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.
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.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Defense Department signed a memo on Tuesday that would enforce limitations on transgender people serving in the military, a policy that has been the subject of court challenges.
The policy will take effect on April 12 and will bar most transgender individuals from serving if they require hormone treatments or transition surgery.
Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com a leading source of news for the military and veteran community. This story has been updated with additional information from a Pentagon spokesman. All transgender people will not be barred from enlisting as first stated on Friday. Those diagnosed with gender dysphoria will be banned.
The Pentagon will enforce President Donald Trump's controversial policy that will bar certain transgender people from joining the military, a Defense Department spokesman said Friday, following a new court decision.
Transgender troops who are currently serving will be allowed to remain in uniform, Defense Department spokesman Charles Summers told reporters. But that won't be the case for everyone interested in joining the ranks.