Air Force Academy will no longer allow transgender students to enroll

Air Force Academy will no longer allow transgender students to enroll
© Getty

Transgender people selected for the U.S. Air Force Academy after April 12 will not be permitted to enroll in the academy unless they meet the Defense Department’s new criteria, a spokesperson told The Hill.

“If they were selected before that though they would fall under the earlier policy,” Air Force Academy spokesperson Tracy Bunko said in a statement on the policy.

“Because being at the Air Force Academy leads to a commission in the Air Force they must meet DOD military commissioning standards,”  she added.

ADVERTISEMENT
Under the Pentagon’s new rules, which went into effect Friday, transgender people are only allowed to serve under their biological sex. People who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria will not be allowed to serve unless they have not and do not plan to transition, will serve under their biological sex and are certified stable for 36 months by a medical professional.

The Air Force Academy does not have a separate policy from the Defense Department. The Pentagon has said that the policy is not a ban on transgender individuals serving in the military.

"I would reiterate that the department will continue to treat all individuals with dignity and respect, and every service member is able to express their gender identity," Pentagon spokeswoman Jessica Maxwell said in an email Friday. "DOD will take no action solely based on gender identity."

The Capital Gazette first reported that the U.S. Naval Academy will also bar transgender people from enrolling beginning with the class of 2020. 

"Our understanding is that the policy will go into effect for those students applying to enter the Naval Academy in 2020, beginning with the Class of 2024," a Naval Academy spokesperson told The Hill in a statement.

Transgender troops had been serving openly since 2016, when then-President Obama lifted a ban.