US Defense Secretary James Mattis has said the ban on transgender individuals in the US military is not settled - because the White House has not said anything further on it.
The ban, which was announced by Donald Trump on Twitter, has drawn high levels of criticism after it reversed progress made by his predecessor, Barack Obama.
But Mattis has fuelled criticism the ban may not even be implemented, having made clear on Monday (August 14) that the White House has not issued any further direction to the Pentagon.
As a result, the fate of transgender individuals who are currently serving in the military remains ambiguous.
Mattis said he had no doubt orders from the head of US government would be forthcoming, a series of guidelines to outline their new capacity.
Despite this, he admitted the situation was "complicated."
Meanwhile, a number of top officials in the US military have begun to openly oppose the ban.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said he would follow orders given, but any "patriot" should be permitted to serve for their country.