Armed Forces Must Report Plans For Accepting Transgender Troops By July 1

Leaders of the armed forces must report on their plans to start accepting new transgender troops by July 1 according to a Pentagon memo, USA Today reported on Sunday.

Formulating such a policy has become increasingly relevant, because later this month two transgender cadets are scheduled to graduate with degrees, one from the U.S. Military Academy and the other at the Naval Academy.

Last year the Obama administration rescinded the ban on transgender troops, as well as urging the armed services to help educate soldiers about transgender issues and prepare for the enlistment of additional transgender troops, The Hill reported Sunday.

Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis received praise from groups that support LGBT members of the military during his confirmation hearings before Congress in January when he stated he would not change the current policy of allowing LGBT soldiers to serve openly, The Hill reported early this year.

However, the latest memo from Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work has raised concerns from Brad Carson, one of the architects of the transgender policy, according to USA Today.

Carson contended the memo has language that could be used by the armed forces to back out of recruiting transgender troops by bringing up the issue of how they could affect readiness for combat.

The part of the Work memo in question stated, "The personnel policies of this Department are designed to enhance the warfighting readiness and lethality of the force that protects our country. We do not intend to reconsider prior decisions unless they cause readiness problems that could lessen our ability to fight, survive and win on the battlefield."

Carson was particularly troubled by the word "unless," which he felt could be used as justification not to implement the policy.

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