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DOD's transgender inclusion policy delayed

After Department of Defense Secretary Mattis decided to delay implementing a policy that would no longer make being transgender a disqualifying factor joining the military, one lawmaker is urging for a full repeal.

After Department of Defense Secretary Mattis decided to delay implementing a policy that would no longer make being transgender a disqualifying factor joining the military, one lawmaker is urging for a full repeal.

The policy was supposed to take effect July 1, but Secretary Mattis has instituted a last minute six-month delay.

“The Obama transgender policy, which was implemented without input from members of Congress, is ill-conceived and contrary to our goals of increasing troop readiness and investing defense dollars into addressing budget shortfalls of the past,” Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement. “This delay is indicative of a policy that was rushed and never clearly thought out, and I am pleased that Secretary Mattis has decided to delay the accession policy.”

Hartzler contends that the policy is costly and should be fully repealed.

The policy is an extension of a 2016 policy shift that meant currently serving transgender service members could not be discharged as a result of their transgender status.

The Family Research Council said that while the policy is a “good first step,” the group also supports the stay in its implementation.

"The Pentagon is right to hit the brakes on a policy that will fail to make our military more capable in performing its mission to fight and win wars,” Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, former U.S. Army Delta Force commander and current Family Research Council executive vice president, said in a statement.

He added, “The military has been reduced to stripping parts from museums, which is why it makes no sense to spend more than a billion taxpayer dollars on new body parts for anyone who joins the military and identifies as transgender. After lost deployment and other costs are factored in, taxpayers could be on the hook for as much as $3.7 billion over the next ten years. Spending billions of dollars on transgender surgeries and treatment plans, when the military has other priorities that would actually ensure its effectiveness in war, is irresponsible.” 

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