NASW calls on President Trump to rescind plan to ban people who are transgender from the military


militarytransgenderThe National Association of Social Workers (NASW) calls on President Trump to rescind his plan to ban people who are transgender from serving in the U.S. military.

This change, tweeted on the implementation of a policy change made by the Obama Administration, is blatantly disrespectful to and clearly disregards the honorable service of all transgender and gender non-conforming service members.

NASW is against the military ban and any form of discrimination, including discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.

The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the opening of combat roles to women, and lifting the ban on transgender people share a common value: that a career in the military and military job assignments should be based on merit and not on gender, gender identity or sexuality orientation.

The ban is also unjustified because people who are transgender already play an integral role in the military. The Williams Institute estimates there are more than 15,000 active duty members of the military and 134,000 veterans who are transgender.

President Trump’s rationale for the ban is that the military would be burdened with “tremendous medical costs and disruption” if people who are transgender continue to serve.

However, a 2016 RAND study commission by the U.S. Department of Defense notes allowing people who are transgender to serve openly would have a minimal impact on readiness and health care costs.

As a result, President Trump’s decision to enact this ban is manifestly discriminatory and unnecessary. NASW will continue to stand with people who are transgender to ensure they achieve equal treatment in the military and throughout our society.


  1. From the perspective of an active duty soldier: Jeremy B: “My unit was just briefed on the current regulations for transgender soldiers. The rules for bathrooms and barracks for a person transitioning do no create a clear solution or accommodation. (That last word is key, I’ll get to that in a moment). As it stands now, a person with male genitalia, but full breasts, and dresses like a female, would stay in male barracks, and shower in male open bay showers. As in an open room with multiple shower heads on the wall.

    As for what gender a trans soldier is graded as on the army physical fitness test, they are to be graded as their original gender until a doctor signs off that they have completed their transition. This means that a male soldier could be taking hormone suppressors to become female, but while in transition begin failing the PT test as a male because of said hormones. And this could carry on for over year. There is no accommodation for this. The soldier would be counseled and do remedial PT for failing to meet the minimum standards.

    Back to that word accommodation. The military is and has to be a highly mobile force, who’s soldiers can live and operate in remote locations, with minimal creature comforts. A tent with 14 cots, port-a-pottys, shower trailers with no privacy. It cannot afford to accommodate special needs. If you have asthma, you can’t serve. There’s nothing bad about you. You just have a special need. And the same thing goes for someone who’s transgender, and especially someone who is transitioning. Serving in the military is not a right. It is only for those who are the most able-bodied, and can pull their own weight without help. Needing special showers and living accommodations is an impediment to operational needs.”

  2. Transgendered. So sorry about the previous typo.

  3. http://Www.military. com/joined-armed-forces/disqualifiers-medical-conditions.html. I have no problem with a trange derived person serving our country as long as xe meets the criteria listed.

  4. Thank you for speaking up against this ban! Proud that I am a member of an association that is taking a stand. Now is the time to stick behind transgender individuals as well as our veterans.

  5. Proud to be a transgender vet and a social worker.

    Thanks to the NASW for speaking up!

  6. This is why I am proud to be a social worker! Thank you, NASW!

  7. Laura Dion LCSW

    Equality EVERY WHERE makes America great!

  8. Transgender people are not a burden to the military or to the people of America. Transgender people are people. They are people that want to serve their country and should have the right to so. I would be honored and proud for a transgender person to serve in the military. Just like I am proud of those currently serving and have served.

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