In a statement late Friday, the White House attempted to disqualify from military service transgender persons "with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria" including people who "may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery...except under certain limited circumstances".
"Transgender persons who have not transitioned to another gender and do not have a history or current diagnosis of gender dysphoria. are eligible for service" if they meet mental and physical health standards and "are capable of adhering to the standards associated with their biological sex", the report said.
For right now, service members who were diagnosed with gender dysphoria before the start of President Trump's policy are safe, said Blake Dremann, president of SPART*A, an advocacy groups for gay, lesbian and transgender troops.
It added that "the Secretary of Homeland Security concurs with these policies with respect to the U.S. Coast Guard", which would also be affected by the policy. Almost two-thirds (64%) of the public favor allowing transgender people to serve, while 30% oppose.
Defense Secretary James Mattis concluded in his February recommendation that there were "substantial risks" incurred by letting transgender members of the military serve, and that it "could undermine readiness, disrupt unit cohesion, and impose an unreasonable burden on the military that is not conducive to military effectiveness and lethality".
The American Civil Liberties Union reacted by saying that it is "transphobia masquerading as policy".
"This policy is a thinly veiled and feeble attempt by the Trump-Pence administration to justify the unnecessary discrimination of qualified patriots in order to advance their own personal agendas and in defiance of the administration's top military leadership". A Defense Department spokesman said the Pentagon would "continue to assess and retain transgender service members".
Between 4,000 and 10,000 U.S. active-duty and reserve service members are believed to be transgender. The Pentagon responded by allowing those serving to stay in the military, and began allowing transgender individuals to enlist beginning January 1. The Pentagon said Friday that it will continue to abide by Obama-era policies welcoming transgender troops while those legal battles continue.
As noted by U.S. Rep. Dave Bratt, R-Va., during an appearance on Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle", who was responding to a question of whether Trump was throwing this out as a concession to his base after signing the $1.3 trillion omnibus bill, people are exhausted of the U.S. Military being used as a laboratory for social engineering.
She said it was meant to "humiliate" transgender service members.
The new policy, according to the ACLU memo, "effectively coerces transgender people who wish to serve into choosing between their humanity and their country, and makes it clear that transgender service members are not welcome".
It is unclear when the new policy will be enacted and it is likely to face legal challenges.
The federal court rulings blocking the transgender ban remain in effect, so Trump's announcement is moot in the immediate future, said Matt Thorn, executive director of OutServe SLDN, which brought one of the cases challenging the transgender ban. This time the controversial commander in chief is declaring via White House memo that he has updated his plan for a transgender ban across the military.