Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said she is "certain" that transgender people would be able to openly serve in the military at some point in the future.
In an interview on C-SPAN's Newsmakers, James said, "I think the review on the transgender policy should be complete within the next few months, would be my best guess. It’s proceeding. These are somewhat complex issues, and by the way, I am certain that the policy is going to change. I’m certain that transgenders will be allowed to serve in a more open way."
At this point, they're just trying to hammer out the specific details before rolling out the policy, according to James.
Back in 2014, James announced her support for allowing transgenders to openly serve in the military.
"Times change," James said. "From my point of view, anyone who is capable of accomplishing the job should be able to serve."
Department of Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered a six-month study in July 2015 to provide the department reasons to end the ban, declaring in a statement, "The Defense Department's current regulations regarding transgender service members are outdated and are causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions. At a time when our troops have learned from experience that the most important qualification for service members should be whether they're able and willing to do their job, our officers and enlisted personnel are faced with certain rules that tell them the opposite."
As the Daily Signal notes, with transgenders soon to be openly serving in the military, there are some key questions about the policy that need to be answered:
Will the military pay for the medical costs and surgeries associated with gender transition?
Will there be different physical or testing standards for transgender individuals during different stages of their transition?
Where will transgender troops be housed? What uniforms will they wear? Which bathrooms will they use?
Back in October, then-presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said, "We shouldn't view the military as a cauldron for social experiments," and instead suggested listening to the military leaders on what the exact policy on transgenders in the military should be. The Obama administration, however, has made clear that their political agenda will continue to press on regardless of dissent.