Joint chiefs chairman says transgender policy to remain

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation's top military officer says U.S. policy on transgender individuals serving in uniform has not - and will not - change until Defense Secretary Jim Mattis receives the president's policy direction and Mattis determines how to implement it.

Gen. Joseph Dunford is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dunford made the statement in a note Thursday to all service chiefs, commanders and enlisted military leaders.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the note.

Dunford is responding to Trump's announcement on Twitter Wednesday that the government will not allow or accept transgender people in the military "in any capacity."

Dunford says that for now, "we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect."

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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President Donald Trump says he will bar transgender individuals from serving "in any capacity" in the U.S. armed forces.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that after consulting with "Generals and military experts," that the government "will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military."

Trump added that "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."

Transgender service members have been able to serve openly in the military since last year, when former Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban.

Military chiefs recently announced a delay on allowing transgender people from enlisting. But transgender troops are already serving openly in the military.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)