I keep finding conflicting information online, so would like to hear from current or former USPHS interns. Does "Don't ask, don't tell" apply to civilian interns? JRCOSTEP/SRCOSTEP is technically under United States Department of Health and Human Services, along with the Indian Health Service (which is gay-friendly) and other agencies where they don't care.
At some point you're "active duty," the details of which are a bit hazy and variable. Some people report going to gov agencies, some people go to prisons (eep) and some work on military installations. I would think that on a military base, DADT would be in play, but I've also met openly gay/trans civilians who work for the VA with no problem. So it gets confusing.
10-25-2010, 08:48 PM
I've wondered about this myself... The one thing I found that is potentially helpful/reliable, is this resource: http://www.equalitymaryland.org/pdfs/dadt_survival_guide.pdf
The Public Health Service (PHS) is one of the seven
“uniformed services” but it is not part of the “armed
forces.” While the entire PHS can be militarized, this
has not been done since the Korean War. As a general
rule, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue, Don’t
Harass” does not apply to Public Health Service
(PHS) commissioned officers. Being openly gay is
neither a bar to appointment in the PHS nor a bar to
continued service. PHS officers “when assigned to or
serving with the armed forces”164 (Army, Navy, Air
Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard), are subject to
the UCMJ, including Article 125 (Sodomy), Article 133
(Conduct Unbecoming), and Article 134 (Indecent
Acts), and military regulations, including “Don’t Ask,
Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue, Don’t Harass.”
In peacetime, PHS officers usually have the ability to
decline a posting to the military and, in turn, avoid any
difficulty. In wartime, the ability to decline a post will
most likely be over ridden by the needs of the service.
I'm not an intern or a commissioned officer, so I can't speak from first-hand experience. I have asked a few active duty PHS officers about DADT. Although none of them could tell me for sure the technical legalities, they've said that they know of openly gay officers that have had no problems, and that in general the PHS tends to be a gay-friendly workplace. Though I bet it'll depend quite a bit on the specific agency and location. Even if there isn't a specific policy discriminating against sexual orientation, I doubt there is a specific policy that protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
04-04-2011, 09:20 AM
I've phoned their recruitment line to ask and the guy on the other end of the line said that they do accept transgender people.
05-10-2011, 11:50 PM
OnTheOtherHand, what exactly does that mean? Does it matter what stage of transition the transgender person is in? Did the recruiter actually seem like he knew what he was talking about and not just trying to say things to encourage you to apply?