A pair of transgender military veterans recently won an important recognition victory that advocates say could have wide-reaching effects on how the U.S. armed forces treats its transgender members and veterans.
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey announced Tuesday that the U.S. Army will allow two trans veterans — Jennifer,(left) a former Sergeant Major in the U.S. Army and Nicolas, a former National Guardsman — to update the names on their discharge papers to reflect their current legal names, granting them access to their earned veteran's benefits at home and at work.
Allowing the two veterans to update "DD-214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," a key identifying document for veterans has potentially far-reaching implications for trans veterans across the U.S., notes ACLU-NJ. Currently, trans service members largely remain silent about their gender identities due to the Department of Defense's instruction 6130.03, which lists any gender-affirming treatment, surgery, or behavior as evidence of a "mental illness" that makes a candidate not fit for duty.
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