Bob Eschliman, Charisma News
Friday, just hours before the U.S. military was supposed to begin accepting enlistments and applications for commissions from transgendered Americans, Secretary of Defense ordered a six-month delay in the Obama-era requirement to further assess its potential impact on the Department of Defense’s war-fighting capabilities.
Department spokeswoman Dana White issued this short statement announcing the decision:
Secretary Mattis today approved a recommendation by the services to defer accessing transgender applicants into the military until Jan. 1, 2018.
“The services will review their accession plans and provide input on the impact to the readiness and lethality of our forces.
The Associated Press later reported it received a copy of a memo from Mattis to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the branch secretaries that shed further light on his decision. In it, he said he believes the department must measure “each policy decision against one standard,” which is how it will impact the military’s ability to defend the U.S.
“After consulting with the service chiefs and secretaries, I have determined that it is necessary to defer the start of accessions for six months,” the memo stated. “We will use this additional time to evaluate more carefully the impact of such accessions on readiness and lethality.”
“Accession” is the official military term for new enlistments and commissions.
It was reported earlier in the week that the Army and Air Force had been seeking a two-year hold on the new requirement. Mattis said in the memo that his decision to adopt a six-month hold was only meant to allow him to have a chance to access the impacts with incoming Trump administration officials as opposed to leadership installed by President Barack Obama.