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Transgender people will be able to enlist in the military after the DOJ dropped its appeal

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Transgender people will be able to enlist in the U.S. military as of Jan. 1.

The Department of Justice decided to drop its attempts to ban transgender military recruits, withdrawing its legal challenge to federal court rulings blocking President Trump's ban.

The Pentagon indicated it would comply and begin enlisting transgender recruits starting Monday.

Previously, transgender individuals already serving in the military were allowed to continue service openly, whereas the new court rulings mean transgender people can now enlist.

Trump's announcement in July that he would implement the ban came as a surprise even to military leadership. The news was met with widespread outrage by civil rights advocates and others, as two federal appeals courts and numerous federal judges refused to side with the administration.

But the Justice Department isn't abandoning the case. The DOJ says it is still waiting on a Pentagon study on the issue, expected in the coming weeks, before deciding whether to revive the debate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more: The Pentagon said it will allow transgender troops to enlist despite Trump's opposition

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