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The military’s ban on transgender service members certainly doesn’t stop some from serving, and it didn’t stop Amanda Simpson from climbing to the top of her field and becoming the first openly transgender presidential appointee. Simpson is the executive director of the Army Energy Initiatives Task Force, which works with the U.S. Army to implement large-scale renewable energy projects. Her appointment in January 2014 followed an accomplished career in politics and aeronautics—Simpson is a licensed pilot who has worked for Raytheon Missile Systems and a co-founder of a flight instruction operation called Processional Pilot Training. She has degrees in physics, engineering, and business. Simpson may be the first openly trans appointee, but she hopes “that I will soon be one of hundreds, and that this appointment opens future opportunities for many others.” One study’s estimate puts the number of trans service members serving in active duty around 15,000—in secret, of course—and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has only recently said that he’s open to reviewing the policy. Perhaps they should look to Simpson’s tremendous service and contributions to the armed forces as inspiration.