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U.S. military instructed to take steps towards transgender recruits: Pentagon memo

A prospective soldier meets with a U.S. Army recruiters at the U.S. Army Recruiting Station in Upper Darby, Pa., Aug. 8, 2007.
A prospective soldier meets with a U.S. Army recruiters at the U.S. Army Recruiting Station in Upper Darby, Pa., Aug. 8, 2007. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The U.S. Department of Defense is assessing its ability to recruit transgender people as soon as 1 July, according to a memo signed by a top Pentagon official and seen by Reuters.

The Pentagon ended its ban on openly transgender people serving in the U.S. military last year under Defense Secretary Ash Carter. That repeal was one of the last barriers to serving in the military, and came after a 2011 decision to end the U.S. military’s ban on openly gay and lesbian people serving.

Each military branch was instructed to examine their “readiness to begin assessing transgender applicants into military service on July 1, 2017.”

READ MORE: Lawsuit against Forces alleges discrimination against gays and lesbians

In the memo, dated 8 May, Defense Secretary Robert Work instructed chiefs of each military branch and service secretaries to submit their reports by 31 May.

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A Pentagon spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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