The Department of Defense has announced that it will pay for an active-duty service member’s gender reassignment surgery, marking the first time since the Obama administration opened the door for transgender individuals to openly serve in the United States military that the Pentagon will pay for such a procedure.  As first reported by BuzzFeed News, the Pentagon released a statement Tuesday announcing that the service member in question received a sex reassignment procedure at a private hospital.

“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,” a statement attributed to Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White, reads. “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.  READ MORE