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"I hereby revoke my memorandum of August 25, 2017, 'Military Service by Transgender Individuals, ' and any other directive I may have made with respect to military service by transgender individuals", Trump's new memorandum said.

President Donald Trump on Friday issued an order banning most transgender troops from serving in the military except under "limited circumstances". It specifically mentions individuals who "may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery". Trump had declared that he would revise former President Barack Obama's policy, which allowed transgender people to join the U.S. forces.

The new guidelines are only somewhat less broad than Trump's first order, vaguely targeting most transgender people who require medical services related to gender reassignment surgery or hormone therapy.

When Donald Trump originally banned transgender members from serving in the US military previous year, he cited what he called "tremendous" medical costs these members created.

In February, the Pentagon confirmed to CNN that the first transgender person had signed a contract to join the United States military following a federal judge's ruling that said the military would have to accept transgender people.

The decision revokes a full ban that Trump issued last summer but disqualifies US troops who have had gender reassignment surgery, as recommended by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. The military has subsequently accepted at least one openly transgender recruit in 2018.

The president signed on Friday a memorandum, veto, which has been frozen in the courts since last December, but refers to a new policy recommended by the Pentagon that also represents a serious blow to the weakest link in the country, the LGTB community.

In a report to the president last month, the Department of Defense claimed that allowing people with a history of "gender dysphoria" to serve in the military could "undermine readiness" and "impose an unreasonable burden on the military" itself.

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Citing threats to troop readiness and morale, as well as costs associated with medical services, Trump said in a series of tweets in July that he would reverse President Barack Obama's policy allowing transgender people to join the armed forces. A Rand Corp study estimates there are 2,500 transgender personnel serving in active duty, and 1,500 in the reserves.

The Department of Justice said they will continue to support the Pentagon.

The White House said allowing transgender troops to serve "presents considerable risk to military effectiveness and lethality", according to the AP.

Following Friday's policy announcement, opponents of the transgender ban and lawmakers promptly condemned the White House's decision.

Eastburn could not say how many transgender service members are in the military, because the Pentagon classifies troops as men or women.

"This policy is not based on an evaluation of new evidence", the ACLU's Joshua Block said in a statement.

The American Civil Liberties Union rights group condemned the new policy, calling it "transphobia masquerading as policy".

Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan Ireland, who was featured in a 2015 documentary about transgender troops, posted a March 23 Facebook message saying that he will continue to serve as long as he can.


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