WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The Defense Department has approved a new policy that will largely bar most transgender troops and military recruits from transitioning to another sex, and require most individuals to serve in their birth gender.
The new policy comes after a lengthy and complicated legal battle, and it falls short of the all-out transgender ban that was initially ordered by President Donald Trump. But it will likely force the military to eventually discharge transgender individuals who need hormone treatments or surgery and can't or won't serve in their birth gender.
The order said the military services must implement the new policy in 30 days, giving some individuals a short window of time to qualify for gender transition if needed. And it allows service secretaries to waive the policy on a case-by-case basis.