Starting on July 1st, the U.S. Military will not allow transgender men and women to sign up. This will be the case, unless the Pentagon decides to fully implement a policy, which was enacted during the Obama administration. Jim Mattis, the Secretary of Defense has the final say on the order, but it’s not clear which way he will go with it. The Pentagon has also requested reports from each of the branches of the military about the readiness to begin accepting transgender applicants on July 1st.
About 7,000 of the current 1.3 million military members are transgender. However, they were not allowed to identify as transgender until the policy was enacted by President Obama. Both the Marine Corps and the Army have pushed for a delay with the policy due to practical matters. Some officials have also said funding was an issue as they would have to upgrade facilities, such as communal living spaces and group showers.
The military has slowly been accepting more women and LGBT community members to serve. In fact, three women joined the Marines infantry unit in January for the first time. Allowing transgendered people to openly serve as such still remains a highly contentious issue for the military, however.
President Trump has declined to support transgender people and even rescinded the bathroom usage rules for transgender students in public schools. That same measure could impact the Defense Department Schools.
The ban against transgendered military recruits and individuals serving openly in the military was lifted last June, which gave them the same medical covered others received. They were even given the ability to take hormone therapy or undergo gender reassignment surgeries if a doctor found it necessary.
A decision is expected soon, but it’s still unclear what will happen with this policy. There are logistics and administrative things still in question.