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Still waiting for Trump's new policy on transgender troops

Transgender military members still up in the air

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC)-- Defense Secretary James Mattis will make a private recommendation to President Trump this week on how to address military service by transgender individuals, ABC News reports.

The deadline was originally Wednesday, but the Pentagon acknowledged that the recommendation will be made sometime this week.

President Trump tweeted last July and said he wanted to ban all transgender service members. His tweet said 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.

Since Trump's tweets, federal courts have rejected portions of the proposed ban.

Most notably, beginning January 1, the Pentagon complied with a court order that allowed transgender individuals to join the military if they met strict criteria, including certifications from a medical provider about the status of their health.

"Those individuals they just want to serve and proud and be part this country, just as much as the rest of us," said Zain Welsh, benefits coordinator at the LGBT Life Center in Norfolk. "It's very disconcerting and very disheartening to hear that it could all just be taken away."

Welsh comes from a military family, and he himself is a transgender man.

"I think it's a big problem in general because you're going to lose a lot of numbers that are already actually serving and then you're going to lose the upcoming numbers," he said. "It's highly disappointing."

The Rand Corporation estimates there are 1,300 to 6,600 transgender members in the military.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine's staff tells 13 News Now: "Senator Kaine believes that if you are able to meet the qualifications to serve in our military, then nothing should prevent you from serving."