The White House announced the new executive order, which fulfills Biden’s campaign promise to undo Trump’s transphobic policy.
"President Biden believes that gender identity should not be a bar to military service, and that America’s strength is found in its diversity," a press release from the White House reads. "All Americans who are qualified to serve in the armed forces of the United States should be able to serve. The all-volunteer force thrives when it is composed of diverse Americans who can meet the rigorous standards for military service, and an inclusive military strengthens our national security."
According to the White House, the executive order "immediately prohibits involuntary separations, discharges, and denials of reenlistment or continuation of service on the basis of gender identity or under circumstances relating to gender identity."
The new policy emphasizes that “all transgender individuals who wish to serve in the United States military and can meet the appropriate standards shall be able to do so openly and free from discrimination." The secretary of defense and secretary of homeland security have 60 days to update Biden’s administration on how it will implement the new federal mandate.
Under the executive order, each branch of the military is required to reach out to former troops and service members who may have involuntarily discharged, denied reenlistment, or otherwise ceased to serve because of discrimination they faced over their gender identify. "Where appropriate, the department concerned shall offer such individuals an opportunity to rejoin the military should they wish to do so and meet the current entry standards," the order reads.
Each military branch is also required to confirm currently enlisted service members’ preferred gender identity.