that was available to us at the time our research was conducted, the halfyear period starting six months after repeal and concluding at the one-year mark.

We sought to maximize the likelihood of identifying evidence of damage caused by repeal by pursuing ten separate research strategies, each of which was designed to uncover data indicating that repeal has undermined the military. Our research strategies included outreach to 553 generals and admirals who predicted that repeal would undermine the military, to all major activists and expert opponents of DADT repeal and to 18 watchdog organizations, including opponents and advocates of repeal, who are known for their ability to monitor Pentagon operations. In addition, we conducted in-depth interviews with 18 scholars and practitioners and 62 active-duty heterosexual, lesbian, gay and bisexual troops from every service branch, as well as on-site field observations of four military units. We analyzed relevant media articles published during the research period, administered two surveys and conducted secondary source analysis of surveys independently administered by outside organizations. Our vigorous effort to collect data from opponents of DADT repeal, including anti-repeal generals and admirals, activists, academic experts, service members and watchdog organizations, should sustain confidence in the validity and impartiality of our findings.

Our study team includes distinguished scholars from the US Military Academy, US Air Force Academy, US Naval Academy and US Marine Corps War College, as well as scholars with internationally recognized expertise on the issue of gays in the military. Several members advised the Pentagon’s 2010 DADT working group, and one member led the team that drafted the Defense Department’s plan for implementing DADT repeal.

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