According to a Defense Department document, the head of the Defense Health Agency, Vice Admiral Raquel Bono, approved the waiver request for gender reassignments surgery on Monday. The Defense Health Agency provides medical care to active duty personnel.
“This afternoon, an active-duty military member received a sex-reassignment surgery. Military hospitals do not have the surgical expertise to perform this type of surgery, therefore it was conducted in a private hospital,” the Pentagon announced in a statement on Tuesday.
“Because this service member had already begun a sex-reassignment course of treatment, and the treating doctor deemed this surgery medically necessary, a waiver was approved by the director of the Defense Health Agency. The Supplemental Health Care Program will cover this surgery in accordance with the Department’s interim guidance on transgender Service members.”
A RAND Corporation study released in June of last year found that allowing transgender people to serve openly in the military would “have minimal impact on readiness and health care costs.”