Second transgender individual signs contract with US military as Trump debates final policy

A second transgender individual is under contract to serve in the U.S. military.

March 8, 2018, 8:00 PM

A second transgender individual is under contract to serve in the U.S. military, a U.S. official confirmed to ABC News.

The individual signed a contract with the Navy on March 1, as President Donald Trump decides how the Department of Defense will handle the military service of transgender individuals.

Trump's final policy announcement is expected at the end of the month.

The person is the second transgender individual to sign a contract since a federal court order required the Pentagon to allow transgender individuals to join the military beginning Jan. 1 if they meet strict criteria, including certification by a medical provider of their health status and treatment associated with the applicant's gender transition.

The first contract signed by a transgender individual occurred on Feb. 23.

That person is expected to attend basic training in a few months, the Pentagon said.

The president tweeted last July that he wanted to ban all transgender service members, saying the military "must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory."

The move reversed the 2016 Obama administration directive that allowed those individuals to serve openly for the first time.

But since Trump's tweets, federal courts have rejected portions of the proposed ban. Most notably, beginning Jan. 1, the Pentagon complied with a court order that allowed transgender individuals to join the military under new guidelines.

Trump's final policy will be subject to and constrained by existing court orders unless judges lift preliminary injunctions.