|Military Service by Transgender Persons and Persons with Gender Dysphoria|
|Ratified||March 12, 2019|
|Date effective||April 12, 2019|
|Author(s)||David L. Norquist|
Directive-type Memorandum-19-004 is a March 12, 2019 memorandum signed by David L. Norquist of the United States Department of Defense. The DTM bans most transgender individuals from serving or enlisting in the United States Armed Forces and applies to all organizational entities in the United States Department of Defense and the United States Coast Guard.
The memorandum bans new applicants who have any history of medical transition treatment. Applicants with a history of gender dysphoria are presumptively disqualified unless they've been deemed "stable" after 36 months and willing to serve under their biological sex. The DTM took effect on April 12, 2019 and is scheduled to expire on March 12, 2020.
- 1 History
- 2 Provisions
- 3 Enforcement
- 4 Retention efforts
- 5 Lawsuits
- 6 H.Res. 124
- 7 Opinion polling
- 8 Criticism
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Pretext of ban
On October 3, 2016, Donald Trump called transgender individuals serving the United States military as "politically correct", but said he would leave such decisions to top military leaders. On May 16, 2017, a letter that was signed by dozens of right-leaning groups pushing for banning transgender individuals from the United States military. After the failure of passage of House Amendment 183, an amendment to prohibit the Pentagon funding gender reassignment surgeries sponsored by Vicky Hartzler, to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, House Republicans went to Defense Secretary James Mattis to prohibit the Pentagon funding gender reassignment surgeries, who refused to immediately upend the policy. An extensive Defense Department review of the policy was already underway, but a decision wasn’t expected for months. So House Republicans went to the White House to prohibit the Pentagon funding gender reassignment surgeries. Chief strategist Steve Bannon encouraged Trump to deal with the matter now.
On July 26, 2017, President Trump tweeted he would be banning transgender personnel in the United States military. According to Politico, President Trump had always planned to ban transgender individuals from the military and prohibit the Pentagon funding gender reassignment surgeries. The tweet was a last-ditch attempt to save a House proposal full of his campaign promises that was on the verge of defeat, numerous congressional and White House sources said.
- Describes transgender military service as "special accommodations"
- No person, solely on the basis of his or her gender identity, will be denied accession, involuntarily separated or discharged, denied reenlistment or continuation of service, or subjected to adverse action or mistreatment within the United States military
- Transgender service members or applicants for accession to the United States military are subject to the same standards as cisgendered people
- When a standard, requirement, or policy depends on whether the individual is a male or a female ( e.g., medical fitness for duty; physical fitness and body fat standards; berthing, bathroom, and shower facilities; and uniform and grooming standards), all persons will be subject to the standard, requirement, or policy associated with their biological sex
- A history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria is disqualifying unless:
- As certified by a licensed mental health provider, the applicant demonstrates 36 consecutive months of stability in the applicant' s biological sex immediately preceding submission of the application without clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning; and
- The applicant demonstrates that the applicant has not transitioned to his or her preferred gender and a licensed medical provider has determined that gender transition is not medically necessary to protect the health of the individual; and
- The applicant is willing and able to adhere to all applicable standards
- A history of cross-sex hormone therapy or a history of sex reassignment or genital reconstruction surgery is disqualifying
- The accession standards will be reviewed and either maintained or changed no later than 24 months from the effective date of this DTM
- May consult with a military medical provider, receive a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and receive mental health counseling, but may not obtain a gender marker change in DEERS or serve in their preferred gender
- The United States Department of Defense and the United States Coast Guard provide equal opportunity to all Service members, in an environment free from harassment and discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation
- Separation processing will not be initiated until the enlisted Service member has been formally counseled on his or her failure to adhere to such standards and has been given an opportunity to correct those deficiencies, or has been formally counseled that his or her indication that he or she is unable or unwilling to adhere to such standards may lead to processing for administrative separation and has been given an opportunity to correct those deficiencies
- Separation processing will not be initiated until the enlisted Service member has been counseled in writing that the condition does not qualify as a disability"
- Individuals are exempt from the ban if they had before the effective date of this DTM:
- Entered into a contract for enlistment into the Military Services using DD Form 4, "Enlistment/Reenlistment Document Armed Forces of the United States," available on the DoD Forms Management Program website at https://www.esd.whs.mil/Directives/forms/, or an equivalent, or were selected for entrance into an officer commissioning program through a selection board or similar process; and
- Were medically qualified for Military Service or selected for entrance into an officer commissioning program in their preferred gender in accordance with DTM-16-005; or
- As a Service member, received a diagnosis of gender dysphoria from, or had such diagnosis confirmed, by a military medical provider
- The Secretaries of Military Departments and the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard my grant full or partial waivers on a case by case individual basis for transgender individuals who are not exempt pursuant to this policy
- Delegating waiver authority may not be delegated lower than the Military Service Personnel Chiefs for the Secretaries of Military Departments and the Assistant Commandant for Human Resources for the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard.
