Transgender Air Force Academy cadet in holding pattern after graduation

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A transgender Air Force Academy cadet who graduated on May 24 is being denied a commission because the military’s policy on transgender service members doesn’t address accessions.

Here’s the New York Times‘ story about that cadet and also one who graduated this spring from the Military Academy at West Point:

WASHINGTON — Not long after the Pentagon lifted its ban on transgender troops last year, a West Point cadet named Riley Dosh came out as a transgender woman. She figured she would transition while serving in the Army, as other transgender soldiers have done.

“As cadets we’re told not to hide,” Ms. Dosh said. “So I felt it would be dishonest to continue hiding.”

But coming out of hiding has carried a price. Ms. Dosh, 22, is one of two transgender cadets — the other is at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs — caught in a kind of military limbo. After four years of training to become officers, they are being denied their commissions because of a loophole in Pentagon policy that its chief author says he did not foresee.

At issue are rules governing “accessions” — the military’s term for accepting new recruits or officer candidates.

So we checked in with the Academy to find out its stance on the issue. Turns out, as Lt. Col. Timothy Herritage explains via email, the Academy is “strongly recommending” the cadet pursue Air Force civil service as an option.

But the ship hasn’t yet sailed on what might happen, because the Pentagon’s policy on transgender people’s accessions is under review. Here’s the entire response from Herritage:

On June 30, 2016, Department of Defense policy…

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