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First transgender recruit joins military, Pentagon confirms

February 26, 2018

The first transgender recruit has signed a service contract and joined the military, the Pentagon on Monday confirmed.

The Washington Times first reported the news and said the recruit wished to remain anonymous.

The Pentagon did not say what branch the person joined, or whether or not the person identified as a serviceman or servicewoman.

Pentagon spokesman Maj. David Eastburn told The Washington Times that the person signed their service contract on Friday, “after a slew of physical, psychological and medical requirements before being considered for military service.”

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The announcement comes while President Donald Trump mulls the Defense Department’s recommendations as to whether or not transgender troops should serve in the military. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis reportedly sent his recommendations to the White House last week, and they are under review.

Trump this past July abruptly announced a ban on transgender troops in the military.

The President sent three tweets declaring that he was blocking transgender troops from the military, and that they could not serve “in any capacity.”

After several months of back and forth, including pending litigation, a federal judge ruled this past December that there can be no more delays at the Pentagon allowing transgender recruits in the U.S. Military, and transgender recruits can enlist starting Jan. 1. This came after the Trump Administration earlier that month tried to delay the hiring of transgender recruits.

A U.S. District Court judge had partially blocked Trump’s transgender troop ban and ruled in late October that there can be no changes to the U.S. Military’s transgender policy while there is pending litigation against the proposed ban that is being reviewed in court. The judge, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, also denied a motion to block the ban on gender reassignment funds.

And, most recently, a federal district court judge in Maryland ruled that the U.S. must continue to fund sex-reassignment surgeries for transgender service members in the military, citing that they have “already suffered harmful consequences,” after President Trump called for a transgender ban in the military.

The Trump Administration can’t deny funding for certain medical care for transgender service members, District Judge Marvin Garbis said.

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