The first openly transgender recruit has passed both the physical and medical exams and signed a military service contract, DoD confirmed.
The recruit, from Illinois, was not immediately identified by gender or service.
Openly transgender individuals have not previously been able to join the military. But policy changes implemented by former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, and a series of court cases, opened a path for them to enlist, beginning Jan. 1.
Currently serving transgender recruits and those seeking to join the military may still be impacted by final guidance that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sent to the White House last week. An informal poll by Military Times last year found that a majority of readers opposed having transgender service members.
Mattis was directed to provide guidance on whether transgender service members negatively impact readiness, following a series of Tweets and then a memorandum by President Donald Trump last year. Trump has sought to end transgender military service.
Trump is expected to make his final decision on Mattis’ recommendations by March 23.
Tara Copp is the Pentagon Bureau Chief for Military Times and author of the award-winning military nonfiction "The Warbird: Three Heroes. Two Wars. One Story."