These courageous individuals, both named and anonymous, are standing up on behalf of their community and will make a difference for generations to come.
Doe v. Trump
Midshipman Kibby has completed two years of education at the United States Naval Academy with a double major in English and history. He was inspired to serve both by his father, a Navy veteran, and his early childhood years in San Diego, a military town with a large Navy base, before moving to North Carolina with his family. He stated that he has always felt that he has a duty to serve. In high school, he enrolled in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) and by junior year dreamed of attending a military service academy. Military service academies are extremely competitive and accept fewer than 10 percent of applicants. The Naval Academy, as do many other service academies, requires a Congressional nomination. After a competitive application process, Midshipman Kibby was accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy.
During his first year at the U.S. Naval Academy, Midshipman Kibby came out as transgender, shortly after the time that then Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter issued an order announcing that transgender people could serve openly in the military. He followed protocol, informing his peers and his chain of command. If President Trump’s transgender military ban is implemented, Midshipman Kibby will not be permitted to complete the degree he has spent two years working toward or the career that he has spent a lifetime dreaming of and preparing for through years of JROTC.
Midshipman Kibby said, that President Trump’s transgender military ban “ruins transgender servicemembers’ lives and ends the careers of trained, qualified members of our military for no reason other than who they are. After a lifetime of feeling a sense of duty and preparing to serve, reading Trump’s tweets was painful, and I saw my future crumbling.”
Doe v. Trump
Dylan Kohere is an eighteen-year-old first-year student at the University of New Haven in West Haven. Kohere grew up in New Jersey, and was inspired to serve by his grandfathers’ military service. His goal is to spend his entire career in the military. Kohere came out as transgender during his freshman year of high school, where he was supported by friends and family members and served as president of his school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. After President Trump’s announcement of a ban on transgender people serving in the military, he was barred from joining the ROTC Program, including being denied the ability to partake in physical training or ROTC labs. While Plaintiff Kohere has continued to take ROTC academic classes, he never enrolled in the ROTC Program because of the ban.
Kohere said, “A big part of the reason I was comfortable coming out as transgender to the ROTC was the announcement in the summer of 2016 that transgender people would be able to serve openly in the military. I was so excited that I would be able to achieve my goal of serving while remaining true to who I am.”
Stockman v. Trump
Nicolas is 24 years old and lives on a family farm with his grandmother in Lisbon, Ohio. Talbott’s grandmother relies on him for whatever income he can provide. Talbott graduated from Kent State University in 2015 with a degree in sociology and criminology. While in college, Talbott became interested in working on issues of global security and counterterrorism and now wants to serve his country as an Airman in the Air Force National Guard. He is currently in the process of enlisting.
Talbott said, “When I read President Trump’s tweets, my heart sank. I feared that I would never be permitted to fulfill my longtime dream of military service. Small towns like Lisbon, Ohio—where I live—do not have many job opportunities. I am actively searching for a job where I can support myself and my grandmother who is unwell. Enlisting in the military provides a stable job, steady income, health benefits, and the pride of serving my country.”
Stockman v. Trump
Aiden Stockman is 20 years old and lives in Yucca Valley, California. From an early age, Stockman knew that he wanted to pursue a military career. He researched and prepared to enlist in the Air Force, speaking to veteran friends and family about their experience and taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test. He has been dreaming of enlisting in the military his whole life.
Stockman said, “In a few abrupt lines and seemingly without any reason at all, President Trump reversed the military’s decision. I felt sick—crushed, like someone had just pushed me to the ground. But I’m a fighter. And I know that I am just as capable of serving in the military as any of my peers.”
Stockman v. Trump
Tamasyn Reeves lives in California and is 29 years old. She comes from a military family and has wanted to serve in the U.S. Navy for as long as she can remember. Her grandfather, several uncles, and cousin all served—as a child she thought that when her time came, she would serve as well. She grew up with her grandfather telling her stories about his time in the Navy, serving aboard the U.S.S. Kiersarge during the Korean War and noted that he spoke about his time both on the ship, in Japan, and about the bonds he forged with his fellow sailors. Reeves was devastated when President Trump announced his transgender military ban.
