Navy SEAL membership is not open to women as of December 2014. However, former U.S. Navy SEAL Christopher Beck publicly came out as transgender in 2011, stating that she has identified as female since grade school.
Christopher Beck has since changed her name to Kristin Beck. As a biological male, Beck was deployed 13 times, earning both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. During her military service, she kept her self-identification as a woman secret due to the fact that transgender men and women are not permitted to serve in the U.S. military. The Department of Defence is set to announce potential changes in Navy SEAL gender policies by January 2016.