Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan promised to provide the Senate Armed Services Committee with a complete list of construction projects at risk of being defunded to pay for the wall after several lawmakers pressed him on the issue, including Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.)
The Defense Department is claiming that its transgender ban is not a transgender ban, yet its latest policy on transgender individuals will ban some people with a medical diagnosis of "gender dysphoria" from joining the military as of April 12.
Under the new policy, people diagnosed with gender dysphoria can still join the military if they have been stable for 36 months and if they have not yet had medical treatment to transition to a new gender, defense officials told reporters on Wednesday.
Roughly 1,000 currently-serving troops with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria along with another 8,000 service members who have identified as transgender on a 2016 survey will be able to remain in the military under the Defense Department's previous transgender policy, defense officials said during a conference call.
Here is a partial transcript of Wednesday's background conference call about the transgender policy. It has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
The Pentagon has finally exempted wounded warriors from its non-deployable policy, nearly six months after Defense Secretary Mattis announced that troops wounded in combat would not be separated for being unable to deploy.
The Department of Defense Thursday afternoon unveiled new changes to the Forever GI Bill, requiring service members to meet stricter requirements if they wish to transfer education benefits to a dependent — including a cap on how long you can wait to pass on those bennies. Previously, “There were no restrictions on when a service member could transfer educational benefits,” Pentagon spokeswoman Jessica R. Maxwell told T&P; in an email.