A transgender service member has undergone Pentagon-approved sex reassignment surgery at a private hospital, according to Defense Department officials.
The sex-reassignment surgery is the clearest sign yet that Mr. Trump’s ban is a long way from being put into effect. Dana W. White (right), the chief Pentagon spokeswoman, said in a statement that the individual who underwent the surgery had already started a sex-reassignment course of treatment and that the individual’s doctor said the surgery was medically necessary.
“Military hospitals do not have the surgical expertise to perform this type of surgery, therefore it was conducted in a private hospital,” Ms. White said in the statement.
The Defense Health Agency, a division of the Pentagon, granted a waiver allowing the department to cover the cost of the surgery.
Last month, US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued an injunction suspending Trump’s order and reinstated a timeline to let transgender people join the military starting in 2018.