Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' announcement yesterday that transgender troops are safe in their jobs, for now, has been seen by some critics of President Donald Trump as push-back by the Pentagon. That directive gave Mattis until February 21 to "determine how to address transgender individuals now serving in the United States military" and called for "further study" of the issue even though there has already been extensive study on transgender service members.
Mattis said in a statement he would set up a panel of experts serving in the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to provide recommendations on implementing the ban. While now active trans military members can keep serving until then, Trump has directed the military not to accept any new transgender recruits.
Mattis said he expects to issue other guidance "including any necessary interim adjustments to procedures, to ensure the continued combat readiness of the force until our final policy on this subject is issued".
Gay and lesbian troops were allowed to openly serve in 2011, and transgender individuals were granted the same right in 2016, under former Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
Opponents of Trump's transgender service ban argue that it was a politically calculated move to discriminate against transgender individuals and that the President did not have any military basis the decision. Transgender service members have also filed suit in federal court to challenge the directive.
J&K: Terrorists attack police lines in Pulwama, 2 CRPF personnel martyred
Following their entry it took time for police to evacuate people from the buildings inside premises of the police lines. Lt Gen JS Sandhu, General officer Commanding of Srinagar-based XV Corps, said it is a "fidayeen" (suicide) attack.
Once the panel reports its recommendations, Mattis said he will consult with the secretary of homeland security before providing advice to the president concerning implementation of his policy direction.
Trump barred transgender would-be recruits from signing up, but he gave Mattis discretion to decide the status of transgender people who are already serving.
It's no sure thing, however, that any amendment targeting Trump's transgender directive would get to a vote. The President's August 25, 2017 Memorandum expressly provides that the new ban does not go into effect until March 23, 2018 and expressly states that no one can be discharged for being transgender in the meantime.
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund works to end discrimination based on gender identity and expression, and uses direct legal services, test-case litigation, public education and public policy to push the nation toward equality.
The RAND study concluded that transgender military service members and medical services "cost little and have no significant impact on unit readiness". The effective dates for all three changes are in 2018.