The Pentagon on Friday said that it
will allow transgender troops currently serving in the U.S. military
to re-enlist as it studies the issue.
In a memo to top military leaders,
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wrote that he wants “to emphasize that
the current policy and procedures remain in place.”
“Transgender service members whose
term of service expires while the interim guidance is in effect, may,
at the service member's request, re-enlist under existing
procedures,” Mattis said.
He added that while this is the current
policy, it only remains in effect until the Pentagon implements its
“final policy concerning the military service by transgender
Last month, the White House issued
guidance on implementing President Donald Trump's ban on transgender
troops, which he first announced on Twitter.
The Trump administration's guidance
directs the military to bar transgender people from entering the
military and to stop paying for the transition-related health care of
active duty transgender troops, but stops short of banning
transgender troops, leaving the decision of what the military should
do about active-duty transgender troops to military leaders.
The Pentagon is expected to deliver an
implementation plan to the administration no later than February 21.
Mattis' memo was released on the same
day that New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, introduced
a bipartisan bill in the Senate that would block Trump's effort to
bar transgender people from military service.
McCain co-sponsors bill which seeks to block Trump's ban on