Biden signed the executive order in the Oval Office Monday morning shortly before the swearing-in ceremony for his secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin.
Vice President Kamala Harris, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin looked on.
According to the White House, the executive order “immediately prohibits involuntary separations, discharges, and denials of reenlistment or continuation of service on the basis of gender identity or under circumstances relating to gender identity.”
President Biden deferred questions to an afternoon event but noted that previous secretaries and commanders have supported this position.
Biden said, “This is reinstating a position that previous commanders, as well as secretaries, have supported. What I’m doing is enabling all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform and essentially restoring the situations going forward of transgender personnel if qualified in every other way can serve their government in the united states military. So that’s what I’m doing.”
President Biden had pledged during his campaign to repeal the controversial policy that was enacted by President Trump.