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Transgender service member gets gender reassignment surgery

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon said an active-duty service member has received gender-reassignment surgery, amid ongoing debate over whether transgender troops should be allowed to continue to serve in the military.

Defense Department spokeswoman Dana White said the surgery was done Tuesday in a private hospital. The surgery was paid for by the military’s health coverage because the doctor deemed it was medically necessary.

The Obama administration last year eliminated the ban on transgender individuals serving in the military. But President Donald Trump in August formally directed the Pentagon to extend the ban. He gave officials six months to determine what to do about those currently serving.

A waiver was approved for the surgery to be done in the private hospital. Waivers are routine for procedures that military facilities aren’t able to perform.

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