Transgender airmen who are “transitioning” are now allowed to skip their physical fitness tests. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James made it so by releasing the new “Air Force Policy Memorandum for In-Service Transition for Airmen Identifying as Transgender,” on October 6th.
Transgender Airmen who are in the middle of hormone treatment can ask to skip their physical fitness tests “during their period of transition, prior to a gender marker change in the MilPDS,” if they have already failed a test.
Deborah James said in a statement, “This is another step in allowing transgender Airmen to serve openly, receive medical care relating to gender transition and allow transgender individuals to join the Air Force…Our strengths as a military are the quality and character of our people, and those things that make us unique are the same things that make us strong.”
If a transgender person does fail a fitness test as the gender they are transitioning from then the Airman’s commander must certify that the transgender person “tried to the best of their ability to meet the standards associated with their current gender” that they are transitioning away from.
Air Force headquarters to make a decision based on the Commander’s letter.
In the memo, transgender Airmen may request to change dress and appearance standards prior to fully transitioning. The memo clarifies that, “Until an ETP request has been approved, transgender Airmen must adhere to their current gender’s dress and appearance standards as reflected in MilPDS.”
The memo also states that, “The request will require supporting justification, an assessment by their immediate commander, and further recommendations by their chain of command” before being approved by Air Force headquarters, it states.
No later than July 1, 2017 all U.S. military branches will allow transgender people to join and these rules apply to all existing transgender Airmen and all that will join in the future.
This comes on the heels of the government announcing that tax payers will be paying for transgender sex changes and transitional operations for transgender military personnel.