Transgender policy to remain the same for now says military chief

Gen. Joseph Dunford, Jr.
FILE - In this July 9, 2015, file photo, then-Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford, Jr., testifies during his Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing to become the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Marine Corps is expected to ask that women not be allowed to compete for several front-line combat jobs, inflaming tensions between Navy and Marine leaders, U.S. officials say. The tentative decision has ignited a debate over whether Navy Secretary Ray Mabus can veto any Marine Corps proposal to prohibit women from serving in certain infantry and reconnaissance positions. And it puts Dunford, the Marine Corps commandant who takes over soon as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at odds with the other three military services, who are expected to open all of their combat jobs to women. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

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.”

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