For the first time, the Pentagon has outlined details on how transgender people will be processed into the military, saying individuals can join according to their "preferred" gender.
A Department of Defense memo dated Dec. 8, explains that if an applicant's preferred gender is different than their birth sex, they may present a birth certificate, court order or passport indicating their preferred sex and will be processed into the military under that gender, NBC News reported.
Room assignments, height and weight standards, medical exams, underwear requirements, and bathroom assignments will be determined based on the "preferred" gender, even when the individual retains "the anatomical characteristics of their birth sex," the memo says.
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Both male and female applicants who have undergone sex reassignment surgery or genital reconstruction will be disqualified from joining the military unless they have been physically and emotionally stable for at least 18 months.
The Department of Defense will process transgender applicants for military service on Jan. 1, 2018, as mandated by recent court orders.