A transgender recruit has signed a contract to join the U.S. military for the first time since a federal court ruled late last year that the military would have to accept openly transgender people, the Pentagon said on Monday.
Military officials do not know how many transgender people have begun to enlist since Jan. 1, when the Defense Department began accepting openly transgender recruits, but this is the first time one has officially signed a contract to join the military, NBC News reported.
"(The Pentagon) confirms that as of February 23, 2018, there is one transgender individual under contract for service in the US Military," Major David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, said. The person has signed a contract but not yet started basic training.
President Donald Trump announced in July that he would prohibit transgender people from serving in the military, reversing former President Barack Obama’s policy of accepting them. Trump had said the military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.” However, numerous federal judges blocked the ban, saying it would likely violate the Constitutional right to equal protection under the law.