16 September 2017
The Pentagon has issued new guidance which temporarily allows transgender troops to re-enlist in the military until it is determined how the controversial ban will be enforced.
Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said in a memo to top Pentagon officials that current policies on serving transgender troops remain in fact.
This means that current transgender troops are permitted to continue their service with full access to healthcare.
However, in the memo, which has not been released but summarised, Mattis said that the relax on the ban is only temporary until policies can be finalised.
The temporary guidance will stretch until February 21, when a final policy on the transgender troop ban is reached by the Pentagon.
It comes as Trump directed the military to ban transgender individuals from enlisting, but allowed Mattis to decide the fate of currently serving transgender personnel.
National Press Secretary for The Human Rights Campaign, Sarah McBride, said that it was “clear” that “there is broad opposition within Congress and military leadership to Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s discriminatory attacks on transgender troops”.
“Donald Trump’s erratic July tweets – and the subsequent half-baked orders – have left the lives and careers of thousands of transgender service members in question.
“There is only one right answer here, and that is allowing any person willing and able to serve to do so. And we will not relent in our efforts to make that a reality,” McBride added.