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Transitioning while in the Reserves


Anybody done this, or doing this (in Guard or Select Reserves)?

In theory, it should be entirely possible in today's day and age. In practice, I wonder about the Reserves' culture of "don't let your personal life impact your service."

Many years ago, transitioning before any prior service would prohibit a person from initial enlistment. The same regulation would not prohibit re-enlistment if a service member transitioned. I read the Army regulations on this matter.

Commissioned officers are a whole differrent situation. These commissions are authorized by an act of the US Congress, which as we found out recently, really depends on who the current elected officials are and their own policy on this matter.

A few years ago, I personally know of one service member who started their transition within just a few years of their 20 year retirement. Transitioning while in the reserves can be done and in today's social enviorment, I would only expect difficulty if the service member is assigned to a unit that does not allow certain genders in their ranks. Think combat arms if you are transitioning MTF. This may change in the near future.

I wish that I could give you a more positive answer, but the political winds keep changing every time I look up for a weather report.  :'(

Yeah, watching the policy whipsaw back and forth over the past 10 years has not inspired confidence in a stable policy. Looking at DoDI 1300.28 (April 2021) The latest policies are:

"These policies are based on the conclusion that open service by transgender persons who are subject to the same high standards
and procedures as other Service members with regard to medical fitness for duty, physical fitness, uniform and grooming standards, deployability, and retention is consistent with military service and readiness.
b. All Service members must be treated with dignity and respect. No person, solely on the
basis of his or her gender identity, will be:
(1) Involuntarily separated or discharged from the Military Services;
(2) Denied reenlistment or continuation of service in the Military Services; or
(3) Subjected to adverse action or mistreatment."

"All RC Service members (except Selected Reserve full-time support personnel) identifying as transgender individuals will submit to and coordinate with their chain of command evidence of a medical evaluation that includes a medical treatment plan. Selected Reserve full-time
support personnel will follow the gender transition approval process set forth in Paragraph 3.4. of this issuance....To the greatest extent possible, commanders and Service members will address periods of non-availability for any period of military duty, paid or unpaid, during the Service member’s gender transition with a view to mitigating unsatisfactory participation"

So a hypothetical path definitely exists -- but there's a lot of "you all work together to figure this out" in that instruction.


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