Meet the First Out Trans Soldier in the U.S. Military

the advocate

The Advocate
By Sunnivie Brydum
April 10, 2015

The Army is now leading the charge to change the U.S. military’s long-standing ban on openly transgender troops by seeking guidance about whether it can allow a transgender sergeant to continue serving as the man he is.

Army Sgt. Shane Ortega served three combat tours, according to a Thursday profile in The Washington Post: “Two in Iraq, one in Afghanistan. Two as a Marine and one in the Army. Two as a woman and one as a man.”

Sgt. Ortega is currently stationed at Wheeler Airfield in Oahu, Hawaii, where he serves as a helicopter crew chief in the Army’s 25th Infantry Division. The transgender man — who was assigned female at birth and therefore initially enlisted as such — began his transition to male four years ago, under the supervision of military and civilian doctors, the Post reports.

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