Every year, transition care for transgender members of the US military costs around $5.6 million, which is a little more than a rounding error. An academic at San Francisco State University, Aaron Belkin claims that the sum amounts to 22 cents per service member per month and the annual health care budget of the military is $47.8 billion.
Belkin estimated that around 188 service members would get care annually by making a rough calculation of what happened in Australia and how many closeted transgender people currently serve in the US military.
Last month, Defense chief Ash Carter backed the open transgender admission to the US military by setting up a group to study the matter so that transgender can without adverse effect serve the military.
The fact reflects transgender people are almost twice as common in the military than in the general population. Treatment, hormone therapy, surgery and other such health care measures cost under $30000, while it takes six and a half year on average to complete the treatment, but this cost might be underestimated because in the long run, serious health conditions cost much.
A transgender intelligence officer Capt. Jennifer Peace served the army for more than 10 years. According to her, her fellow soldiers were supportive, but there were always some restrictions in the Army rules and are everyone was concerned about not crossing the line.
She gave an example that the soldiers who worked under her were told that she uses male pronouns so no one must use female pronoun to refer her. The photo above is of the transgender soldier Captain Jennifer Peace in civilian clothes to whom her own unit was supportive, but the rest of the army refused to recognize as a woman.
The group set by Carter claims that the US military may be served by 15000 transgender members, but almost none of them felt comfortable to open up like Captain Peace.
According to Carter himself, he feels the military’s regulations regarding transgender service members are “outdated”. The group he set up was given a time of 6 months only to suggest new policy implications and reject previous restrictions for the grounds of transgender member service in the military. The vision of Carter is every human being who is able and who wants to serve the military should get the opportunity to do so and everyone should enjoy equal rights, equal opportunity and equal dignity as well as equal respect which they deserve.
Last month, a White House spokesman was just short of saying that President Barack Obama thinks transgender individuals have also equal right to serve in the military as like every male and female. He told that Obama welcomed a Carter’s group review on the matter of changing the transgender policy. Though some peoples as renowned as presidential candidate Mike Huckabee criticized Carter’s decision we will have to wait to see where the story goes and whether it ends happy or tragic for the transgender community.