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Navy will allow off-duty sailors to 'live socially' according to their preferred gender, but not on duty
For transgender people in the U.S. military, April is shaping up to be a bittersweet month. But mostly bitter.
Just a few days before the implementation of President Trump's ban on transgender troops, a clarification from the Navy on the dress code of sailors could be perceived as a consolation prize, but it might feel like a slap in the face.
In a recently released administrative message, Navy officials said that sailors were free to "live socially" in their preferred gender while not on duty. They do, however, still need to conform to the standards associated with their biological gender while in uniform.
The clarification comes nearly a month after a memo signed by Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist introduced the current version of the Trump ban: Individuals have to serve in their birth gender, and transgender personnel are banned from transitioning to their self-identified gender.
It is unclear how the announcement of the Navy's "don't ask just dress" policy will improve the lives of transgender individuals who are currently serving, or who want to serve in the Navy.
Bree Fram, communications director at the LGBTQ military advocacy group SPART*A, saw the move as a positive step. Speaking to NBC News, Fram said that the organization is "thrilled," and that the Navy is giving sailors the liberty to be who they are. "The Navy is taking care of its transgender service members by giving them the option to dress and express themselves as they choose."
But with the ban, which goes in effect Friday, transgender individuals who haven't been "grandfathered in" are effectively barred from serving, even with the Pentagon's continual refusal to call it a ban.
When speaking to the Daily News about the ban, Chase Strangio, a staff attorney with the ACLU's LGBT & HIV Project said the Trump administration is "essentially saying that, in court and publicly, that 'oh, it's not a ban because as long as [transgender people] have never had any medical treatment, as long as they've never taken a step to transition, [they] can serve as long as they do so in their assigned sex.'" he said. However, "that literally defines a trans person."
The new guidelines will, technically, let sailors live as who they are — just as long as they do it during selected hours. The Navy announcement reminds sailors that "there is no policy that prohibits the ability of a service member to express themselves off-duty in their preferred gender," officials wrote. "Appropriate civilian attire, as outlined in the uniform regulations, will not be determined based on gender."
In practice, it asks people to act as if they were of a different gender, simply by putting on an uniform.
"Gender is a fundamental aspect of a person's identity," Shannon Minter, the director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights Legal Director told NBC News. "It cannot be turned on and off like a switch, and the very notion of requiring a non-transgender person to do so would be immediately recognized as cruel and unworkable. It is equally cruel and unworkable for transgender people."
©2019 New York Daily News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
WATCH NEXT: What It's Like Being Transgender in The Military
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.