Pathbreaking transgender sailor forced to resign amid sexual misconduct charge she denies

news
Alexandra Marberry (U.S. Navy)

Alexandra Marberry, after graduating from the Naval Academy, became one of the nation's first transgender women allowed to transition while serving in the military.

More than two years later, Marberry is fighting the Navy to clear her record of sexual misconduct she maintains she did not commit. She believes she was targeted for being transgender.


In a GoFundme page posted Saturday, Marberry explains the circumstances surrounding her discharge and asks for help paying back the $59,621.62 she now owes for failing to complete her service obligation after graduating from the Naval Academy.

In October 2016, Marberry was permitted to transition while on active duty, after spending time in limbo. She planned to train as a pilot, but while awaiting further guidance from the Defense Department, worked in an administrative role at the Naval Academy.

That year, the Defense Department under former President Barack Obama rolled out a new policy allowing transgender service members to transition to their gender identity during service. President Donald Trump rolled back these protections, first outright banning transgender people from serving in the military via Twitter. The Defense Department later refined the ban to place significant restrictions on transgender people who might want to serve.

Under the updated policy, transgender people who want to serve in the military can do so as long as they do not wish to transition so that their biological sex matches their gender identity. The Supreme Court last month upheld the amended ban while lawsuits move through the courts, but there is still one injunction barring the administration from carrying it out.

From January 2017 to September 2017, Marberry served as a gunnery and ordinance officer on the USS Winston S. Churchill. In June, a commanding officer called her into a meeting and told her she had to be off the ship in an hour, she said.

Marberry was forced to resign, she wrote on the GoFundme page, after another officer accused her of groping. She denies the accusation.

"I had been falsely accused of groping a transphobic officer who I had originally believed was an ally," she wrote.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service launched an investigation, which found no evidence of misconduct and recommended no further action, Marberry wrote. During the investigation, she was reassigned to an administrative position in Little Creek, Virginia.

Her commanding officer held a non-judicial punishment hearing, an administrative hearing that allows commanders to discipline troops without a court-martial, and found her guilty, Marberry said.

An NCIS official did not immediately respond to questions about the investigation.

A superior officer recommended discharging her from the Navy, Marberry wrote.

"I fought that too, but eventually it came down to a choice I was offered: resign or be forcefully separated," Marberry wrote. "I 'chose' to resign with dignity, but the misconduct was placed on my permanent record, and my discharge was not the full Honorable discharge I should have received."

She submitted her resignation in June. The Navy formally separated Marberry in October.

Marberry is working with lawyers to get her debt erased and her service record changed to remove the misconduct, she she said during a phone conversation Thursday, which has kept her from getting jobs.

———

©2019 The Capital (Annapolis, Md.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

SEE ALSO: Here's What The Data Actually Says About Transgender Military Service

WATCH NEXT: A Transgender Airman's Story

Supporters of Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr carry placards depicting U.S. President Donald Trump at a protest against what they say is U.S. presence and violations in Iraq, duri in Baghdad, Iraq January 24, 2020. (REUTERS/Alaa al-Marjani)

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Iraqis rallied in central Baghdad on Friday calling for the expulsion of U.S. troops, but the protest mostly dissipated after a few hours despite fears of violence following a cleric's call for a "million strong" turnout.

Populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr convened the march after the U.S. killing of an Iranian general and an Iraqi paramilitary chief in Baghdad this month. His eventual decision to hold it away from a separate anti-government protest camp, and away from the U.S. embassy, looked pivotal in keeping the march peaceful.

Read More
World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient Maj. Bill White, who at 104 is believed to be the oldest living Marine, has received a remarkable outpouring of cards and support from around the world after asking the public for Valentine's Day cards. "It hit me like a ton of bricks. I still can't get over it," he said. (CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD)

STOCKTON — Diane Wright opened the door of an apartment at The Oaks at Inglewood, the assisted care facility in Stockton where she is the executive director. Inside, three people busily went through postal trays crammed with envelopes near a table heaped with handmade gifts, military memorabilia, blankets, quilts, candy and the like.

Operation Valentine has generated a remarkable outpouring of support from around the world for retired United States Marine, Maj. Bill White. Earlier this month, a resident at The Oaks, Tony Walker, posted a request on social media to send Valentine's Day cards to the 104-year-old World War II veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart.

Walker believed Maj. White would enjoy adding the cards to his collection of memorabilia. The response has been greater than anyone ever thought possible.

Read More

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

A spokesman for the Taliban has told a Pakistani newspaper that the militant group is hoping to reach an Afghan peace deal with U.S negotiators by the end of January.

The comments by Suhail Shaheen on January 18 to the Dawn newspaper come after negotiators from the Taliban and the United States met for two days of talks in Qatar.

Read More
The three Americans killed in a C-130 crash in Australia on Thursday were all veterans (left to right) Ian H. McBeth, of the Wyoming and Montana Air National Guard; Paul Clyde Hudson, of the Marine Corps; and Rick A. DeMorgan Jr., of the Air Force. (Coulson Aviation courtesy photo)

The three Americans killed in a C-130 air tanker crash while fighting Australian bushfires on Thursday were all identified as military veterans, according to a statement released by their employer, Coulson Aviation.

The oldest of the three fallen veterans was Ian H. McBeth, a 44-year-old pilot who served with the Wyoming Air National Guard and was an active member of the Montana Air National Guard. McBeth "spent his entire career flying C-130s and was a qualified Instructor and Evaluator pilot," said Coulson Aviation. He's survived by his wife Bowdie and three children Abigail, Calvin and Ella.

Read More

MIAMI/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he will release details of his long-delayed peace plan for the Middle East before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his election rival Benny Gantz visit the White House next week.

The political aspects of the peace initiative have been closely guarded. Only the economic proposals have been unveiled.

Read More