President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military is set to take effect today.
The deadline for introducing the memorandum was set at March 23 by the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
It is not clear if the deadline for the ban will be met, however, as officials have frequently missed deadlines since the measure was first proposed.
Defence Secretary James Mattis sent his private recommendation to the White House a month ago, but it hasn’t been revealed.
Trump announced on Twitter last year that all transgender servicepeople would be purged from the US armed forces, claiming they were a burden on the military.
The decision was reportedly taken without consultation with military chiefs or legal experts, and the policy has been repeatedly smacked down in the courts.
Transgender people were able to openly join the military from last month, after a court blocked Trump’s ban from coming into effect.
However, the Justice Department signalled in court this week that it will be announcing a new policy on the issue.
The memorandum on the issue reads:
Section 1(b) directed DoD and DHS to revert to the policy toward transgender individuals prior to June 2016, when the Obama administration allowed transgender service members to serve openly for the first time. Section 2(b) halted DoD and DHS resources to fund “sex reassignment surgical procedures” for service members.
Despite the proposals two openly transgender people have enlisted in the US military in 2018.
Earlier this year an official from the US military confirmed to ABC that an openly transgender service person had successfully enlisted in the Navy on March 1.
The unnamed trans person is the second person to enlist after the Pentagon was forced to comply with a federal court ruling which tossed out President Trump’s proposed ban on trans troops.
Despite the court order successfully allowing new trans recruits, different court actions have halted the implementation of the ban on current transgender service members.
The first trans person to enlist during the Trump presidency did so earlier this year and is expected to enter their basic training in the next three months.
It is believed that since January 1, around 15 to 20 trans people have begun the process to join the US military.
Trans people are still subject to a large list of specific new guidelines, revealed as part of a Pentagon memo outlining how trans people in the military are to be treated in areas including bathrooms and changing rooms.
These state that applicants will only be allowed to join if a medical provider can confirm that the individual has been stable without “clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning” for 18 months.
They must also certify that an applicant “has completed all medical treatment associated with the applicant’s gender transition, the applicant has been stable in the preferred gender for 18 months, and if presently receiving cross-sex hormone therapy post-gender transition, the individual has been stable on such hormones for 18 months.”
Those who have undergone gender confirmation surgery must have a medical provider certify that “a period of 18 months has elapsed since the date of the most recent surgery, no functional limitations or complications persist, and no additional surgeries are required.”
Non-binary applicants, however, will be forced to select their sex at birth on official documents, as the military does not yet have a third gender option
Four separate lawsuits moved through courts across America to challenge the order which was first revealed by Trump on Twitter in the summer.
Despite being legally allowed to enlist, a trans man was denied entry to the Air Force in January of this year due to his gender identity.