Transgender individuals 'physically unfit' for army: Trump's new shocking ban

Donald Trump at the White House Generation Summit

Donald Trump at the White House Generation Summit

But it gives the Pentagon and other agencies some discretion in the matter.

The policy adopts recommendations that Trump received last month from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

It is hard to know how this rejection of transgenders will play out, not only because of how the Pentagon develops it, but because the issue is being settled in the courts.

"There is no evidence to support a policy that bars from military service patriotic Americans who are medically fit and able to deploy".

The decision follows US President Donald Trump announcing transgender individuals would not be allowed to serve in the U.S military "in any capacity" in a series of tweets in July 2017.

"Based on the work of the Panel and the Department's best military judgment, the Department of Defense concludes that there are substantial risks associated with allowing the accession and retention of individuals with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria and require, or have already undertaken, a course of treatment to change their gender", Mattis wrote.

Trump's initial memo had to be modified after federal courts ruled against the ban in four separate cases, saying it violated the right to equal protection under the US Constitution.

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The Defense Department released a copy of a memo from Pentagon chief James Mattis dated 22 February that provided further details. I charged the Panel to provide its best military advice, based on increasing the lethality and readiness of America's armed forces, without regard to any external factors.

In a 2016 study, the Rand Corporation estimated that between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender people serve in the military, with 830 to 4,160 serving in the reserves. That would represent roughly 0.005 percent to 0.017 percent of overall health care costs for the USA military, the study added.

"We have 15,000 or more transgender troops and their families who are going to wake up tomorrow with their lives in chaos".

Citing research into other countries that allow transgender people to serve, the study projected "little or no impact on unit cohesion, operational effectiveness or readiness" in the United States. "It undermines the ability of trans service members to serve openly and military readiness as a whole". "In short, this policy issue has proven more complex than the prior administration or RAND assumed". The Pentagon responded by allowing those serving to stay in the military, and began allowing transgender individuals to enlist beginning January 1.

The Pentagon has said that the military "will still comply with federal court rulings and continue to assess and retain transgender service members". David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman.

That was exactly where Donald Trump was headed one day after announcing the new ban on transgender military members. The White House said Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen agreed with the policy.

Now, eight months later, what will happen to transgender people on active duty is still unclear. "What the White House has released tonight is transphobia masquerading as policy", the ACLU's Joshua Block said in a statement accusing the administration of forcing transgender people to choose between their humanity and their country. The Pentagon's current policy is to accept openly transgender individuals who have documentation attesting to their health from a medical provider- which isn't that different from cisgender service members, who must be in documented good health before enlisting.

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