With the Trump White House has still not provided the Defense Department the necessary policy guidance on transgender persons serving in the armed forces, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis told the press, that DOD was continuing to study the issue. That statement hints that transgender military members may be allowed to continue to serve despite President Trumps’ announcement to ban their service back in July.
“We are going to study the issue,” Mattis said to the press on Monday at the Pentagon.
“The policy is going to address whether or not transgenders can serve under what conditions, what medical support they require, how much time would they be perhaps non-deployable leaving others to pick up their share of everything. There’s a host of issues and I’m learning more about this than I ever thought I would and it’s obviously very complex to include the privacy issues which we respect,” Mattis said.
“I am waiting right now to get the President’s guidance in and that I expect to be very soon,” he added.
Trump announced his plan to ban transgender service members on Twitter last month. The move took the Joint Chiefs of Staff by surprise, and the Pentagon has said it is awaiting an official order from Trump before making a policy change.
The White House still hasn’t sent any guidance to the Pentagon on the issue and Mattis told the press that the guidance issued by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Joseph Dunford in July still stands.
Dunford wrote in a memo “no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidelines.” “In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect,”
Trump when questioned by the media last week, stated that by banning transgender troops, he was, “doing the military a great favor.”
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Photo courtesy DOD