Secretary of Defense James Mattis has announced that transgender service members would be allowed to continue to serve while a panel of experts researches whether they affect the military’s “combat effectiveness” in light of President Donald Trump’s recently announced ban.

“Our focus must always be on what is best for the military’s combat effectiveness leading to victory on the battlefield,” Mattis’ statement read on Tuesday. “To that end, I will establish a panel of experts serving within the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to provide advice and recommendations on the implementation of the president’s direction.”

 

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