Until then, an injunction preventing the Pentagon from implementing the transgender ban remains in place, ruled Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
"The ruling means that the Trump administration cannot enforce a ban on military service by transgender people," said Shannon Minter, an attorney who represents transgender people now serving in the military and others who want to join. "That includes all of our plaintiffs in this case, and all other transgender service members and transgender people who are seeking to enlist in the military."
Minter, who is legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said his clients are considering asking for a rehearing and a new injunction.
"As long as that prohibition against enforcing a ban remains in place, transgender service members must be treated the same as other service members, which means that they cannot be discharged for coming out and seeking to transition," he told Task & Purpose on Wednesday.
"Those who have already come out and begun or completed gender transition cannot be discharged or treated unequally," he continued. "And transgender individuals who are seeking to enlist must be given an equal opportunity to do so, provided they can meet the standards applied to other applicants."
Defense Department officials had no comment on Wednesday.
The Justice Department, which represents the government in the case, asked D.C. District Court on Wednesday to lift the injunction. Justice Department officials argued that the government had assumed the injunction against the transgender ban had ended when the D.C. District Court ruled in the government's favor on Jan. 4.
They also argued that a Jan. 22 Supreme Court decision that lifted injunctions in other legal challenges to the transgender ban applies to this lawsuit as well.
Blake Dremann is president of SPART*A, an advocacy group for gay, lesbian, and transgender troops. His group is advising members to plan for the transgender ban to go into effect on April 12.
"The confusion about this policy will continue to plague our members and the medical system," Dremann told Task & Purpose. "I ask that transgender service members not to take any chances and that if they require transition that they seek medical attention at the earliest moment possible. SPARTA will continue to provide support and guidance to transgender service members as we continue to work to change the policy back to allowing open service."
Two airmen were administratively punished for drinking at the missile launch control center for 150 nuclear LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, the Air Force confirmed to Task & Purpose on Friday.
Two F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters recently flew a mission in the Middle East in "beast mode," meaning they were loaded up with as much firepower as they could carry.
The F-35s with the 4th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron took off from Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates to execute a mission in support of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Air Forces Central Command revealed. The fifth-generation fighters sacrificed their high-end stealth to fly with a full loadout of weaponry on their wings.
The U.S. Senate closed out the week before Memorial Day by confirming Gen. James McConville as the Army's new chief of staff and Adm. Bill Moran as the Navy's new chief of naval operations.
McConville, previously vice chief of staff of the Army, was confirmed on Thursday along with his successor, Lt Gen. Joseph Marin. Moran, currently vice chief of naval operations, was confirmed Friday along with his successor, Vice Adm. Robert Burke.
The Pentagon is producing precisely diddly-squat in terms of proof that Iran is behind recent attacks in the Middle East, requiring more U.S. troops be sent to the region.
Adm. Michael Gilday, director of the Joint Staff, said on Friday that the U.S. military is extending the deployment of about 600 troops with four Patriot missile batteries already in the region and sending close to 1,000 other service members to the Middle East in response to an Iranian "campaign" against U.S. forces.