Recent Publications

Gale S. Pollock, Alan M. Steinman, and Clara Adams-Ender | March 18, 2015

In this letter, the authors argue that there is no medically valid reason for prohibiting transgender applicants from enlisting in the military, for presuming that they are less fit for duty or assignment than other applicants, or for presuming them unfit unless they receive a waiver. And, more generally, there is no need to presume all members of a group are unfit when the regulations already contain generally applicable standards to assess medical risk.

Aaron Belkin & Diane Mazur | January 22, 2015

Beginning with President Harry Truman's 1948 executive order2 declaring "the policy of the President" to be "equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin," commanders-in-chief have taken direct, personal action to ensure equality of treatment for service members. Presidential leadership has been a critical factor in preserving, in Truman's words, the "highest standards of democracy" in the military, "with equality of treatment and opportunity for all those who serve in our country's defense."

Diane H. Mazur | Palm Center | November 26, 2014

Retired General and Flag Officers, including Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, Major General Vance Coleman, and Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett, endorsed a Palm Center report showing that the Army, Air Force, and Navy/Marines have failed to comply with new DOD rules on transgender personnel. On August 5, 2014, DOD issued a regulation eliminating some restrictions on the retention of transgender personnel. The new DOD regulation only allows Services to designate conditions as administratively disqualifying if those conditions "interfere with assignment to or performance of duty." The DOD regulatory change obligates the individual Services to update their own rules accordingly, yet none of them have done so. Instead, they all retain automatic disqualifications for transgender individuals, rendering Service regulations out of compliance with DOD rules. Click here to read more. Click here for the full report.

Diane H. Mazur | Palm Center | October 1, 2014

An October 2014 report underscored the discriminatory nature of policies concerning transgender personnel. Palm Center Legal Co-Director and retired law professor Diane Mazur identified six inconsistencies distinguishing how military medical policies govern transgender and non-transgender members. Mazur found that: "two different standards can apply to comparable medical care, or even the same medical care, depending on whether the service member is transgender or not." While most military health regulations assess medical risk based on individual evaluation and ability to perform duty, the rules for gender identity wrongly "presume all transgender personnel are unfit and render their duty performance irrelevant." Mazur concludes that unlike medical policies for non-transgender personnel, "military rules governing gender identity are decades out of date." Click here for the full report.