Pentagon delays enlistment of transgender recruits
The Pentagon has delayed enlistment of transgender people into the armed services for another six months. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is giving military leaders the additional time to insure the change won’t affect the readiness and lethality of the force. That’s according to a memo Mattis wrote that was obtained by The Associated Press.
Mattis’ decision endorses an agreement created last week by military service leaders. That new deal rejects Air Force and Army requests for a two-year wait and reflected the broader worry that a longer delay would trigger criticism on Capitol Hill.
Under former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, the military branches had six months — with July 1 as the deadline — to come up with a new policy for new transgender recruits.
The new deadline is January 1, 2018.
Transgender service members have been able to serve openly in the military since 2016, but have not been allowed to enlist as new recruits.