Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on
Sunday said he was open to reviewing the military's policy on
Despite repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't
Tell” more than two years ago, transgender soldiers are not allowed
to serve openly in the U.S. military.
“I do think it continually should be
reviewed,” Hagel told ABC
News' Martha Raddatz. “I'm open to that.”
Hagel said the issue of transgender
people serving in the military is more complicated than allowing gays
to serve openly.
“The issue of transgender is a bit
more complicated because it has a medical component to it. These
issues require medical attention. Austere locations where we put our
men and women, in many cases, don't always provide that kind of
opportunity,” Hagel said.
“I'm open to those assessments,
because – again, I go back to the bottom line – every qualified
American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if
they fit the qualifications and can do it,” he said.
He added that the issues are “an area
that we've not defined enough.”