In this June 28, 2017, photo, U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis speaks in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Mattis is giving the military chiefs another six months before they begin allowing transgender individuals to enlist in the armed services. Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White says he made the decision June 30. A Mattis memo obtained by The Associated Press says he wanted to give the services time to insure the change won’t affect the readiness and lethality of the force. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

More time allowed for review of new transgender enlistments

July 01, 2017 - 2:37 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military chiefs are getting another six months to determine whether allowing transgender individuals to enlist will affect the "readiness or lethality" of the armed forces.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis decided Friday to allow the extra time for conducting a review of the policy change. The delay in allowing the enlistment of new recruits doesn't affect transgender troops who are already serving openly in the military.

Mattis' decision formally endorses an agreement hammered out last week by the leaders of the four military services. The Army and Air Force had requested a two-year wait.

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