Late Friday President Donald Trump reinstated the military’s ban on new recruits who have self identified as having gender dysphoria, or transgendered individuals. in a memo dated February 22, President Trump received recommendations from Secretary of Defense James Mattis. The memo — citing a panel of expert’s professional military judgment and his own professional judgment — recommended the following three policies with which Trump concurred in today’s announcement:
1. “Transgender person with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria are disqualified from military service, except under the following circumstances: (1) if they have been stable for 36 consecutive months in their biological sex prior to our accession; (2) Servicemembers diagnosed with gender dysphoria after entering into service may be retained if they do not require a change of gender and remain deployable with an applicable retention standards; and (3) currently serving service members who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria since the previous administration’s policy took effect and prior to the effective date of this new policy, may continue to serve in their preferred gender and receive medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria.”
2. “Transgender person who require or have undergone gender transition are disqualified from military service.”
3. “Transgender person without a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria, who are otherwise qualified for service, may serve, like all other service members, and their biological sex.”
Trump tweeted last July that he wanted to ban all transgender service members because the military “must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory.”
After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow……
Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming…..
victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you
Since those tweets, federal courts have announced they oppose portions of the proposed ban.
Most notably, beginning January 1, the Pentagon complied with a court opinion that allowed transgender individuals to join the military if they met certain criteria, including certifications from a medical provider about the status of their health.
Two transgender individuals are already under contract to serve in the U.S. military since that court opinion.
The policy announced by the White House on Friday will be allegedly subject to and restrained by existing court opinions, unless the Department of Justice has judges formally dissolve preliminary injunctions.
The Department of Defense issued a statement agreeing to the limitations. “We will continue to adhere to federal law,” Department of Defense spokesperson Major Dave Eastburn said on Friday.
James Mattis gave his private recommendation for the policy to Trump in late February, but it hasn’t been revealed. Mattis’ opinion was informed by a panel of experts established after Trump sent a formal presidential memorandum to the Pentagon in August.