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Gen. Mark Milley, Trump's nominee to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defends Pentagon transgender ban
Army Gen. Mark Milley defended the Pentagon's ban on certain transgender people joining the military during his Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday.
The Pentagon's transgender policy became effective on April 12. It prevents potential recruits with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria from joining the military unless they have been medically stable for 36 months and if they have not yet had medical treatment to transition to a new gender.
Two weeks in, five defying states.
Nevada, Washington, Oregon and New Mexico have joined California in defying the Trump administration ban on transgender military, which went into effect April 12.
AUSTIN — A freshman at the University of Texas at Austin says he has lost his military scholarship because he is transgender man.
Map Pesqueira, a 19-year-old from San Antonio, said he was awarded a three-year Reserve Officers' Training Corps, or ROTC, scholarship beginning his sophomore year. But his financial aid is now invalid, he told The Dallas Morning News, under the federal government's new policy that bans many transgender troops from enlisting in the military.
"I was told that my scholarship is void," said Pesqueira, whose story was first reported in The Daily Texan. He added that it was important to tell "the story of ROTC cadets who are relying on a ROTC scholarship to fund their education.
The Pentagon's policy banning some transgender individuals from joining the military will go into effect on April 12 after appellate judges lifted the final injunction preventing the policy from being implemented, Defense and Justice officials said.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the Justice Department, which had filed an emergency motion asking that the transgender policy be allowed to go forward.
It is unclear whether the Defense Department's transgender ban will actually take effect on April 12 as planned.
A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that the Pentagon jumped the gun last week when it announced it will ban people with a medical diagnosis of "gender dysphoria" starting next month. The reason: plaintiffs who have filed a lawsuit challenging the transgender ban have until March 29 to request a rehearing.
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 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.