Transgender service member receives gender reassignment surgery

Military hospitals lack the surgical expertise to perform this type of surgery

"Military hospitals do not have the surgical expertise to perform this type of surgery, therefore it was conducted in a private hospital," said Dana White, the Defense Department's chief spokesperson. "Because this service member had already begun a sex-reassignment course of treatment, and the treating doctor deemed this surgery medically necessary, a waiver was approved by the director of the Defense Health Agency."

NBC News first reported the surgery and the waiver that enabled the surgery.

However, exceptions were made for service members who had already begun "sex-reassignment course of treatment", those treatments would be covered under the Department of Defense's healthcare program.

The Pentagon was given until March, 2018 to determine what to do about transgender service members who had stepped forward after the Obama administration lifted the ban on transgender service in July, 2016.

Last month, a federal court judge largely blocked Trump's ban, but not the portion of the presidential memo directing that government funds may not be used for sex reassignment procedures.