Secretary of Defense James Mattis has announced that, at least for now, “current policy with respect to currently serving members will remain in place.”
According to New Now Next, Mattis has explained that he doesn’t want to rush into any new territory yet, as his top concerns are military readiness and acting in the best interest of the armed forces.
“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,” he claimed in an official statement. “In the interim, current policy with respect to currently serving members will remain in place.”
This is no surprise, given the fact that Mattis is typically slow to make changes. He was initially slow to accept trans military inclusion, and is now being slow to implement any actions against trans individuals. Trump has decreed that he must act by March 23 of next year and enact the ban. It is believed that current military members will be able to continue serving, but new trans personnel won’t be able to enlist. Many trans activists have already spoken out against the ban, and some human rights groups have even sued the federal government.
“Incorporating transgender service members has not hurt military readiness, discharging thousands of service members for their gender identity would be a shameful act of discrimination, and doing so would damage our country’s ability to defend itself,” Democratic National Committee spokesperson Joel Kasnetz told New Now Next.“Trump and Mattis need to accept the conclusion already reached by the Department of Defense—that there should be a place for all capable people to serve our country openly.”