First transgender recruit signs contract with Pentagon

By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |  Feb. 26, 2018 at 3:34 PM
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Feb. 26 (UPI) -- A military recruit became the first transgender person to sign a contract to join the U.S. armed forces since President Donald Trump attempted to ban transgender troops, the Department of Defense said Monday.

"The Department of Defense confirms that as of February 23, 2018, there is one transgender individual under contract for service in the US Military," Pentagon spokesman Maj. Dave Eastburn told CNN.

Eastern declined to identify the recruit or which branch of the service they are entering. He said the recruit met all standards for joining but has not begun basic training yet.

In July, Trump tweeted that the Department of Defense would no longer allow transgender people to serve in the military.

"After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military," the president wrote. "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. Thank you."

But two federal judges ruled against the ban after a lawsuit from the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLAD's Legal Advocates & Defenders on behalf of six service members and two recruits. In December, the Pentagon said it would begin accepting transgender recruits at the beginning of 2018.

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