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Biden signs executive order to drop Trump’s transgender military ban

Posted at 11:25 AM, Jan 25, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Joe Biden has signed an executive order that reverses the Trump administration’s ban on transgender troops joining the U.S. military.

Biden signed the order Monday, which sets the policy that all Americans who are qualified to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States should be able to serve.

"What I'm doing is enabling all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform, and essentially restoring the situation as it existed before, with transgender personnel, if qualified in every other way, can serve their government in the United States military," said Biden before he signed the order.

Former President Trump announced the ban via tweet in July 2017 and it took effect in April 2019, CBS News reports.

In a statement, the Biden administration said the all-volunteer force thrives when its composed of diverse Americans who can meet the rigorous standards for military service, an inclusive military strengthens national security.

"This question of how to enable all qualified Americans to serve in the military is easily answered by recognizing our core values. America is stronger, at home and around the world, when it is inclusive. The military is no exception," the statement says.

Specifically, the executive order immediately prohibits involuntary separations, discharges, and denials of reenlistment or continuation of service on the basis of gender identity or under circumstances relation to gender identity.

“Simply put, transgender servicemembers will no longer be subject to the possibility of discharge or separation on the basis of gender identity; transgender servicemembers can serve in their gender when transition is complete and the gender marker in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) is changed and transgender servicemembers should know that they are accepted throughout the US military,” wrote the Biden administration.

The order also requires an initial report from the secretary of defense and the homeland security secretary to be sent to the president within 60 days that provides an update on the progress in implementing the directives and new policy.