Dylan Kohere is a student at the University of New Haven in West Haven. He grew up in New Jersey and was inspired to serve by both of his grandfathers’ military service. His goal is to spend his entire career in the military. Kohere is a transgender man, meaning he was born and raised as a girl but knew from a young age that that didn’t quite fit. He came out as transgender during his freshman year of high school, where he was supported by friends and family members and served as president of his school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. He now lives every day as the man he has long known himself to be. “A big part of the reason I was comfortable coming out as transgender to the ROTC was the announcement in the summer of 2016 that transgender people would be able to serve openly in the military,” Dylan said. “I was so excited that I would be able to achieve my goal of serving while remaining true to who I am.”
After President Trump’s announcement of a ban on transgender people serving in the military in 2017, Dylan was barred from joining the ROTC Program, including being denied the ability to partake in physical training or ROTC labs. While Dylan has continued to take ROTC academic classes, he never enrolled in the ROTC Program because of the ban. He is a plaintiff in a legal case challenging the proposed military ban.