US military chiefs ask for transgender policy delay
Posted June 23
US military chiefs are asking for more time to implement a policy that will allow transgender people to enlist in the service branches, the Pentagon announced on Friday.
Military leaders from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps submitted a request to delay the July 1 deadline set by former Defense Secretary Ash Carter to implement a policy that allows incoming service members already identifying as transgender to enlist if they have been "stable" in their gender identity for 18 months.
Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work has received input from each service and will make a recommendation to Secretary James Mattis, who will make the final decision.
"The deputy secretary has not submitted a recommendation to the secretary yet, so no decision has been made," chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said.
The Pentagon ended its ban on transgender people being able to serve openly in the US military in 2016, but Carter said at the time that the process would occur in stages in a timetable comparable to the lifting of "don't ask, don't tell," which had banned openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people from serving in the military.
The Pentagon did not provide details as to when Work will submit his recommendation to Mattis.
"Different services had different takes ... there were all kinds of different recommendations," White said.