Mattis halts Trump ban on transgender troops

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday night that the Pentagon's current policy on transgender troops "will remain in place".

30 August 2017, 8:55am
US President Donald Trump and Secretary of Defense James Mattis
US President Donald Trump and Secretary of Defense James Mattis
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday night that the Pentagon's current policy on transgender troops "will remain in place" while President Trump's directive, banning transgender people from joining the military undergoes an expert study.

"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.

The move by the Defense secretary will allow transgender people to continue serving openly in the military while the Pentagon considers whether to discharge them in view of Trump’s Order.

Trump formally directed the Pentagon to implement the ban on transgender individuals joining the military last week, which he first announced in a July 26 tweet. The President also instructed the Pentagon the authority to decide the future of openly transgender people already serving.

Transgender people have been able to serve openly in the military since last year, when then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter lifted a prior ban during the Obama administration.