Reeves said, “Being singled out in this way by the President of the United States and by the U.S. Armed Services sends a devastating message that somehow transgender people are inferior to other people. I do not understand why people who are motivated and otherwise qualified to serve in the military are being prohibited from doing so.”
Stockman v. Trump
Jacquice Tate is 27 years old and currently serves as a Sergeant, E-5 Rank, in the United States Army. He is originally from Abeline, Texas. Tate began his military career approximately 10 years ago in July 2008. He has served domestically, in Germany, and has deployed to Iraq. He has received an Army Commendation Medal, multiple Army Achievement Medals, Certificates of Appreciation, and two Colonel Coins of Excellence.
He attended basic training and then progressed to Advanced Individual Training (“AIT”) to become a “31 Bravo” or military police officer. After completing AIT, he was stationed in Fort Wainwright, Alaska, joining the 472nd Military Police Company. In 2010, he deployed to Ramadi, Iraq and was promoted from Private First Class to Specialist. He was awarded an Army Commendation Medal. He then completed a Warrior Leadership Course, graduating on the Commandants List, an honor that goes to the top 15 students in a class of more than 100, and was made a leader of his Military Police team. During Tate’s time off, he spent more than 200 hours helping to feed the homeless and participated in nearly every off-post event that required support until late in 2013. From 2013 – 2014, Tate was stationed in Germany and then at West Point. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2015 and now holds a position in his company’s Arms Room.
Tate’s family relies on his military income for support. After Trump’s announcement, Tate’s chain of command promised to fight for him but noted that this decision is ultimately out of their hands.
Tate said, “The ban demeans my years of military service. It tells my fellow soldiers that I am less than them and I worry that this will weaken our close bond.”
THE UNNAMED PLAINTIFFS OF DOE v. TRUMP
Jane Doe 1
Jane Doe 1 has served with distinction in the United States Coast Guard for more than a decade. In reliance on the issuance of the policy permitting open service by transgender servicemembers, Jane Doe 1 notified her command that she is transgender. After doing so, she continued to proudly serve. Following President Trump’s tweets, Jane Doe 1 submitted a prospective letter of resignation stating that she would resign rather than be involuntarily terminated on account of her transgender status. Were the Department of Defense to retreat from the policy announced by President Trump, Jane Doe 1 would withdraw her resignation and continue to serve.
Jane Doe 2
Jane Doe 2 has been enlisted in the National Guard since 2003 and has been on active duty in the United States Army since 2006. Jane Doe 2 notified her command that she is transgender after the United States Department of Defense announced in June 2016 that it would allow transgender servicemembers to serve openly in the military. Since informing her command that she is transgender, Jane Doe 2 has continued serving in her post without incident. Jane Doe 2’s current contract with the military extends through November 2018. She is counting on the compensation and benefits accrued during that time to pay for further education and training to begin a civilian career, but she fears that the ban may result in early termination of her contract.
Jane Doe 3
Jane Doe 3 has served in the United States Army since 2015. She has previously been deployed to Afghanistan and, at the time GLAD and NCLR filed Doe v. Trump, she expected to be deployed to Iraq soon. In reliance on the Department of Defense policy permitting transgender people to serve openly in the military, Jane Doe 3 notified her command that she is transgender. Afterward, she continued to proudly serve. Jane Doe 3’s current contract with the military extends through December 2018. She plans to renew her contract, but fears that she will not be allowed to do so because of the ban.
