Transgender serving members of the military might be able to re-enlist for service while President Donald Trump’s transgender recruits directive barring transgender recruits is under review, the Pentagon has said.
A Department of Defense spokesperson Col.Rob Manning of the US army told reporters on Friday that Transgender service members whose term of service runs out while the interim guidance is in effect, might, at the request of the service member, re-enlist under existing procedures.
Transgenders who are current service members will continue to serve throughout the military and continue to get necessary medical treatment as prescribed by their medical provider in accordance with the Military Health System guidance.
It is the first time the Pentagon has come out to acknowledge that transgender service members will be able to re-enlist while Trump’s ban on transgender recruits is being reviewed.
President Donald Trump had issued a directive to the Pentagon which bans transgender people from enlisting in the US military. The directive left a lot of unanswered questions, which includes what the directive meant for transgender people who were already serving in the military.
Transgender military personnel have been serving openly in the military since June 2016.
Defense Secretary James Mattis said a panel had been created days after Trump’sdirective.The panel was to provide recommendations on the implementation of the president;s directive.
Col. Manning emphasized on Friday that the current policy and procedures remain the same for transgender service members while the review takes continues.
On Thursday, James Mattis released an interim guidance calling for a plan to implement the directives contained in the President’s memorandum regarding the transgender military service.
Also on Friday, a group of bipartisan senators introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would prevent the Defense Department from sacking transgender people from US military service.
The senators include Republicans John McCain and Susan Collins of Arizona and Maine respectively.Also included are Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand(New York ) and Jack Reed ( Rhode Island). They introduced the legislation, which will allow individuals who are qualified and can meet the standards to serve in the military should be allowed to serve.
Trump had in August said that the White House will send guidance to the Pentagon on his new transgender military ban which included instructions to reject transgender applicants in the days ahead.
The memo added that henceforth the military was to stop accepting Transgender applicants while also directing that the Pentagon should stop paying medical treatment for transgender troops.