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Military Chiefs Ask for Delay Before Transgender People Enlist

FILE - Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 13, 2017. Military chiefs will seek a six-month delay before letting transgender people enlist in their services, officials said June 23. Dunford told a Senate committee there have been some issues identified with recruiting transgender individuals that “some of the service chiefs believe need to be resolved before we move forward.”

The U.S. military service chiefs have sought a delay before allowing transgender people to enlist, but no final decision has been made on the issue, Pentagon chief spokesperson Dana White said.

Transgender troops already in the military have been allowed to serve openly since July 2016.

The U.S. armed forces were given until July 1 to develop policies to let transgender individuals who meet all the standards to join the military.

The Associated Press reported earlier Friday that the chiefs were seeking a six-month delay.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work has received recommendations from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps and is having further conversations before submitting his own recommendation to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

“Different services had different takes,” White said. “Some asked for time.”

White said the recommendation will be made with a focus on how the U.S. military can best achieve lethality and readiness.

Should the deputy secretary approve the delay, Mattis will need to make a final decision. It is unclear whether that will happen before the July 1 deadline.