Jane Doe 4
Jane Doe 4 has served in the United States Army since 2000. In reliance on the Department of Defense policy permitting transgender people to serve openly in the military, Jane Doe 4 met with her commanding officer to identify herself as transgender. After coming out as transgender, Jane Doe 4 continued to proudly serve. Jane Doe 4’s current contract with the military extends through June 2018. She plans to renew her contract to complete two additional years of service following the expiration of her current contract so that she can reach twenty years of service and receive retirement benefits. She fears that the President’s directive banning transgender people from military service will result in her discharge from the military before she can reach this twenty-year benchmark, thus leading to a substantial decrease in her retirement payments.
Jane Doe 5
Jane Doe 5 has been an active duty member of the United States Air Force for nearly twenty years, serving multiple tours of duty abroad, including two in Iraq. After June 2016, in reliance on the announcement that transgender people would be permitted to serve openly, she notified her superiors that she is transgender. After coming out to her superiors, Jane Doe 5 continued to proudly serve. Jane Doe 5’s livelihood depends on her military service. Separation from the military would have devastating financial and emotional consequences for her.
THE UNNAMED PLAINTIFFS OF STOCKMAN v. TRUMP
Jane Doe is originally from a small New England town and currently serves as a Staff Sergeant, E-5 Rank, in the United States Air Force. Doe is a Risk Management Framework Program Manager at a strategically important overseas base. Doe enlisted in the Air Force in 2010, entering as an Airman First Class—the highest enlistment rank possible. In 2011, Doe deployed to the Middle East and received an early promotion to Senior Airmen, E-4 rank and earned her first Air Force Achievement Medal. After completing her first deployment in 2014, Doe served as a Combat Crew Communications Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, earned a promotion to Staff Sergeant on her first try, and was awarded an Air Force Commendation Medal for distinctly exemplary service. Doe then deployed to the Middle East for a second time and earned her second Air Force Achievement Medal.
When Doe saw Trump’s tweets, she worried that these statements would destroy the career she’d worked so hard to build—despite all of her achievements and sacrifices for her country.
John Doe 1
John Doe 1 is 28 years old and is currently a Non-Commissioned Officer E-5 Staff Sergeant in the United States Air Force. He grew up with his dad telling him stories about his 30 years of service in the United States Marine Corps and has wanted to serve in the military since he was a child. Sometimes as a child he would put on his father’s uniform and pretend that he was a marine like him.
At 23, Doe enlisted in the Air Force after completing his college degree. He entered basic training in 2012 and then continued on to technical school where he was selected to be an Airmen Leader. He was promoted to Senior Airman ahead of schedule and was then selected for an instructor position in the Air Force Intelligence Community. In 2016, he received a “must promote” recommendation from his command—one of the strongest endorsements for promotion your command can give. He was then promoted to the Non-Commissioned Officer rank of Staff Sergeant, attending Airmen Leadership School and receiving the Academic Achievement Award as a top student in his class. Currently, Doe is also a class instructor and is known as a subject matter expert in the information technology requirements of our intelligence gathering community.
When he saw President Trump’s transgender military ban announcement, Doe said that he felt betrayed by his Commander in Chief, worried about what would happen to him and other transgender servicemembers, and without military service, worries how he will afford housing, food, clothing, and health insurance.
John Doe 2
John Doe 2 is 20 years old and currently serves as an E-4 Specialist Operator-Maintainer in the United States Army. Doe states that he was not from a wealthy family, and in 8th grade decided that he would join the military because it provided educational training opportunities and a pathway toward a meaningful career. As a high school sophomore, he began speaking with recruiters from every branch of the armed forces and ultimately decided to enlist in the Army because he felt that they had shared a really honest perspective with him about what would be both good and hard about serving in the U.S. military.
He enlisted at 17, and by the time he turned 18 was already in basic training. During his two years of service, he has worked his way up and received an early promotion—as well as two Colonel Coins of Excellence.
He and his wife depend on the income he brings into the household for housing, food, and basic necessities. His wife also depends on his health benefits.
When President Trump announced his transgender military ban, Doe was deeply saddened by the potential loss of his job since graduating from high school and his future career.