Recent Publications

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that unlike medical policies for non-transgender personnel, "military rules governing gender identity are decades out of date."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.

Gale S. Pollock, Major General USA (Ret.), former acting US Army Surgeon General, Co-Chair Shannon Minter, JD, Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Co-Chair | August 26, 2014

Three retired US military General Officers, including the former chief medical officer of the US Army, issued a joint statement today concluding that the military's ban on transgender service could be eliminated in a straightforward manner that is consistent with military readiness and core values. Click here to read more. Click here for the full report.

Alan Okros and Denise Scott | Armed Forces & Society | June 2, 2014

One of the most prominent debates over minority participation in the military has been whether or not inclusive policies would undermine operational effectiveness. While the adoption of inclusive policy has tended to indicate that minority participation does not compromise effectiveness, the question has not yet been tested in the context of transgender military service. In this paper, we conduct the first-ever assessment of whether policies that allow transgender troops to serve openly have undermined effectiveness, and we ask this question in the context of the Canadian Forces (CF), which lifted its transgender ban in 1992 and then adopted more explicitly inclusive policy in 2010 and 2012. Although transgender military service in Canada poses a particularly hard test for the proposition that minority inclusion does not undermine organizational performance, our finding is that despite ongoing prejudice and incomplete policy formulation and implementation, allowing transgender personnel to serve openly has not harmed the CF's effectiveness. Click here for the article.