Updated 1:37 p.m. ET, 5/11/2014
(CNN) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday that he's open to a review of the U.S. military's policy prohibiting transgender individuals from serving.
"I do think it continually should be reviewed," Hagel told ABC's Martha Raddatz.
[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker'][twitter-follow screen_name='danadavidsenCNN']
"I'm open to those assessments, because again, I go back to the bottom line: Every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity, if they fit the qualifications and can do it," he said.
President Barack Obama signed a bill repealing the U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy in late 2010 setting off a transition process to allow gays and lesbians to serve. But transgender individuals are still banned from serving.
"The issue of transgender is bit more complicated because it has a medical component to it," Hagel said. "These issues require medical attention. Austere locations where we put our men and women in many cases don't always provide that kind of opportunity."
A report this year from a commission co-chaired by former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders found no "compelling medical rationale" for the Pentagon's ban on transgender military service.