Secretary of Defense James Mattis has delayed allowing transgender people to join the military until Jan. 1, 2018 at the earliest, the Pentagon announced Friday night.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis has reportedly granted military chiefs permission to hold off on allowing transgender personnel to enlist for another six months.
According to The Associated Press, Mattis detailed his decision in a memo stating “he wanted to give the services time to ensure the change won’t affect the readiness and lethality of the force.”
“His decision endorses an agreement hammered out last week by the military service leaders,” The Associated Press continues, adding, “that plan rejected Army and Air Force requests for a two-year wait and reflected the broader worry that a longer delay would trigger criticism on Capitol Hill.”
According to The Hill, 16 House Democrats – in a letter delivered to Mattis today – urged the Defense Secretary not to enforce any delay on transgender enlistment.
“We strongly encourage you to deny the request for a six month delay in transgender policy implementation,” the letter – organized by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) – reportedly read.
“There are thousands of transgender individuals in our military today. There should be no further delay in implementing this policy and allowing transgender individuals to serve the country they love.”
The letter also reportedly referenced a year-long Pentagon review, stating, “the findings indicated that the medical cost of transgender service members would be limited, and that far from hindering readiness, ‘commanders noted that the policies had benefits for all service members by creating a more inclusive and diverse force.’”
According to a 2016 Pink News report, then-President Barack Obama lifted the military’s ban on transgender soldiers and gave military branches one year to ensure they were ready to implement the new policy. That period was set to end on Saturday, July 1st.
In an explanation that indicates the issue is far from settled, the statement said “The services will review their accession plans and provide input on the impact to the readiness and lethality of our forces.”
Mr. Mattis has been under pressure from conservative activists and Republicans in Congress to deny recruitment to transgender people They also want him to roll back President Barack Obama’s decision last year to let transgender troops remain on active duty instead of being discharges automatically.
They cite medial costs, harm to unit combat readiness and embarrassing incidents to troops.
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Former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter had set July 1, Saturday, as the start of recruiting transgender people. His successor has now put that policy on hold.
Mr. Mattis said in a memo to the services and Gen. Joseph Dunford, Joint Chiefs chairman:
“Since becoming the Secretary of Defense, I have emphasized that the Defense of Defense must measure each policy decision against one critical standard: will the decision affect the readiness and lethality of our armed forces? put another way, how will the decision affect the ability of America’s military forces to defend the nation?
“I have determined that that is is necessary to defer the star of accessions for six months. We will use this additional time to evaluate more carefully the impact of such accessions on readiness and lethality.”
Stay tuned for word on the inevitable triggering that will ensue when liberals learn transgender people will not be able to enlist in the military anytime soon.
The Associated Press