In a big shift in tone, General Jim Mattis, who heads up the Department of Defense, has put a pause on the proposed banning of the transgendered serving in the military.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) August 29, 2017
The announcement follows an order from President Trump — first announced in a tweet — declaring that transgender service members can no longer serve in the military, effectively reversing an Obama administration policy. The order also affects the Department of Homeland Security, which houses the Coast Guard.
“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 in the statement. “In the interim, current policy with respect to currently serving members will remain in place.”
Mattis’ move buys time for the Pentagon to determine how and if it will allow thousands of transgender troops to continue to serve, whether they will receive medical treatment, or how they will be discharged.
President Donald Trump originally ordered the ban in a tweet late last month, but the Joint Chiefs called for an official order from the White House. That order came this past Friday, as it was signed by the President and sent to the Defense Department.
Now, that order has been halted until the issue can be properly studied by the military.