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The Pentagon plans to announce the repeal of its ban on openly serving transgender service members next month, U.S. defense officials said. The disclosure came the same week that the U.S. Army formally welcomed its new secretary, Eric Fanning, who became the first openly gay leader of a military service branch in U.S. history. Ashley Broadway-Mack, president of the American Military Partner Association, said in a statement: "Our transgender service members and their families are breathing a huge sigh of relief." The National Center for Transgender Equality estimated last year that 15,000 trans people served in the U.S. military.