From USA Today:
WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis late Tuesday announced that transgender troops will be allowed to continue serving in the military pending the results of a study by experts.
The announcement follows an order from President Trump — first announced in a tweet — declaring that transgender service members can no longer serve in the military, effectively reversing an Obama administration policy. The order also affects the Department of Homeland Security, which houses the Coast Guard.
“Once the panel reports its recommendations and following my consultation with the secretary of Homeland Security, I will provide my advice to the president concerning implementation of his policy direction,” Mattis said in the statement. “In the interim, current policy with respect to currently serving members will remain in place.”
Three cheers for SecDef Mattis, who just might be Trump’s only competent and honorable cabinet member.
Unless it’s all just kabuki to distract from Trump-Russia, this is a big deal. A Secretary of Defense defying the orders of a sitting President! It really underscores the argument that Trump is unfit for the job.
UPDATE: From NickyZ in the comments:
Good news indeed, but I’ll give Mattis only two cheers instead. Instead of keeping the entire current policy in place while the misdirective is to be studied, he is not allowing transgendered persons to enlist, only allowing those currently serving to continue to do so.