US President Donald Trump signed a memorandum on Friday that bans some transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military, but gives the armed forces latitude in implementing policies.
The memorandum said transgender individuals with a history of gender dysphoria, defined as “those who may require substantial medical treatment, including through medical drugs or surgery,” are disqualified from military service “except under certain limited circumstances.”
It added that the secretaries of defense and homeland security “may exercise their authority to implement any appropriate policies concerning military service by transgender individuals.”
The White House said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had found that individuals with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria presented a risk to military effectiveness.
“This new policy will enable the military to apply well-established mental and physical health standards … equally to all individuals who want to join and fight for the best military force the world has ever seen,” it said.