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Trump to order military not to pay for transgender surgeries for service members

August 24, 2017

While Pentagon officials and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis await President Donald Trump’s orders about a transgender ban in the U.S. Military, the Wall Street Journal got wind of a draft memo that will reportedly be sent to the Pentagon to instruct how to implement the ban.


Notably, aside from prohibiting transgender people from joining the military, and giving Mattis the power to remove any transgender service member based on deployability, the new law could end payments for gender reassignment surgeries for those in the military, as well as other medical treatments for gender transitioning.

The White House is expected “to send guidance to the Pentagon in coming days on how to implement a new administration ban on transgender people in the military, issuing a policy that will allow Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to consider a service member’s ability to deploy in deciding whether to kick them out of the military,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

“The White House memo also directs the Pentagon to deny admittance to transgender individuals and to stop spending on medical treatment regimens for those currently serving, according to U.S. officials familiar with the document,” the Wall Street Journal reported.


On July 26, Trump announced the ban in three tweets that seemingly blindsided officials and outraged many people.

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump tweeted.

“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,” he said.

The recent memo, according to the Wall Street Journal’s sources, is two and a half pages and gives Defense Secretary Mattis six months to prepare to implement.

From the Wall Street Journal:

“The new policy will allow Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to consider a transgender service member’s ‘deployability’ in deciding whether to oust them from the military.

Mr. Mattis under the new policy is expected to consider ‘deployability’ – the ability to serve in a war zone, participate in exercises or live for months on a ship—as the primary legal means to decide whether to separate service members from the military, the officials said.

The policy was announced by President Donald Trump in a series of tweets on July 26, which effectively reinstated a ban on open transgender service that had been lifted the year before, under former President Barack Obama, in a move that also provided for military medical care for the condition known as gender dysphoria.

Gender dysphoria is a condition that many professional associations have said requires medical treatment. For instance, gender dysphoria is recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as a medical issue. When diagnosed by a medical professional, transition therapy and reassignment surgery is considered by some insurers and states as a medically necessary treatment.

Employing the criteria of deployability to remove service members is bound to be greeted with deep opposition.”