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The Pentagon's Transgender 'Problem'

Media outlets widely and misleadingly reported that Defense Secretary James Mattis had "frozen" President Donald Trump's plan to ban transgender people from the military.

While Trump has said that the U.S. won't allow transgender people "to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military", he has maintained a similar divide. A few days after Trump sent him a directive on the issue, Mattis announced on August 29 that he would "carry out the president's policy direction" while "in the interim, current policy with respect to now serving members will remain in place". Mattis had requested six more months to study the issue when Trump tweeted about barring transgender service members.

- Despite Trump's twitter claim that he had consulted with general and military experts on the ban, that turned out not to be the case.

Maryland challenging the constitutionality of the Trump Administration's transgender service member ban.

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This study is not new to the military. However, military bosses have revealed their reluctance to support the USA leader, arguing that transgender soldiers pose little or no adverse effect on army cohesion and effectiveness.

Numerous headlines and reports on August 29 suggested that Mattis had paused Trump's transgender military ban, framing the situation as if Mattis was defying Trump's orders.

As Stern wrote, Mattis' actions fall squarely within the bounds of the White House memorandum directing him to act on this issue.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Tuesday announced that transgender troops would continue serving pending the results of a study. Not only did Mattis counter Trump's declaration, he seemed to undercut the President's perspective on the matter.

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- In short, every justification that the president has offered in support of the ban has been thoroughly reviewed and debunked by the Department of Defense itself when it adopted a policy permitting military service by transgender individuals a year ago. But Mattis previously expressed skepticism toward that study's conclusions, according to the Washington Post, indicating he may be interested in research that leads the Pentagon to an alternate conclusion on transgender troops' military impact.

The U.S. military had a longstanding ban on transgender troops openly serving. The ban is scheduled to go into effect on March 23, 2018. "The notion that there is any good faith "study" being conducted is blatant pretext for discrimination", Minter told Slate.

On Friday night, Trump issued guidelines on the ban of transgender troops.

Mattis says he'll convene the panel from the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, with the goal of promoting "military readiness, lethality, and unit cohesion" - while also following legal and budgetary constraints.

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