Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said she expects the policy prohibiting transgendered individuals from serving in the military to come under review in the near future, reported USA Today. “Times change,” James told the paper. Asked whether dropping the ban would affect military readiness, she replied: “From my point of view, anyone who is capable of accomplishing the job should be able to serve.” She is the first service Secretary to publically support lifting the ban, according to the paper, joining House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on the list of high-profile individuals to support the idea. A 2014 Williams Institute study estimated approximately 15,500 transgender individuals are currently serving in the military. James said the policy “is likely to come under review in the next year or so.” President Obama signed the law repealing the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law in 2010, allowing openly gay and lesbian people to serve in the military.
As the U.S. continues to pursue a diplomatic resolution with Russia over its troop buildup on the Ukraine border, the Defense Department is looking into what capabilities it will need to reassure NATO allies if Russia does launch an invasion, its top spokesperson said Jan. 21.