Revised Military Transgender Service Policy

Today the Department of Defense released the updated policy on military service by transgender persons and persons with gender dysphoria. This policy will take effect on 12 APR 2019. Let me begin by stating the revised military transgender service policy is not a ban on transgender individuals. There are many transgender members serving today with honor and distinction in all of the Armed Services. Consistent with our Core Values, the Coast Guard will continue to treat all members with respect and dignity, and we expect all members to treat each other with the same respect and dignity. Furthermore, we will neither deny accession into the Service, nor involuntarily separate, discharge, deny reenlistment, or limit continuation of service based solely on gender identity.

Current policy regarding transgender service remains in effect until 12 APR 2019.

ALCOAST 077/19—Update to Military Transgender Service Policy—announces the changes to the revised transgender policy that will take effect on 12 APR 2019. Under the revised policy:

  • Coast Guard members who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria before 12 APR 2019, shall be allowed to continue serving in the Coast Guard in their preferred gender and will be considered exempt under the new policy. These members will continue to serve under the current policies and procedures that govern transgender service.
  • Individuals who are diagnosed with or have a history of gender dysphoria are generally disqualified from accession or retention in the Coast Guard.
  • In-service gender transition is generally not authorized.

Upon the effective date of the new policy:

  • Applicants with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria can be accessed if they are stable in their biological sex for 36 consecutive months, have not transitioned to their preferred gender, and are willing and able to adhere to all standards associated with their birth gender.
  • Serving members who receive a diagnosis of gender dysphoria may be retained if they do not require a gender transition to protect their health and are willing and able to serve in their biological sex. Members who do not meet this criteria may be subject to separation.

At all times, service members who receive a diagnosis of gender dysphoria will receive the appropriate level of medical care they require.

The process to receive a diagnosis of gender dysphoria can be lengthy and members may be concerned that they will not receive a diagnosis before the policy changes. Commands and Senior Enlisted Advisors must educate their workforce on the transgender policy updates. A member who has been seen by a military medical provider for gender dysphoria prior to 12 APR 2019 may be considered for exempt status. Waivers and exceptions to policy will be considered on an individual basis. Questions regarding transgender and gender dysphoria should be directed to the Service Central Coordination Cell at This inbox provides privileged conversations with a team of experts on Transgender policy and other concerns.

Information on the Coast Guard’s Transgender Policy including FAQs can be found at

I ask that all leaders take the time to understand this policy change and be prepared to support any service member that needs assistance or guidance on transgender and gender dysphoria and to ensure our workforce treats each other with respect and dignity.

 RADM William G. Kelly
Assistant Commandant for Human Resources

Issue date:   03/13/2019