Pentagon presses Russia to stand down over Ukraine
Transgender troops will be allowed to re-enlist for now: report
The Pentagon reportedly issued new guidance on Friday allowing transgender troops currently serving in the military to re-enlist in the coming months as the department weighs how to enforce President Trump's broader ban on their service.
Defense Secretary James Mattis said in a memo to military leaders on Friday that the Pentagon would convene a high-level panel led the deputy Defense secretary and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to determine how to enact Trump's ban on transgender military service, according to The Associated Press.
For now, transgender service members can continue to serve and receive medical care, Mattis said in the memo, a summary of which was obtained by the AP.
Trump announced in July on Twitter that he would reimplement a ban on transgender people serving in the military. A longstanding ban was lifted under the Obama administration last year.
The president's announcement drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, and prompted confusion at the Pentagon.
In August, Trump issued a more formal directive instructing the Pentagon not to move forward with the plan to allow transgender people to join the military. That directive also gave Mattis six months to determine how to handle transgender individuals currently serving.
Sen. John McCain on Friday said he would support legislation designed to block Trump's transgender military ban, saying that individuals who meet the qualifications for service should be allowed to do so regardless of their gender identity.
"Any member of the military who meets the medical and readiness standards should be allowed to serve - including those who are transgender," McCain said.