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DoD Says Transgender Troops Can Reenlist for Now


New guidelines released Friday by the Pentagon make it clear that transgenders in the military will be able to re-enlist for service while President Donald Trump's directive barring transgender recruits is under review.

In a memo to top military leaders, Defense Secretary James Mattis said a high-level panel including the Deputy Secretary of Defense and others, will determine how to implement Mr. Trump's ban on transgender individuals in the military. 

The President ordered the military to indefinitely extend the ban on transgenders enlisting in the service, but he left it up to Secretary Mattis to decide if those currently serving should be allowed to stay.

Mattis has said the Pentagon will develop a plan that "will promote military readiness, lethality and unit cohesion."

According to the Pentagon, Mattis made clear in his memo that the current policies on transgender troops remain in effect until February 21, when the Pentagon must complete its final plan on how and when transgender individuals may serve in the military.

The Obama administration in June 2016 changed longstanding policy, and declared that troops could serve openly as transgender individuals. 

The legislation also requires Mattis to complete his policy review by end of the year and to provide the results to Congress.

Members of Congress have already sent a letter to the president calling on him to reconsider the ban.

A bipartisan group of senators also introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act on Friday that would prevent the Defense Department from removing transgender people from military service.

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