President Trump issued a memorandum on Friday banning most transgender troops from military service.
“Among other things, the policies set forth by the Secretary of Defense state that transgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria — individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery — are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances,” said the memo, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Friday, according to Politico.
The policy was based on the results of a promised study within the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. The study was established by Secretary of Defense James Mattis last August “to provide advice and recommendations on the implementation of the president’s direction.”
The study’s results, published on February 22, sharply countered the Obama administration’s policy to allow transgender service, which was based “on a study prepared by the RAND National Defense Research Institute.” That study, according to the Defense Department memorandum, “contained significant shortcomings.”
“Based on the work of the Panel and the Department’s best military judgment,” stated the Defense Department memorandum, “the Department of Defense concludes that there are substantial risks associated with allowing the accession and retention of individuals with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria and require, or have already undertaken, a course of treatment to change their gender. Furthermore, the Department also finds that exempting such persons from well-established mental health, physical health, and sex-standards, which apply to all Service members, including transgender Service members without gender dysphoria, could undermine readiness, disrupt unit cohesion, and impose an unreasonable burden on the military that is not conducive to military effectiveness and lethality.”
The memo allows the Secretary of Defense and the Homeland Security Secretary leeway as to how the policy is implemented. Both “may exercise their authority to implement any appropriate policies concerning military service by transgender individuals.”