Pentagon Confirms First Transgender Recruit Has Joined The Armed Forces

The news comes seven months after Trump proposed banning trans servicemembers in the Armed Forces.

The Pentagon has confirmed that the first transgender recruit has enlisted in the U.S. military, more than six months after Donald Trump called for a full ban of trans Americans from serving openly.

While the recruit’s name has not been disclosed, it is known they signed a service contract Friday after clearing a battery of medical, physical and physiological tests required for enlistment, Pentagon spokesman Army Maj. David Eastburn told The Washington Times.

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Eastburn did not reveal which branch of the military the recruit had joined. Since January 1, several transgender Americans have applied to join the Armed Forces.

The ban, first announced in a series of tweets by Trump last July, was struck down by several federal court rulings in the intervening months. The Defense Department was expected to deliver guidelines on transgender troops this week, with the White House announcing an official policy on March 23.

On Monday, the Washington Post reported Secretary of Defense James Mattis had recommended allowing transgender troops to continue to serve in the military.

“This is a complex issue, and the secretary is taking his time to consider the information he has been given,” chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said last week. “It’s an important issue, and, again, he sees all of his decisions through the lens of lethality.”

A full-page ad from HRC, Lambda Legal, OutServe-SLDN, and other groups appeared in USA Today, featuring military leaders and both Republican and Democratic politicians supporting the right of transgender service members to serve their country openly. The ad will also run in every local Gannett paper nationwide on Wednesday.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.