According to a February 2023 Dept. of Defense letter explaining care at the Womack Army Medical Center (WAMC) located at Fort Liberty, transgender troops taking hormone therapy may postpone deployment for as long as 300 days.
According to the document, which was initially received and made public by The Dossier, the majority of military personnel “will need up to 300 days to become stabilized on the cross-sex hormonal therapy, and they will stay in a non-deployable classification during that time.”
That timetable, meanwhile, is depending on when the service member becomes “clinically stabilized.”
The document lists other procedures and therapies that transgender soldiers may get at WAMC at government expense.
The document stated that transgender military members might request “surgical care,” which might include “upper” and “bottom” operations, after completing a year of hormone therapy.
The transgender military members might potentially ask for surgery without first undergoing hormone treatment, according to the statement.
The message said that operations such as “bottom” surgery along with “voice feminization” surgery, which could not be conducted at WAMC, were not covered. However, “Upper” surgery, which can be performed there, is a covered benefit. The letter said that voice and communication treatment will be provided to all transitioning military members.
According to the document, WAMC might conduct body or face contouring, but this procedure is not covered as it is regarded as cosmetic. In the instance of “bottom” surgery, laser hair removal wasn’t considered aesthetic but rather medically required.
A military member can ask for a policy exception in order to ensure that they are allowed to utilize “self-identified gender norms for uniforms, taking care of oneself, fitness evaluations, as well as self-identified gender billeting, restroom, and also shower facilities” throughout the 9 to 18 months it may require to complete the gender transition, according to the memo.
According to the document, transgender military personnel must obtain their unit commanders’ approval before beginning any medical therapy. Commanders “may not refuse medically required care,” according to an example medical treatment plan connected to the document, but “timelines for particular treatments can be changed to reduce readiness impact.”
The head of operations of the Womack Army Medical Center, Army Colonel David Ross Zinnante, has signed the memo.
After the Biden Administration’s policy permitting transgender people to serve in the military was released in April 2021, the memo gives WAMC employees new instructions on how to treat transgender soldiers.