Highlights of the yearlong plan to end the ban on transgender people serving in the military and allow transgender people to enlist and those already serving to change their gender identity:
— Effective Thursday, no otherwise qualified service member can be forced out of the military or denied reenlistment.
— Effective Oct. 1, transgender troops already serving will be able to receive medical care and begin formally changing their gender identifications in the Pentagon's personnel system. The Pentagon will also develop training materials by that date.
— By Nov. 1, the military services will issue plans to implement the new policy and a written plan to train and educate the force.
— By July 1, 2017, the military services will begin allowing transgender individuals to enlist, as long as they meet required standards and have been stable in their identified genders for 18 months.
— Under the policy, people with gender dysphoria, a history of medical treatments associated with gender transition and those who have had reconstruction surgery may be disqualified as military recruits unless a medical provider certifies that they have been clinically stable in the preferred gender for 18 months, and are free of significant impairment.
— Service members must use the bathrooms, housing, uniforms and fitness standards of their birth gender until they complete their transition, have a doctor's recommendation and a commander's approval, and are legally listed in the Defense Department's personnel system as their preferred gender.
— The military will provide health care coverage for any necessary medical care or treatment, including surgery. Cosmetic changes would not be included.
— The new policy gives commanders the flexibility to provide certain accommodations to troops going through gender transition, including changes in jobs, housing, training, deployments, or bathroom and shower use.
The think tank RAND estimates there are between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender service members in the active duty military, and 1,500 to 4,000 in the reserves.