The Pentagon plans to announce the repeal of its ban on transgender service members July 1, a controversial decision that would end nearly a year of internal wrangling among the services on how to allow those troops to serve openly, according to Defense officials.
Top personnel officials plan to meet as early as Monday to finalize details of the plan, and Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work could sign off on it by Wednesday, according to a Defense official familiar with the timetable but who spoke on condition of anonymity because officials were not authorized to speak publicly about it. Final approval would come from Defense Secretary Ash Carter, and the announcement will be on the eve of the Fourth of July weekend.
The plan would direct each branch of the armed services over a one-year period to implement new policies affecting recruiting, housing and uniforms for transgender troops, one official said.
Carter announced last year that the ban, which affects a fraction of the military’s 1.3 million active duty members, would be lifted unless a review showed that doing so would have “adverse impact on military effectiveness and readiness.”
That phrase raised concerns on Capitol Hill where a key lawmaker questioned whether an “honest and balanced assessment” could be made of the effects on “military readiness, morale and good order and discipline” under Carter’s guidelines for the review. (Read more from “Ban on Transgender Troops to Be Lifted July 1” HERE)