Patricia Murphy / KUOW

Four years after the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, the Department of Defense is preparing to lift the ban on transgender service in the military.

Last summer Secretary of Defense Ash Carter formed a working group to study the particulars of what needs to be done to move forward.

As the Pentagon considers the change, practically speaking transgender service members have to walk a fine line between regulations and their identity.

"Marines and soldiers don't issue themselves orders, they don't send themselves overseas," says former Marine Phil Klay. "United States citizens elect the leaders who send us overseas."

Spokane native Ty Carter has received the nation’s highest military decoration. 

In 2010 the tempo of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were saddling the Army’s Medical Treatment Facilities with thousands of soldiers needing complex healthcare. That same year Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker chartered a task force to help improve trust. He believed trust was the foundation of Army Medicine.

Photo by Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Five Washington-based soldiers with Traumatic Brain Injuries have received the Purple Heart. They were honored Monday at a ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. In 2011, the Army issued new standards for awarding Purple Hearts to soldiers with brain injuries. Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.