The deadline for giving Donald Trump transgender troop ban advice has passed

February 22, 2018
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General James Mattis (ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP/Getty)

General James Mattis has missed the deadline for advising on how to ban transgender people from the US Army.

The Pentagon was expected to announce its new policy on transgender troops Wednesday following a six month legal battle.

The legal back and forth was sparked by President Trump calling for a ban on trans troops on Twitter in July last year.

James Mattis
General James Mattis (Getty)

Related: Trans man told he could not enlist in military because of his gender identity

Trump announced that all transgender service people would be banned from the US armed forces, claiming they were a burden on the military.

The Pentagon first said it was investigating how to implement the police in September 2017, with a deadline set of February 21.

But when the deadline came the Pentagon admitted that no such advice had been passed on.

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 25: Demonstrators protest for transgender rights on February 25, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The demonstrators were angry with President Donald Trumps recent decision to reverse the Obama-era policy requiring public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Pentagon spokesman Major Dave Eastburn told VOA that Mattis “has his recommendation for the president but has not provided it yet.”

“When he’s ready to provide it, he will,” Eastburn added, noting that Wednesday’s deadline for submitting a plan was one made within the Department of Defense and not one set by Trump.

Pentagon officials refused to elaborate on the missed deadline, other than to say that discussions between Mattis and the president are a “private matter”.

It is now anticipated the deadline could be as late as March 23.

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 23: Hundreds protest a Trump administration announcement this week that rescinds an Obama-era order allowing transgender students to use school bathrooms matching their gender identities, at the Stonewall Inn on February 23, 2017 in New York City. Activists and members of the transgender community gathered outside the historic LGTB bar to denounce the new policy. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The policy announcement led to a deluge of lawsuits, with a DC judge preventing Trump from blocking an already-written directive to actively permit the enrolment of transgender people.

Lawyers from the Justice Department told U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis earlier this month that they would be bringing a new policy on trans troops forward tomorrow.

The RAND Corporation has estimated that the number of transgender individuals currently serving in the active component of the U.S. military is between 1,320 and 6,630 out of a total of about 1.3 million service members.

Protesters gather in front of the White House on July 26, 2017, in Washington, DC. Trump announced on July 26 that transgender people may not serve "in any capacity" in the US military, citing the "tremendous medical costs and disruption" their presence would cause. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Related: Legal challenge attempts to kill off Trump’s transgender ban for good

It is not exactly clear what the policy will state, but many pundits predict that it will echo the sentiments set out by Trump in his initial tweets – that trans troops will not be allowed.

In a memo written by Mattis in September, the Defence Secretary wrote that the new policy on trans troops would have to be “consistent with military effectiveness and lethality”.

Anti-Trump Protesters Demonstrate In Times Square Against Trump Announcement Of Banning LGBT Service Members
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A study which was commissioned by the Pentagon and carried out by RAND, a non-partisan survey company, found that having transgender troops would make a negligible impact on the readiness to deploy.

The study stated: “In terms of readiness, RAND estimates that 10 to 130 active component members each year could have reduced deployability as a result of gender transition-related treatments.

“This amount is negligible relative to the 102,500 nondeployable soldiers in the Army alone in 2015, 50,000 of them in the active component.”

US soliders
Marine Corps recruits practice drill (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Since Trump’s tweets announcing the proposed ban, interim guidance was put in place by the Pentagon to temporarily halt trans troops from being forced to leave the service.

The guidance also allowed trans troops to access medical treatment and on January 1, transgender people were allowed to enlist openly.

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