Posted on Out

Shane Ortega’s No-Fail Mission

Published: 12/08/2015

Failure is never an option in the United States military, but for Sergeant Shane Ortega, the first openly transgender soldier still on active duty, the price of imperfection got much higher after his transition became public.

Since enlisting in the Army in 2005, Ortega has been on over 400 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he currently serves as a helicopter crew chief. But last summer, when medical tests highlighted Ortega’s elevated testosterone levels, he was removed from flight duties. Were it not for the intervention of the American Civil Liberties Union, he would have likely been discharged altogether.


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