|Service members||Transgender with no history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria||May serve in biological sex|
|With diagnosis of gender dysphoria||May serve in preferred gender upon completing transition||May serve in biological sex. If unable/unwilling to serve in biological sex, separation procedure may apply.|
|Applicants||Transgender with no history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria||May serve in biological sex|
|With diagnosis or history of gender dysphoria||Presumptively disqualified unless stable for 18 months in preferred gender or biological sex||Presumptively disqualified unless stable for 36 months and willing and able to serve in biological sex|
|With history of medical transition treatment||Presumptively disqualified unless stable for 18 months in preferred gender or biological sex||Presumptively disqualified|
United States National Guard
Service Members may live socially in their preferred gender while off-duty. There is no policy that prohibits the ability of a Service Member to express themselves off-duty in their preferred gender. Appropriate civilian attire, as outlined in the uniform regulations, will not be determined based on gender. Regional commanders and the senior officers present may suspend or restrict the privilege of wearing preferred gender civilian attire to meet local conditions and host-nation agreements with foreign countries.
|Congress||Bill numbers||Date introduced||Sponsors||# of cosponsors||Latest status|
|116th Congress||H.R. 1032||February 7, 2019||Jackie Speier||20||House - 02/08/2019 Referred to the Subcommittee on Military Personnel.|
|116th Congress||S. 373||February 7, 2019||Kirsten Gillibrand||8||Senate - 02/07/2019 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Armed Services.|
There are currently four lawsuits challenging Directive-type Memorandum-19-004:
On March 28, 2019, the United States House of Representatives passed, with 238 yeas, 185 nays, 1 present, and 8 not voting, H.Res. 124, a non-binding resolution expressing opposition to banning service in the Armed Forces by openly transgender individuals. 
|Date(s) conducted||Support ban||Oppose ban||Don't know / NA||Margin of error||Sample||Conducted by||Polling type|
|April 9, 2019 – April 20, 2019||32%||63%||5%||3.5%||1,100 adults||PRRI||Landline and cellphone|
|January 25, 2019 – February 16, 2019||24%||59%||8%||2%||8,823 adults||Reuters / Ipsos||Online|
|January 25, 2019 – January 28, 2019||22%||70%||8%||3.1%||1,004 voters||Quinnipiac University Poll||Online|
|January 25, 2019 – January 26, 2019||41%||59%||3.7%||1,000 registered voters||The Hill / HarrisX||Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones|
|January 22, 2019 – January 23, 2019||44%||43%||13%||1,000 registered voters||Rasmussen Reports||Likely voters|
|March 25, 2018 – March 27, 2018||34%||49%||13%||3.4%||1,500 adults||The Economist / YouGov Poll||Web-based interviews|
|December 14, 2017 – December 17, 2017||23%||73%||5%||3.6%||1,001 adults||CNN / ssrs||Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones|
|August 2, 2017 – August 8, 2017||30%||64%||6%||2.7%||2,024 adults||PRRI||Landline and cellphone|
|July 27, 2017 – August 1, 2017||27%||68%||5%||3.4%||1,125 voters||Quinnipiac University Poll||Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones|
|July 27, 2017 – July 29, 2017||21%||68%||11%||2%||1,972 registered voters||Morning Consult National Tracking Poll||Online|
|July 26, 2017 – July 28, 2017||27%||58%||16%||3.2%||1,249 adults||IPSOS / REUTERS POLL DATA||Online|
|July 26, 2017 – January 27, 2017||44%||45%||11%||3%||1,000 registered voters||Rasmussen Reports||Likely voters|
Within the Democratic Party
Within the Republican Party
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Some of Trump's own supporters have expressed their opposition to Directive-type Memorandum-19-004:
- Christopher R. Barron
- Joni Ernst
- Orrin Hatch
- Tom Reed
- Kim Reynolds
- Richard Shelby
- Dan Sullivan
Organizations that support Donald Trump and oppose Directive-type Memorandum-19-004:
- Directive-type Memorandum (DTM)-19-004
- Note, Recent Social Media Posts: In Tweets, President Purports to Ban Transgender Servicemembers, 131 Harv. L. Rev. 934 (2018).
- Inside Trump’s snap decision to ban transgender troops
- Restoring America’s Military Strength: Military Readiness or Transgender Politics
- Here’s how Trump responded to a question about women and transgender individuals in the military
- 4 state National Guards have joined California in defying Trump's transgender military ban
- Polis: Colorado National Guard won't enforce Trump's ban on transgender troops
- NJ Army National Guard will defy Trump’s ban on trans military service members
- NAVADMIN 070/19
- Naval Academy to ban transgender students starting in fall 2020
- Under Roberts, Supreme Court wades into transgender debate, avoids other tough issues
- H.Res. 124: Expressing opposition to banning service in the Armed Forces by openly transgender individuals.
- Do you favor or oppose allowing transgender people to serve openly in the military?
- Do you approve or disapprove of Donald Trump issuing a ban on transgender people serving in the military?
- Cory Booker pledges to undo Trump's 'un-American' trans military ban
- People May Hate Roger Stone, But He's An LGBT Ally
- ICYMI: 56 Retired Admirals and Generals, Congressional Republicans and Democrats, and 70% of Americans Oppose President Trump’s Ban on Transgender Service Members
- Log Cabin Republicans Oppose Trump Transgender Military Statement