Jim Mattis: Transgender troops to continue serving pending study

Jim Mattis: Transgender troops to continue serving pending study

On Aug. 25, the White House provided official guidance to the Pentagon, ordering that transgender applicants would no longer be accepted into the military and calling for a study to determine whether transgender troops could remain in service.

"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 announced in an official statement on Tuesday.

Second, President Trump explicitly left open the possibility the new policy might be temporary: The ban will remain in place "until such time as a sufficient basis exists upon which to conclude that terminating that policy and practice would not have the negative effects discussed above". The president said that the ban was needed to avoid "tremendous medical costs and disruption" posed by transgender people serving in the military.

Experts and the USA government believe North Korea has successfully miniaturized a nuclear weapon and is very close to being able to successfully launch intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads accurately enough to hit the United States.

The current United States system allows transgenders to serve without concealing their sexual orientation. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming...victory and can not be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.

Trump's tweets quickly drew legal action from challengers, and his new directive is already triggering another wave of litigation.

Mattis has previously expressed that his main concern is military readiness and not political issues. "Transgender people are people, and deserve the best we can do for them", Hatch said in a statement after Trump's July tweets. But Mattis previously expressed skepticism toward that study's conclusions, according to the Washington Post, indicating he may be interested in research that leads the Pentagon to an alternate conclusion on transgender troops' military impact.

Civil liberties groups have already challenged the president's ban, and are taking the president to court.

The president's memo called for three things - return to the transgender military policy that was in effect before June 2016; maintain the current policy on accession of transgender individuals; and stop paying for "sex-reassignment surgical procedures" for military personnel.

In a statement last week, McCain said it would be "a step in the wrong direction" to force transgender individuals out of the military exclusively on the basis of gender identity.

This study is not new to the military. An estimate by the Rand Corp. has suggested that there could be as many as 6,600 transgender troops on active duty and more than 4,100 in the Reserves.

What do previous studies say about transgender service members?

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