The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) applauds President Biden’s executive order to end the transgender military ban. This is a vital action to restore the military’s focus on an individual’s ability and not discriminate based on one’s identity.
TAVA salutes the extraordinary example set by the transgender patriots who have served our great nation with honor and distinction since the previous administration announced its severe restrictions on transgender service members. When the Commander in Chief broke faith with them, they kept their faith in America. Their professionalism and selfless service is in keeping with the highest ideals of the profession of arms.
We are grateful for tireless efforts of Service Members, Partners, Allies for Respect and Tolerance for All (SPART*A), the Modern Military Association of America, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Palm Center, the Human Rights Campaign and so many others in paving the way for this moment.
The exemplary performance of openly serving transgender service members, and the US military’s own studies show that trans service members are an asset to military readiness. They have excelled in the most demanding, austere environments. As transgender Veterans, we know firsthand the rigors of combat and the experience of being transgender and know that gender dysphoria alone should not be a barrier to service.
TAVA President, retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Ann Murdoch said, “Transgender and gender nonconforming patriots have been serving in the US Armed Forces since 1776 with great distinction and we celebrate the fact that they can now do so openly, without fear of politically driven discrimination. Transgender troops are tough, resilient and accustomed to overcoming adversity and reflect great credit on themselves, the US military, and our great nation.”
TAVA encourages the administration to continue to work for equality for all who have served in the armed forces of this great nation and for all Americans. We hope to see protections for transgender service members established in legislation, and we hope transgender Veterans will be able to access all medically necessary care through the Department of Veterans Affairs.