According to a recent Navy News report, the Navy will begin training leadership and support elements to be ready to provide military benefits to same-sex domestic partners of servicemembers and their children. These eligibility changes for same-sex couples are set to begin August 31.
"Extending these benefits reinforces the principle that all those who volunteer to serve are treated with dignity and respect and ensured fairness and equal treatment to the extent allowable under law," said Rear Adm. Tony Kurta, director military plans and policy.
The new benefits for same-sex couples will include the following:
- Dependent ID cards (DD Form 1173) which will be renewed in accordance with existing policies.
- Commissary and Exchange Privileges.
- Access to Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR).
- Space-Available Travel on DoD Aircraft.
- Joint duty assignment (collocation) for dual-military partners.
- Access to Legal Assistance.
- Access to most Family Center Programs.
- Access to child and youth programs. This includes child care, youth programs and youth sponsorship.
- Emergency leave and emergency leave of absence for the military member to attend to partner emergencies.
- Access to sexual assault counseling program. Emergency care provided; additional care determined by medical eligibility.
- Exemption from hostile-fire areas for dual-military if partner is killed in a combat zone.
- Transportation to and from certain places of employment and on military installations.
- Transportation to and from Primary and Secondary school for minor dependents.
- Disability and death compensation: dependents of members held as captives.
- Payments to missing person.
- Authorization to participate in surveys of military families, including the quadrennial quality of life review.
- Authority of Service Secretary to transport remains of a dependent.