Transgender service members will be able to use the room and bathrooms of their preferred gender, regardless of whether they have had sex reassignment surgery, NBC News reports.
A memo prepared by the Department of Defense, however, clarifies that transgender service members will be required to use the undergarments consistent with their biological genitalia. The Pentagon has undergone rapid training and guidance preparation after a recent U.S. district court order mandated that openly transgender service members be allowed to enlist beginning in 2018.
However, the status of transgender service members remains uncertain in the military. President Donald Trump issued a surprise series of tweets in July banning transgender service members from the military. The president noted at the time that the military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
Secretary of Defense James Mattis later clarified that he would “establish a panel of experts serving within the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to provide advice and recommendations on the implementation of the president’s direction.” The Department of Justice indicated after the recent U.S. district court ruling that it disagreed and would likely appeal it.
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