Current transgender troops allowed to keep serving during review

The military’s transgender troops will be able to continue serving in the armed forces while Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis hears recommendations from experts.

Mattis will hold off on putting a memo from President Trump issued last week into action, according to a Department of Defense release Tuesday evening.

Trump’s memo called for a ban on new transgender individuals from joining the military and payments from gender transition surgeries, but gave the Secretary authority to implement it.

Mattis said Tuesday that he is creating a panel of experts from his own department and the Department of Homeland Security to look at the issue before giving advice to the President.

“In the interim, current policy with respect to currently serving members will remain in place,” he said.

It was not immediately clear if Mattis's panel would also stop the implementation of the other parts of Trump's memo.

The move is the latest slowdown of the current administration reversing the Barack Obama decision to allow transgender troops to serve openly.

Trump announced the ban in a tweet in July, though only issued his letter to Mattis on the topic last Friday.

His memo was almost immediately challenged in court, with lawsuits from current and potential transgender soldiers popping up Monday in Maryland and Washington state.