Pentagon muddies waters on transgender military ban

Pentagon muddies waters on transgender military ban

After President Trump tweeted in late July that the military would ban transgender people from service, the Pentagon waited for official word from the President on how to implement the request, since direct orders generally don't come by way of social media.

"Once the panel reports its recommendations and following my consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, I will provide my advice to the president concerning implementation of his policy direction", Mattis said in a Tuesday night statement.

The BBC said the measure could affect between 4,000 and 10,000 active-duty and reserve service members.

Mattis says he's delaying implementation of the order until military experts weigh in on the issue since most experts agree that the ban would be a bad idea. In June 2016, former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter of the Obama administration lifted the ban based on the findings of a RAND Corporation study, according to The New York Times.

After the latest launch, Trump said that "all options" were on the table, reviving his implied threat of pre-emptive United States military action just days after congratulating himself that Kim appeared to be "starting to respect us".

The U.S. military had a longstanding ban on transgender troops openly serving.

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Trump's initial tweet last month announcing he would prevent transgender individuals from serving in the military "in any capacity" - which caught even the Joint Chiefs by surprise - sparked a swift backlash from congressional Democrats. Section 1 (b) refers to the official rollback on transgender service members.

"Military service is a privilege, not a right", said Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a Missouri Republican who lobbied the White House to stop paying for transgender-related medical expenses before Trump announced the ban. However, his announcement is more complicated than it may seem, as he has not clarified whether the ban is only temporarily on hold, or permanently finished.

This study is not new to the military.

A White House official who briefed reporters about the memo on Friday declined to specify whether transgender men and women who are now active in the military could continue to serve based on such criteria. This plan will advise "as to what steps are appropriate and consistent with military effectiveness and lethality, budgetary constraints, and applicable law" regarding transgender troops in the military.

Trump gave the order on Friday, stating that he wants the ban implemented by 23 March, 2018.

The study would determine the effect of recruiting new transgender individuals and whether it would have a negative impact on the Pentagon's ability to fight and win wars. The effective dates for all three changes are in 2018.

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